BY KATE KALMYKOV
The U.S. government shutdown ended this morning and, as a result, U.S. government agencies, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of Labor and the Department of State, have resumed all operations. For employers tracking job creation for EB-5 purposes there are several important updates to note:
- All employers must complete and retain an I-9 for every person hired to work for pay in the United States during the shutdown.
- E-Verify, the voluntary federal program used by employers to verify the work eligibility of new hires which was disabled during the shutdown, is now fully available.
- An E-Verify case must be created for each employee hired during, or otherwise affected by, the shutdown by November 5, 2013. If you are prompted to provide a reason why the case is late, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down list of reasons, and enter ”federal government shutdown.”
- If an employee had a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) referred between September 17, 2013 and September 30, 2013 and was not able to resolve the TNC due to the federal government shutdown, add 12 federal business days to the date printed on the ‘Referral Letter’ or ‘Referral Date Confirmation.’ Employees have until this new date to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resolve their cases. If you have an employee who decided to contest his or her TNC while E-Verify was unavailable, you should now initiate the referral process in E-Verify. Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because of a TNC.
- If an employee received a Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) or No Show because of the federal government shutdown, please close the case and select “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a Final Nonconfirmation result,” or “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a No Show result.” The employer must then enter a new case in E-Verify for that employee. These steps are necessary to ensure the employee is afforded the opportunity to timely contest and resolve the Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) that led to the FNC result.
The Department of Labor is open and has resumed PERM and H-1B processing.
The Department of State and its overseas consulates are actively processing both non-immigrant and immigrant visas.