USCIS Update on E-Verify & I-9 Operations Following End of Shutdown

Reposted:

E-Verify has resumed operations following the federal government shutdown. All E-Verify features and services are now available.

The following information addresses questions on how the federal government’s shutdown affected E-Verify and Form I-9.

Information For Employers
 
Form I-9

The Form I-9 requirements were not affected during the federal government shutdown. All employers must complete and retain a Form I-9 for every person hired to work for pay in the United States during the shutdown.
 
E-Verify

Employees who received a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

If an employee had a 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.

Employees who received a SSA Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) or DHS No Show result

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.

Creating Cases: Three-Day Rule

You must create an E-Verify case 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 (i.e., does not conform to the three-day rule), select ‘Other’ from the drop-down list of reasons and enter ‘federal government shutdown’ in the field.

Federal Contractor Deadlines

During the federal government shutdown, federal contractors could not enroll or use E-Verify as required by the federal contractor rule. If your organization missed a deadline because E-Verify was unavailable or if it has an upcoming deadline for complying with the federal contractor rule, please follow the instructions above and notify your contracting officer of these instructions.

Information For Employees

If the federal government shutdown prevented you from contesting a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC), you will be allowed additional time to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If your TNC was referred between September 17, 2013 and September 30, 2013, and you were not able to resolve the mismatch due to the federal government shutdown, you should:
 
Add 12 federal business days to the date printed on the ‘Referral Letter’ or ‘Referral Date Confirmation’ that your employer provided you after you contested the TNC. Federal business days are Monday through Friday and do not include federal holidays.

Contact SSA or DHS by the new date to resolve your TNC.
 
If you received a Final Non-Confirmation (FNC) because you could not contact DHS or SSA during the federal government shutdown, or because you could not contact DHS or SSA in the first ten days after the government reopened, please contact your employer and request that the employer re-enter your query. For more information about contesting your TNC or FNC, please refer to Employee section of the E-Verify website.
 
Customer Support
 
E-Verify Customer Support expects an increase in requests for assistance. Due to this increase, customers may experience longer than normal delays and response times. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience. For any questions or additional information about how the federal shutdown affects E-Verify, please email E-Verify@dhs.gov. For questions about Form I-9, please visit I-9 Central or email I-9Central@dhs.gov. Employers and employees may also contact E-Verify at 888-464-4218. Customer Support representatives are available Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm local time.

#immigrationupdates   #shutdown2013  

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November 2013 Visa Bulletin Is Out

EB-3 priority dates, including China Mainland and Mexico, jumps 3 months forward to October 1, 2013; No movement for India and the Philippines.

EMPLOYMENT-based Third Preference:

China: Rapid forward movement of the cut-off date, as a result of there being insufficient demand to use all available numbers, allowed the category to reach the Worldwide Third preference cut-off date in May 2013. The continued lack of demand has allowed the "otherwise unused" numbers available under that limit to be provided for use in the China Employment Third preference Other Workers category. The continued addition of those numbers has allowed the cut-off date for that category to reach the China Third preference date for November. This is the same action which has been possible for the Other Worker category in other "oversubscribed" countries such as India and Mexico. A sudden increase in demand for China Employment Third preference visas could require corrective action in the China Other Worker cut-off date at any time.

#immigrationupdates   #visabulletin  

Visa Bulletin For November 2013
View as Printer Friendly PDF. A. STATUTORY NUMBERS. 1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during November. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and …

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State Department Now Requires Form DS-160 for K Visa Applications

From the State Department:

Effective immediately, all K visa applicants are required to complete the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. The DS-160 replaces forms DS-156, DS-156K, and DS-230.

For K visa cases already in process at a U.S. embassy or consulate, the DS-160 is not required when, prior to October 7, 2013, one of the following situations exist:

  • The K visa applicant is already scheduled for an interview.
  • The K visa applicant has already been interviewed and has been requested to submit additional documentation or is pending administrative processing.
  • The K visa applicant has already submitted a valid, signed, unexpired DS-156, DS-156K and/or DS-230 or received instructions to do so.
#immigrationupdates   #kvisas

Embedded Link

travel.state.gov/pdf/Using_ds_160_for_K_Visa_Applications_October_2013.pdf

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CA Governor signed a series of immigration laws today

Originally shared by +Jerry Brown

While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead: http://bit.ly/GBLxVd

Posted in Updates

More Good News for California Immigrants

Following AB 60, a bill which authorizes undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s license in California, Governor +Jerry Brown today signed a series of bills that would enhance school, workplace and civil protections for California’s hardworking immigrants.Included in the list is AB 1024, which allows applicants, who are not lawfully present in the United States, to be admitted as an attorney at law – an issue shared by other states that gained national attention in the past few months.The following bills were also signed today:

AB 4 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) – Prohibits a law enforcement official from detaining an individual on the basis of a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold after that individual becomes eligible for release from custody, unless specified conditions are met.

