Connecticut, US

Mar 23 2020

E-Verify Issues COVID-19 Guidance for Employers

United States

At a glance

  • E-Verify is not relaxing the three-day deadline for initiating an E-Verify case. Participating employers are still required to create E-Verify cases for their new hires within three business dates from the date of hire as indicated on the employee’s I-9 form.
  • Where an E-Verify query is delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis, employers are instructed to write in “COVID-19” as the basis for the delay in the system.
  • E-Verify is extending the timeframe for affected employees to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmation responses.
  • Employers may not take adverse action against an employee whose E-Verify case is in interim status.

The issue

E-Verify has provided guidelines for employers and employees whose fulfillment of E-Verify obligations may be delayed due to the COVID-19 emergency.

E-Verify case creation deadlines remain in place for most

E-Verify employers are still obligated to create E-Verify cases for their new hires within three business days of the date of hire. Employers must continue to use the hire date on the employee’s Form I-9 employment eligibility verification form.

If E-Verify case creation is delayed because of COVID-19 precautions, employers are instructed to enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the delay after selecting “other” in the date-field dropdown menu.

Extension of timeframes for resolving some Tentative Nonconfirmations

If your organization’s E-Verify inquiry results in a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) response, you must notify the employee as soon as possible and provide him or her with a copy of the TNC response. After your employee is notified of their TNC and decides whether to take action to resolve it, the employee should acknowledge the decision whether or not to contest the nonconfirmation on the Further Action Notice and sign and date it, at which point the employer should notify E-Verify of the employee’s decision. Employees who choose to take action to resolve a TNC are referred to the Social Security Administration (SSA), DHS or both agencies as appropriate. 

Under normal circumstances, the employee has eight federal working days to contact the relevant agency. However, because SSA offices are closed to the public during the emergency, E-Verify is extending the timeframe to take action to resolve SSA TCNs. E-Verify is also extending the timeframe to take action to resolve DHS TNCs, but only when an employee cannot resolve a TNC due to a DHS public or private office closure. E-Verify has not provided an exact extension timeframe, likely because of the uncertain duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

Adverse actions due to E-Verify

DHS reminds employers that they may not take any adverse action against an employee because the E-Verify case is in an interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status.

Employers who have questions about E-Verify procedures during the COVID-19 emergency should contact their designated Fragomen team or the firm’s Government Strategies and Compliance Group.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.