Impact on Immigration Matters
There seems to be an increasing likelihood of a U.S. government shutdown
as legislators continue to debate a spending bill to fund the government.
If a bill is not passed into law by tomorrow, the government will officially
shut down on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time.
As during previous government shutdowns, it is expected that the USCIS
will continue to operate normally, in that they will continue to receive
and adjudicate immigration applications. This is because USCIS is funded
primarily through applicant fees.
However, immigration may be affected in cases where USCIS applications
are effects by other government agencies such as the U.S. Department of
Labor (“DOL”). In the event of a government shutdown, the
DOL is likely to suspend certifications of Labor Condition Applications
associated with H-1B filings, as well as Applications for Permanent Labor
Certification (“PERM”) associated with immigrant petitions
for alien workers.
Similarly, the Department of State is expected to significantly slow or
suspend visa processing in the event of a government shutdown. Since the
Department of State is expected to discontinue non-emergency visa services
at U.S. Consulates worldwide, visa applicants should be aware that no
new visas will be issued, and consular appointments will likely be cancelled
Congressional leaders are still hopeful that a solution may be found –
if only for a short term continuing resolution that will keep the government
open for a few more weeks.
We will be providing periodic updates on this issue.
Should you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please contact us.