AB 35 by Assemblymember Roger Hernández (D-West Covina) – Provides that immigration consultants, attorneys, notaries public, and organizations accredited by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals are the only individuals authorized to charge a fee for providing services associated with filing an application under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s deferred action program.

AB 524 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – Provides that a threat to report the immigration status or suspected immigration status of an individual or the individual’s family may induce fear sufficient to constitute extortion.

AB 1159 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Imposes various restrictions and obligations on persons who offer services related to comprehensive immigration reform.

SB 141 by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) – Requires that the California Community Colleges and the California State University, and requests that the University of California, exempt a United States citizen who resides in a foreign country, and is in their first year as a matriculated student, from nonresident tuition if the student demonstrates financial need, has a parent or guardian who was deported or voluntarily departed from the U. S., lived in California immediately before moving abroad, and attended a secondary school in California for at least three years.

SB 150 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) – Authorizes a community college district to exempt pupils attending community colleges as a special part-time student from paying nonresident tuition.

SB 666 by Senator Steinberg (D-Sacramento) – Provides for a suspension or revocation of an employer’s business license for retaliation against employees and others on the basis of citizenship and immigration status, and establishes a civil penalty up to $10,000 per violation.

#immigrationupdates

Reshared post from +Jerry Brown

While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead: http://bit.ly/GBLxVd

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Have a new foreign national hire who can’t obtain a Social Security Number because of the federal government shutdown? Wondering how to put your new hire on payroll?

Here's a helpful guide for employers handling new foreign national hires.

Please also feel free to join our "Immigration Compliance for Employers" community (https://plus.google.com/u/2/communities/104731034467469713626?partnerid=gplp0) here on Google+ if your interested in the topic.

Originally shared by +Loke Walsh Immigration Law

Government Shutdown: Hiring a Foreign National Without a Social Security Number

Have a new foreign national hire that can’t obtain a SSN because of the federal government shutdown? Wondering how to put your new hire on payroll?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is just one of the many federal agencies that have discontinued certain services during the federal government shutdown. Many foreign nationals who have just received nonimmigrant work visas (e.g. E-3, F-1/M-1 with OPT, H-1B, J-1, O-1, P-1, TN, etc.) will not be able to obtain Social Security numbers (SSN) because the SSA is not providing this service during the shutdown. Many employers are wondering how to put their new hires on payroll without a SSN.

Contrary to popular belief, neither immigration law nor federal tax law require an employee to possess a social security number (SSN) to commence employment. A social security card is listed as a List C document on Form I-9, but the number is not required to begin working. The Internal Revenue Service only requires that an application for a SSN be made within seven days of commencing employment for taxable wages. An employee may start working while the SSN application is being processed.

As a practical matter, the main obstacle to commencing employment is the software of a third-party payroll preparer, which cannot generate a paycheck without the SSN. Under these circumstances, if permitted by its system, the preparer can use a “dummy” SSN solely to generate the paycheck, provided the actual SSN or other required information is provided on the information returns at the time of filing wage reports. Employers should also obtain as much information as possible, including the employee’s full name, address, date of birth, place of birth, father’s full name, mother’s full maiden name, gender and the date he or she applied for a SSN. Once the employee receives his or her SS card, a Form W-2c (Corrected Wage and Tax Statement) may be filed to show the employee’s correct SSN.

For more information about how to handle wage reports, you can visit the Social Security Administration's website below.

#immigrationupdates #immigrationcompliance #shutdown2013

Employer Responsibilities When Hiring Foreign Workers
To help ensure that only those who should receive a number do so, Social Security has taken extra steps to ensure the integrity of Social Security numbers. The changes to the way Social Security assigns numbers and issues cards may cause a delay of several weeks or months in receiving a number.

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Immigration-Related Services Affected by the Shutdown

Following the Congress' failure to reach an agreement on a budget resolution before its Monday deadline, the government shutdown has officially begun — the first shutdown in 17 years.

As a result several government agencies, providing immigration-related services, are impacted:

USCIS

Status: All USCIS offices worldwide are open and individuals should report to interviews and appointments as scheduled. Since most of USCIS’ budget is derived from fees paid by applicants and petitioners filing nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions, it is the least impacted government agency.

• E-Verify is currently unavailable due to the government shutdown.

DOL

Status: All DOL services are shutdown. DOL (OFLC) will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses), it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. OFLC’s web site, including the iCERT Visa Portal System, is static and unable to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online accounts.

DOS

Status: Normal operations for the time being. U.S. embassies and consulates around the world will continue as many normal operations as possible; operating status and available funding will need to be monitored continuously and closely. Check the U.S. embassy/consulate website for more information.

More information on government offices affected by the shutdown is available via the +AILA National website below.

