Government Shutdown

As the government continues to work towards resolving the federal shutdown, you might be concerned about the status of your applications or services from different immigration agencies will be affected. Below you will see how different federal agencies will or will not be affected by the shutdown:

  • Department of Labor (DOL): Very Affected
    • Because DOL applications are not funded by user fees, LCA and PERM processing will be unavailable during the shutdown. H-1B extensions and portability cases, and E-3 visa applications cannot proceed until LCA processing resumes.
    • Here is the official DOL statement on operations during the shutdown: https://www.dol.gov/general/lapse
  • Department of State (DOS): Not Immediately Affected
    • Passport and visa processing are funded by application fees, and therefore should not be affected, at least initially. However, the facilities and personnel needed to maintain passport and consular operations are impacted by the lack of federal funds. If the shutdown continues for more than a few weeks, we will likely see a degradation of US passport and consular visa processing. Applicants for non-immigrant and immigrant visas at US embassies and consulates abroad should attend their appointments as scheduled. 
    • Here is the official DOS statement on operations during the shutdown: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/lapse-in-appropriations.html
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP): Mostly Unaffected
    • Inspections at airports and other ports of entry will not be affected. However, processing of applications by Canadian citizens under NAFTA may be delayed or interrupted. Those seeking to submit TN or L-1 petitions at ports of entry should allot additional time for their interviews.
    • Here is the official CBP statement on operations during the shutdown: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/border-patrol-vigilant-during-shutdown
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), including SEVP: Unaffected
    • It will be business-as-usual with regard to I-9 investigations and related law enforcement actions. Student and Exchange Visitor Programs (i.e., F-1 and J-1 under SEVIS) are also unaffected because they are funded by application fees.

If the current shutdown continues, OIS will provide updates as further information becomes available.  For more information, please feel free to review this information about the shutdown from Klasko Law, specifically #2.