Tips for Speeding Up or Otherwise Avoiding the Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) Process

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Speeding up the TNC process

For employers that use E-Verify to verify employment eligibility information collected through the Form I-9, the Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) result is very rare. According the US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), only 1.35% of E-Verify cases filed result in a TNC. While it may not happen often, there are some helpful tactics for both speeding up the process, and even avoiding the situation all together.

What is a Tentative Nonconfirmation?

When you run an employee’s information through E-Verify and the result comes back with a TNC, it is basically saying that either the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was unable verify the employee’s information. This is because the information did not match what was in one or both of their databases.

There are two types of TNCs

SSA TNC – an E-Verify case can come back as a mismatch with the SSA database if the employee has had any changes to their personal information or citizenship/immigration status that have yet to be updated or given to the SSA. It is also possible that the information in the SSA database is incorrect – or that you, the employer, entered the information incorrectly (...but that never happens, right?). Lastly, it could also be that the information entered by the employee on the Form I-9 is different from the SSA database.

DHS TNC –  the same conditions that could trigger an SSA TNC could also cause a DHS TNC. In addition, an employee’s case may come back as a TNC if there are any mismatches with the employee’s identification or immigration documents. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the documents are forged. It could be a data entry error somewhere in the process.

What to do with a TNC result

When an E-Verify case result returns as a TNC, the first thing you should do is check the information you entered for accuracy. If you spot any data entry errors based on the information your employee gave you in the Form I-9, you will be able to invalidate the search and start over.

If you find that the information was entered correctly after comparing it to the Form I-9, you will need to begin following the TNC dispute process as soon as possible.

TNC Process

The TNC dispute process is initiated by providing your employee with the TNC Further Action Notice. This document explains to the employee:

  • What a Tentative Nonconfirmation is
  • How to contest the information
  • Who to contact
  • Their rights as an employee

The employee will also be given the choice to contest the TNC result in the Further Action Notice. If they chose not to contest the TNC results, you will need to terminate their employment. If they choose to contest the TNC result, they will need to contact the appropriate agencies to begin the disputes process.

IMPORTANT: E-Verify compliance requires that employers do nothing to influence their employee’s decision whether or not to contest a TNC result.

During the disputes process, your employee’s case status will be updated in E-Verify. You should refer to the E-Verify case for updates – not your employee.

Case results

Employment Authorized – The employee’s information was able to be verified and their case may be closed.

DHS No Show – The employee opted to contest the TNC results but never contacted the DHS/SSA.

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DHS Final Nonconfirmation – The employee contested the TNC result but was still unable to verify employment.

Case in Continuance – If the DHS requires additional time and information before issuing a final result, they will give this temporary status.

If an employee’s final case result returns as “DHS No Show” or “DHS Nonconfirmation,” their employment will need to be terminated and their case closed.

Simple ways to avoid the TNC process

While TNCs can’t always be avoided, there are a few things that you can do as an employer to decrease the chances of receiving them.

Form Accuracy – When completing the Form I-9, ensure that the information entered by the employee is correct. Check to make sure that the identification documents that they provided for Section 2 have the same information as what was given in Section 1. Commonly, these will be discrepancies like not entering their full legal name.

This will not only prevent avoidable TNCs, it will also prevent potential fines if your organization’s Forms I-9 are audited in the future.

Careful Data Entry – When copying information over from the Form I-9, be careful not to make any mistakes in your data entry. If you are processing several cases at the same time, try not to rush through the process. It doesn’t hurt to double check the information before submission.

You can also avoid this with electronic I-9 software that automatically transfers the information from the employee’s electronic Form I-9 to E-Verify.

Update Information – If an employee is aware that they have had a change in their information such as their name, citizen/immigration status, or anything else that is relevant, they should make sure that the information has been conveyed to the proper agencies.

A few additional tips

While the TNC process is rare, it can be a pain to deal with if it happens. It’s important to know that the employee should be considered authorized until proven otherwise. You should never assume that a TNC result means that your employee isn’t authorized to work. Along those same lines, employees that have TNC statuses should be allowed to continue working until a final case result is given.