#immigrationupdates #shutdown


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Immigration-Related Services Affected by the Shutdown

Following the Congress' failure to reach an agreement on a budget resolution before its Monday deadline, the government shutdown has officially begun — the first shutdown in 17 years.
 
As a result several government agencies, providing immigration-related services, are impacted:
 
USCIS

Status: All USCIS offices worldwide are open and individuals should report to interviews and appointments as scheduled. Since most of USCIS’ budget is derived from fees paid by applicants and petitioners filing nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions, it is the least impacted government agency.

•  E-Verify is currently unavailable due to the government shutdown.

DOL

Status: All DOL services are shutdown. DOL (OFLC) will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses), it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. OFLC’s  web site, including the iCERT Visa Portal System, is static and unable to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online accounts.

DOS

Status: Normal operations for the time being. U.S. embassies and consulates around the world will continue as many normal operations as possible; operating status and available funding will need to be monitored continuously and closely. Check the U.S. embassy/consulate website for more information.

More information on government offices affected by the shutdown is available via the +AILA National website below.

#immigrationupdates   #shutdown  

Embedded Link

AILA – What Happens During a Government Shutdown (Updated 10/1/13)
In general, if the government shuts for budgetary reasons, all but “essential” government are furloughed and not allowed to work, including immigration agencies. Update from 10/1/13 includes information from DHS, USCIS on E-Verify and updated information from DOS and EOIR.

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Here's a tip for visa applicants from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi:

Tip from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi – they're more interested in your travel plans than your documents.

Originally shared by +Loke Walsh Immigration Law

Here's a tip for visa applicants from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi:

"We rarely need to see documents during a #USvisa interview for tourism. We want to hear about your plans in the U.S."

 
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It’s that time of year again!

The 2015 Diversity Green Card Lottery program starts on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:00 noon (EDT) and ends on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon (EST).

Here's our top 10 things you need to know about the program.

#immigrationupdates #dvlottery

Originally shared by +Loke Walsh Immigration Law

Top 10 Reasons to Participate in Green Card Lottery

1. Yes, DV Lottery really exists! The government has 50,000 diversity immigrant visas available for FY 2015.

2. Why should you do it? It’s free – you just complete your application online at http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html. There is no application fee, so don’t pay anyone to apply for you.

3. Online registration for the DV-2015 Program will begin on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and conclude on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT). After the entry period opens October 1, the State Department recommends submitting early and strongly encourages applicants not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter.

4. Do it, because you never know what might happen! You can’t rely on it, but you might just win and if you do, it’s one of the quickest ways to get a green card!

5. DV Lottery is based on country of birth, not country of citizenship. So, an Indian passport holder who was born in Malaysia can still apply!

6. Even if you have started an employment based green card application, apply anyway! Depending on your visa category, it may be quicker to get a green card through DV lottery than through the lengthy PERM Labor Certification process.

7. If you are married, make sure your spouse also applies! Why? You have two chances to win, instead of one! Don’t forget that the U.S. now recognizes same-sex marriages, so DV Lottery applicant may include same-sex spouses in their initial entries or add spouses acquired after their initial registration.

8. If you were born in a country that is not eligible to participate in DV Lottery, but are married to someone who is eligible, you can “cross charge” to your spouse’s country of birth. For example, a person born in India cannot participate in DV Lottery. But, if the person is married to someone who was born in Australia, the Indian national can “cross-charge” to the spouse’s country of birth (i.e. Australia) and can therefore also participate in green card lottery!

9. If your child is a high-school graduate, make sure s/he applies too! It won’t help you (i.e. a parent), but your teenager may be able to get their own green card!

10. Be careful of DV Lottery scams! There is no lottery application fee, so you do not need to pay anyone to submit an application. In addition, the State Department has warned the public that there has been a notable increase in fraudulent emails and letters sent to Diversity Visa (DV) program (Visa Lottery) applicants. The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters are posing as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. Applicants are encouraged to review the rules and procedures for the DV program program so that you know what to expect, when to expect it, and from whom.

While DV-2014 and DV-2015 applicants may receive an email from the U.S. government reminding them to check their status online through DV Entrant Status Check, they will not receive a notification letter or email informing them that they are a successful DV entrant. Applicants can only find out if they were selected to continue with DV processing by checking their status online through the DV Entrant Status Check at https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/. Finally, remember that fees for the DV application process are paid to the U.S. Embassy or consulate cashier at the time of your scheduled appointment. The U.S. government will never ask you to send payment in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.

Diversity Visa Program: DV-2015 Instructions
Visas · Americans Traveling Abroad · Find a U.S. Embassy · A to Z Index · Visas Questions? What Is a Visa? U.S. Visa Policy · Visa News · Temporary Visitors to the U.S. · Travel Without a Visa · Visa Types for Temporary Visitors · Visa Wait Times · Visa Information for Temporary Visitors …

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