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My Employee Received a Tentative Non-confirmation Letter – Now What?


You’ve been diligent about your hiring process. You sifted through candidates to find an applicant you think is a great fit. You’ve completed the interviews, issued the job offer, and ordered a pre-employment background check. Everything is looking good, and you are both anxious to start working together.

But then…

The employee suddenly gets a tentative non-confirmation letter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA).

Now what?

Here’s what you need to know.

What if Your Applicant Receives a Non-Confirmation Letter?

The first time one of your applicants gets a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) – even though you’ve used the E-Verify system – it can come as a shock. After all, people using E-Verify believe they’re covering all their bases.

The system compares information from the applicant’s I-9 form, Employment Eligibility Verification, and more against data contained in the files of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

When E-Verify issues a TNC, it is because the system could not match the information entered in E-Verify with Social Security Administration records or data available to DHS.

In this case, you will print the Further Action Notice and request that your candidate complete the form. The candidate can choose to resolve the matter or not resolve the case, then sign and date the form.

  • The candidate then has eight federal government working days to resolve the TNC with the agency named on page one of the further action notice.
  • If the candidate chooses that they will not take action to resolve the case, you may terminate their employment.

If the Employee Acts on the TNC

The vast majority of candidates who receive TNC letters go on to have the status changed to an “Employment Authorized” status after taking the necessary steps to clear up the TNC.

Getting Form I9 and the E-Verify process right is a challenge at times.

What if the Employee Takes no Action?

Be advised that the USCIS recently sent out a communication warning employers that they cannot terminate an applicant because of a Tentative Non-Confirmation letter, so it’s wise to bide your time and avoid moving too quickly.

If the applicant resolves the issue, they have the right to remain employed. If the applicant does not take action, you can protect yourself from liability by obtaining legal counsel before revoking the employment offer.

We Help You Stay Compliant

Regardless of whether the applicant decides to act on the TNC or not, you must close every case via the E-Verify system. If the outcome is an “employment authorized” query, you can close the case by indicating that you will continue to employ the individual in question.

If the verdict is “final non-confirmation,” you will need to indicate whether or not you will continue to employ the worker. If the answer is yes, despite the final non-confirmation notice, you put yourself at risk of fines and other legal challenges.

Here at iprospectcheck, we have been completing or supervising the completion of I-9 forms since November 6, 1986. Our standing joke about the form is that we have never seen one completed correctly. After all, the paper form is confusing and contains many opportunities for mistakes.

To address this issue, we offer an excellent electronic I9 form, which is much more intuitive than the blank form. The great thing about the electronic form is that it meets and exceeds all requirements for compliance and can be set up to automatically process the E-Verify case for you if your company is an E-Verify participant.

As an E-Verify Designated Agent, we have a lot of success supporting our clients who utilize our “Electronic I9 integrated with E-Verify” service. The challenges arise when E-Verify does not approve your candidate to work within minutes of submitting the request. The request, which should include the exact information that the candidate used to complete the form I 9, can result in a Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC).

Remain in compliance and protect your company from liability with iprospectcheck – a leading background check company for employers around the country. Contact us today to learn more.

DISCLAIMER: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

Know Before You Hire

About the Author
Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers is a highly accomplished business executive with over 30 years of experience providing strategic vision and leadership to companies ranging from the fortune 500 to iprospectcheck, a company which he co-founded over a decade ago. Matthew is a valued consultant who is dedicated to helping companies create and implement efficient, cost effective and compliant employment screening programs. Matt has been a member of the Professional Background Screeners Association since 2009 . When not focused on iprospectcheck, he can be found spending time with his family, fly fishing, or occasionally running the wild rivers of the American west. A lifetime member of American Whitewater, Matt is passionate about protecting and restoring America’s whitewater rivers.