Federal Government Shutdown Effects for I-9 Employment Authorization

Published: October 5, 2023 by Gordon Middleton

Expiration for U.S. Government funding was avoided with the signing of a temporary funding bill September 30th by the President, extending the deadline to November 17. However, the political aftermath resulted in a vacancy for Speaker of the House. This could leave Congress unorganized and affect efforts to sign another funding bill by the new deadline. As such, it’s time for employers to inform themselves as to how a shutdown may affect employment authorization processes for new hires. Essential services would remain operation, and USCIS personnel would continueworking during the shutdown, and the I-9 process itself should continue unabated. However, if appropriations are not renewed for the E-Verify system, it is highly likely that the system will be down for the duration of a shutdown.

Government Shutdown and E-Verify

What a shutdown would mean to employers is that they will not be able to create new employment authorization cases or resolve issues with existing cases during this period.  So what are employers to do?  Employers who use E-Verify via a third-party vendor may have cases auto-submitted to E-Verify on their behalf.  In those instances, E-Verify would hold those cases in queue until the system comes back on-line. Once the system is back on-line, the held cases would then be submitted in the order received. 

For employers using E-Verify directly from the E-Verify site, no new cases may be created, and those employers should set aside any I-9s completed over the course of the shutdown for submission to E-Verify once it reopens. Additionally, employers should be reminded that no adverse action should be taken against employees who may be in a Tentative Non-Confirmation, (TNC), status during this period.

Something for employers to be aware of, depending on the duration of a shutdown, is that it may take E-Verify a while to work through a potential backlog. The system has struggled to get through backlog cases after past shutdowns, so this may provide a test to see if E-Verify is prepared to handle the upswing in cases they would get once new employers sign on to the platform to be allowed to use the new alternative remote procedures requiring its usage.

While USCIS will remain operational in the event of a government shutdown, employers should expect delays with some items within the purview of that agency, as many other agencies will be closed or have operations greatly reduced, such as the Department of Labor.

We will continue to update this information in the event of a shutdown, as more becomes available.

Follow Us!

Subscribe to our blog

Enter your name and email for the latest updates.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

About Us

We brought together the best of the best to deliver a suite of specialized solutions with unmatched service, trusted expertise and client-inspired innovation. We’re focused on the employee experience while improving your bottom line. Reduce complexity and minimize disruption with Experian Employer Services.

We’re keeping the focus and flexibility you value in boutique providers and adding the resources and security of Experian.