Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) is a legal term that refers to the initial result of an employee’s verification process through the federal E-Verify program. This process is crucial for businesses to ensure they are hiring authorized workers, and understanding TNCs is essential to navigating potential challenges that may arise. In this article, we will explore the concept of TNC in detail, providing you with the necessary knowledge to grasp its significance and the actions you should take if faced with a TNC situation. Additionally, we will address common FAQs to clarify any doubts you may have. Let us guide you through the complexities of TNC, allowing you to make informed decisions and ensure compliance within your business.

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What is a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)?

A Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) is a notice issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to an employer after reviewing the information provided by an employee during the employment eligibility verification process, commonly known as Form I-9. The TNC indicates that there may be a discrepancy or issue with the employee’s immigration or employment authorization status.


Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) refers to the step in the process when the employee’s information does not match the records maintained by the DHS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or the Social Security Administration (SSA). A TNC does not necessarily mean that the employee is ineligible for employment; it simply requires further investigation and verification.


When the employer receives a TNC notice, they are required to inform the employee and provide them with a Referral Letter which contains instructions on how to resolve the issue. The employee then has a limited timeframe to take the necessary steps to address the discrepancy and provide additional documentation if needed. Once the employee has done so, the employer must then review the evidence and make a final determination on the employee’s employment eligibility.

Reviewing a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

Why review the TNC?

Reviewing a TNC is crucial to ensure compliance with immigration and employment laws. Failing to properly address a TNC could result in legal consequences for employers, including fines and penalties. Additionally, conducting a thorough review allows employers to make informed decisions regarding their employees’ eligibility and maintain a legal workforce.

Challenges in reviewing a TNC

Reviewing a TNC can be challenging due to various factors. Some challenges include interpreting complex immigration regulations, understanding the potential implications for the employee and the business, and navigating the administrative process for resolving the TNC. It is essential for employers to seek legal counsel to ensure they are following the correct procedures and making informed decisions.

Steps to Deal with a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

1. Inform the employee

The first step in dealing with a TNC is to promptly inform the employee of the notice. Employers must provide the employee with a copy of the TNC notice and a Referral Letter, which outlines the next steps the employee needs to take to resolve the TNC. It is crucial to maintain confidentiality and provide the employee with the necessary support and resources to address the issue.

2. Employee response

After receiving the TNC notice and Referral Letter, the employee must carefully review the instructions provided. They should contact the appropriate agency or visit their website to gather the required documentation and information to address the discrepancy. The employee should complete this step within the specified timeframe to avoid potential complications.

3. Final confirmation or denial

Once the employee has resolved the TNC by providing the necessary documentation, the employer must review the evidence provided. Based on this review, the employer will make a final determination regarding the employee’s eligibility for employment. If the documents and information provided by the employee satisfy the requirements, the employer can confirm their employment eligibility and update their records accordingly. However, if the employer determines that the employee is ineligible, they may be required to terminate their employment.

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Legal Obligations in Regards to Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

Employer’s responsibilities

Employers have legal obligations when dealing with a TNC. They must follow the regulations outlined by the DHS, USCIS, and SSA, which include properly notifying the employee, providing the necessary documentation, and maintaining confidentiality throughout the process. Employers must also avoid any discriminatory practices and ensure that their actions comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.

Employee’s rights

Employees have certain rights when facing a TNC. They have the right to be informed about the specific issues identified in the TNC notice, access the necessary resources to resolve the issue, and provide additional documentation if required. It is essential for employees to be aware of their rights and seek legal counsel if they believe their rights have been violated during the TNC process.

Consequences of a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

Impact on employment

A TNC can have significant consequences on an employee’s employment. If the employee fails to address the discrepancy and resolve the TNC within the specified timeframe, the employer may be required to terminate their employment. Additionally, an unresolved TNC may impact the employee’s ability to find future employment with other companies.

