E-Verify and Immigration Benefits Impacted by Government Shutdown

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued this guidance for employers until the federal government reopens:

• E-Verify is currently unavailable. Employers must not take adverse action against employees because their E-Verify cases cannot be filed or completed. These employees continue to be work-authorized during the shutdown.

• The 1-day and 3-day rules for completion of the I-9 Form for newly hired employees are not suspended. Employers should continue to prepare and process I-9s following normal procedures. Likewise, the Colorado affirmation obligation continues as normal.

• Social Security Administration, which receives applications for social security account cards, is not open. Employees who need to obtain an initial or replacement social security cards should not be penalized by employer because of their inability to do so during the shutdown.

• The 3-day rule for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown. DHS will issue additional guidance once the government reopens.  Employers should document the shutdown on all new hires or other cases involving a need for an E-Verify query.

• The time to respond for employees who have received Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs) from E-Verify is extended and additional time will be provided once the government reopens.

• Federal contractors complying with the E-Verify federal contractor rule must contact their contracting officers to inquire about extending deadlines.

The shutdown also affects other government agencies dealing with immigration:

• U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), which receives filings for work permits, temporary status, and immigrant visa cases, will remain open since it is funded by user fees.

• Department of Labor (DOL) which processes prevailing wage forms and labor certifications is not operating, and all such processes will be unavailable until the government reopens.

• Department of State (DOS) which issues non-immigrant and immigrant visas will continue to operate through its consulates abroad for as long as it has funding to do so, and then will stop performing all but essential functions.

• Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which admits foreign nationals at the U.S. borders and ports of entry, will continue working through the shutdown.

• The immigration court system is shut down except for functions related to detained individuals.

• Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will continue its enforcement operations.

Websites for these agencies continue to be available but will not be actively managed, which may cause issues as the shutdown continues.

Contact Chris Bauer or Sherry Lin at (800) 884-1328 with your questions about worksite compliance or immigration benefits during the shutdown.