E-Verify Expiration: What Employers and Employees Using the System Should Know

Many employers are familiar with the E-Verify system, which allows employers to check the employment eligibility for all of their employees. This system compares information completed on an employee’s Form I-9 with records from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify is administered by DHS, which is one of the agencies that remains without government funding. The E-Verify program has expired as a result of a lapse in funding due to the partial government shutdown in the U.S. The program will be unavailable until necessary funding is received.  There are major implications to the expiration of E-Verify. While the government is shut down, employers will be unable to access the services E-Verify provides. This includes enrolling in the program; accessing E-Verify accounts; creating new cases; viewing or taking action on a case; adding, deleting or editing accounts; changing passwords; editing company information; terminating accounts; or running reports. Importantly, employees will not be able to correct any E-Verify Tentative Non-confirmations (TNCs) while the program is expired.  A TNC occurs when employee information does not match with DHS or SSA records. Nonetheless, employers are still required to complete the steps on their end to verify work […]
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U.S. Government Shutdown’s Impact on Immigration Services

With the government experiencing a shutdown due to the lapse in annual funding, many are concerned about the consequences in the realm of immigration. Fortunately, the majority of immigration matters are largely unaffected by the current situation. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices will remain open despite the shutdown. Individuals should attend scheduled appointments with USCIS. Additionally, USCIS will continue to accept most petitions and applications.  A large portion of immigration-related processes are already sufficiently funded or fee-based, which is why they are not affected for the time being. There are several USCIS operations that will be affected by the shutdown, as they are expired, suspended or have not been reauthorized. The following programs are based on appropriated funds, and are therefore nonoperational during the shutdown: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program: While the actual EB-5 immigration category is itself not impacted by the shutdown, the related regional centers are. The EB-5 regional centers are public or private economic units in the U.S. that are involved with promoting economic growth in the country. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program. Regardless of the shutdown, however, the EB-5 program will continue to operate.  E-Verify: E-Verify is […]
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From the Desk of Rosanna Berardi: The Government Shutdown

Late last week, the federal government shut down. While this isn’t completely out of the norm, what is unusual is the fact that the controversy focused on our U.S. immigration system. President Trump’s presidential campaign and first year of office focused heavily on comprehensive immigration reform. The Immigration and Nationality Act hasn’t been formally amended since 1996 and the current system is antiquated. We have over 30 million illegals in the U.S. We have massive labor shortages in the high-tech and medical industries. We have 800,000 “Dreamers” whose parents brought them to the U.S. as illegal children. What’s an administration to do? This past year has seen many highs and lows on the immigration front. We’ve seen the controversial Travel Ban, which initially caused chaos in the nation’s airports. We’ve seen the federal district courts kick around the Travel Ban and the U.S. Supreme Court quietly commenting on it. Most recently, we’ve seen the Trump Administration rescind “DACA” and give Congress until March 2018 to come up with a replacement law/program for 800,000 “Dreamers.” The recent shutdown focused on the “Dreamers.” What should the U.S. do with 800,000 people who technically broke a federal immigration law, but maybe through no fault of their own? The Trump Administration has hinted towards legalizing the […]
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What You Need to Know About the Possible Homeland Security Shutdown

Why might the Department of Homeland Security shut down? The Senate has been in a stalemate because of immigration amendments the House attached to the bill last month related to the executive orders issued by President Obama. These executive orders would defer deportations for millions of migrants who are now in the United States illegally. If the Senate and House can’t agree on a bill, the Department of Homeland Security will run out of funding at midnight Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Why are the amendments on the bill causing such disarray? Immigration amendments added to the DHS funding bill by Republicans would bar any federal funds from being used to carry out Obama’s executive orders to protect about four million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow them to work in the United States. The amendments would also end a current Obama administration program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), that gives temporary legal status and work permits to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Meanwhile, the president’s actions were temporarily put on hold earlier this month after a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction. The administration has sought to have that decision lifted. Are there any […]
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The Government Shutdown Continues – Day 2

  Day 2 of the U.S. government shutdown continues and some areas impacting immigration processes are feeling its effects, while others continue with business as usual. USCIS Since most of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is funded through user fees, all USCIS offices worldwide are open and individuals should report to interviews and appointments as scheduled. Applications and petitions are still being processed.  However, significant delays in processing times are possible. The only area impacted is E-Verify.  For the duration of the shutdown E-Verify is not accepting or processing employment verification requests.  This means that while E-Verify is unavailable, employers will not be able to enroll any company in E-Verify, verify employment eligibility of new employees through the system, view or take action on any case, or edit the company information.  USCIS has stated that the “3 day rule” is extended until the shutdown ceases at which point verification must occur immediately. DOS Department of State officials and various Ambassadors have released statements that the Department will continue as many normal operations as possible. Visa interviews (“visa stamping”) are occurring as scheduled but BIL has already noticed extended wait times at some Embassies to schedule new appointments. Expedite appointments will likely […]
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Government Shutdown Impacts on Immigration

The anticipated, some would say inevitable, government shutdown that has loomed over the U.S. in recent days is now a reality.  While the list of those effected by the shutdown is broad, wide and deep, U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad are largely reporting “business as usual.”   In a September 30, 2013 statement,U.S. Ambassador to Germany, John B. Emerson said, “I cannot predict what will or will not happen back in Washington. Regardless of what happens, Mission Germany – that is, the Embassy and our Consulates here in Germany – will remain open and working tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. We will be open for essential services. Our Consular Affairs operations will be open for German citizens and American citizens alike. So if you have an appointment, keep it. There will be somebody there to meet with you.” Websites for the United Kingdom and France reflect similar sentiments.  Berardi Immigration Law advises our clients to assume that already scheduled visa interviews will move forward as anticipated.  However, exceptional services such as requests for expedited appointments may not be as easy to come by. The State Department has made public it’s plans for operations during a […]
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How will a government shutdown impact immigration to the U.S.?

On October 1, 2013, absent Congress passing a resolution to continue appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, all but “essential” government workers will be furloughed and not allowed to work. So how will a government shutdown impact immigration to the U.S.? While there is still enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations, many experts are speculating on the impact such a lapse would have on immigration services.  Most agencies are preparing to mirror plans developed in anticipation of a government shutdown in 2011.  Many of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) functions will continue, since they are primarily funded through user fees, but following is a breakdown of possibilities:   ***Please note: the possibilities listed below are only speculation as official guidance has not been released*** Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS): will continue operating, except for E-Verify.  Meaning applications and petitions will still be adjudicated, but E-Verify, the Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States, will be shut down. Department of State (DOS): Only visa processing will be for “life or death” emergencies. In prior budget-related shutdowns, DOS has continued to provide diplomatic visas and said “a […]
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