Legal implications

Failure to properly handle a TNC can result in legal implications for employers. This includes potential violations of immigration and employment laws, which can lead to fines, penalties, and litigation. It is crucial for employers to seek legal guidance to ensure compliance and mitigate potential legal risks.

Common Issues with Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

1. Name mismatches

One common issue that may lead to a TNC is a name mismatch between the employee’s identification documents and the records maintained by government agencies. This may occur due to typographical errors, name changes, or discrepancies in name spellings. Resolving name mismatches requires careful review of identification documents and communication with the appropriate agencies.

2. Document discrepancies

Document discrepancies, such as expired or fraudulent documents, can also result in a TNC. Employers must carefully examine the validity and authenticity of the employee’s documents and ensure compliance with the established regulations. Promptly addressing document discrepancies is vital to maintain a legal workforce and avoid legal consequences.

3. Citizenship or immigration status

Issues related to citizenship or immigration status can also trigger a TNC. It is essential for employers to understand the specific requirements and regulations to properly address these issues. Seeking legal counsel can provide employers with the guidance they need to navigate these complex matters.

How to Resolve Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) Discrepancies

1. Correcting errors

If a TNC is the result of errors or inaccuracies, employers and employees should take immediate steps to correct them. This may involve amending identification documents or providing additional information to the appropriate agencies. Promptly addressing errors can help expedite the resolution process.

2. Submitting additional documents

In some cases, a TNC may require the employee to provide additional supporting documentation to verify their eligibility for employment. This may include updated identification documents or relevant immigration forms. Working closely with the employee and obtaining the necessary paperwork can assist in resolving the discrepancy.

Avoiding Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) Issues

1. Ensuring accurate information

One effective way to avoid TNC issues is to ensure accurate and up-to-date employee information. Employers should diligently review and verify the information provided by employees during the Form I-9 process. Regular audits and training can help identify and correct any inaccuracies before they lead to TNCs.

2. Timely communication with employees

Maintaining open and timely communication with employees is crucial to address any potential TNC issues. Employers should inform employees about the importance of providing accurate information, the potential consequences of TNCs, and the steps they should take if a TNC arises. This proactive approach can help prevent TNCs and promote compliance.

Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) and Discrimination

Federal anti-discrimination laws

It is essential for employers to be aware of and comply with federal anti-discrimination laws when dealing with TNCs. Employers must not engage in any discriminatory practices based on an employee’s race, color, national origin, citizenship status, or any other protected characteristic. Treating all employees fairly and consistently throughout the TNC process is imperative.

Best practices for employers

To prevent potential discrimination claims, employers should establish and implement best practices when dealing with TNCs. This includes training human resources personnel and relevant staff on anti-discrimination laws, promoting a culture of fairness and inclusion, and maintaining accurate records related to the TNC process. Seeking legal guidance can help employers develop effective policies and procedures to mitigate discrimination risks.

FAQs about Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

1. What is the time frame to resolve a TNC?

The employee typically has eight federal government workdays to resolve a TNC after receiving the notice and Referral Letter.

2. Can an employee work during the TNC process?

Yes, an employee can continue to work while the TNC is being resolved. However, if the TNC is unresolved within the specified timeframe, the employer may be required to terminate the employee’s employment.

3. Can an employer terminate an employee with a TNC?

Yes, if the TNC remains unresolved within the specified timeframe, the employer may be required to terminate the employee’s employment to maintain compliance with immigration and employment laws.

4. Can an employee sue their employer for a TNC?

Employees generally cannot sue their employers specifically for the TNC. However, if the employee believes their rights have been violated during the TNC process, they may have legal recourse under federal anti-discrimination laws or other applicable statutes.

5. Is there an appeal process for a TNC?

Yes, employees can request an appeal if they disagree with the TNC decision. The process for appeal varies depending on the issuing agency. It is important to consult the agency’s guidelines and seek legal counsel for assistance with the appeal process.

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