How the Government Shutdown Affects Background Checks, E-Verify Put on Hold

E-Verify Government Shutdown Background Checks
On October 1, 2013 the U.S. Government has officially shut down. Many of us remember the last government shutdown lasted 21 days, and we are understandably concerned about how this shutdown will affect the hiring process. Of particular concern are searches that are performed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Social Security Administration (SSA). Fortunately the vast majority of our services will not be affected in any way by the shutdown. However, the same cannot be said for E-Verify and Consent Based Social Security Number Verification Service (CBSV) orders.

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The USCIS has published the following statement in reference to the shutdown:

We understand that E-Verify’s unavailability may have a significant impact on your company’s operations. To minimize the burden on both employers and employees, the following policies have been implemented:

  • The ‘three-day rule’ for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown. We’ll provide additional guidance once we reopen. This does NOT affect the Form I-9 requirement—employers must still complete the Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay.
  • The time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. Days the federal government is closed will not count towards the eight federal government workdays the employee has to go to SSA or contact DHS. We will provide additional time once we reopen.
  • For federal contractors complying with the federal contractor rule, please contact your contracting officer to inquire about extending deadlines.
  • Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because of an E-Verify interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status due to a federal government shutdown (consult the E-Verify User Manual for more information on interim case statuses).

How will the shut down affect my order process with Justifacts?

Some Federal Government searches are currently suspended until the shutdown is over. Both E-Verify and CBSV searches cannot be processed during this shutdown period. Our clients can expect to experience delays based on the length of the shutdown. Fortunately, other federal searches such as Federal Criminal Court searches are currently unaffected by the shutdown.

Justifacts will continue to provide necessary updates about the shutdown once they are available.

How is the government shutdown affecting your hiring process? Feel free to comment!


Pete 06-10-2013, 00:51

I would have started working this week, but they are
Unable to process my background check due to government

Andy Yoder 10-10-2013, 08:48

There are several factors that could cause a background check to be delayed if you are applying for a government job or the check is being done by the government. However, if a private employer is running a check through a CRA, there should be minimal delays. I would recommend asking the employer what specifically is holding up the process.

Johnny 12-10-2013, 01:49

I recently got a job at harris teeter but it is taking 3 days now to process the background check. I’m pretty sure they process it through e- verify Could this be because of the government shutdown?

Andy Yoder 14-10-2013, 14:38


E-Verify is down until shutdown is over. DHS gave guidelines for employers, which was part of our post. So E-Verify should not affect starting a job.

carla 14-10-2013, 09:42

I was told by my employer that i was unable to start due to this action as well

Andy Yoder 14-10-2013, 14:38


I would recommend asking specifically what is holding up your start – most background checks should be able to be processed.

Luis 14-10-2013, 11:20

I applied at lowes. Everything for me to start working went through, except for my background check. So I was told that I would have to wait until it went through. Do you think it’s because the government is shut down, that I can’t start working? Or does lowes ( my employer ) go through something else to get a background check for there employees?

Andy Yoder 14-10-2013, 14:39


As I stated earlier to Carla, I would recommend asking specifically what is holding up your check – most background checks should be able to be processed.

alberto 16-10-2013, 11:32

I am waiting for my background check since 7th October. Should it take this long due to government shutdown?

Andy Yoder 16-10-2013, 13:49


Most background checks should not be delayed due to the shutdown. However, the time to process a background varies greatly depending on what is being checked, so I would recommend asking your employer what specifically is holding up your background check.


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