Updates regarding the US government shutdown
UPDATE - FEBRUARY 9, 2018
After a brief government shutdown overnight, President Trump has signed a short-term measure to reopen the federal government.
UPDATE - JANUARY 23, 2018
Congress has passed a short-term funding measure to fund the federal government for three weeks, while they continue their negotiations for a long-term measure. The temporary measure is valid through February 8, so we are closely monitoring the situation.
We have confirmed that the Department of Labor’s LCA system is available again. So, the H-1B and E-3 petition filing is back to normal.
Please do not hesitate to contact your ISSS advisor if you any questions.
JANUARY 22, 2018
Impact of the US government shutdown
You might be wondering how a government shutdown affects immigration matters. Below is the agency-specific information:
Department of State – Embassies and Consulates
Visa operations are application fee-funded and should not be impacted by the government shutdown. Nevertheless, since the situation is fluid, we recommend that people refrain from international travel if their visa stamp has expired as visa application processing might be delayed. If the shutdown is prolonged, they may suspend some services.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Inspection functions at US borders and ports of entry will remain in operation. They should also continue to process TN applications at the border.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
ICE oversees the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) program, which is funded by fees. So, the shutdown does not impact SEVIS, which means Emory can continue to issue F-1 I-20s and J-1 DS-2019s. We have confirmed that the SEVIS is operational.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS is a fee-based government agency, and therefore, the government shutdown should not impact their normal operations. Applications (such as F-1 OPT applications) should continue to be adjudicated.
The notable impact may be for USCIS petitions that require pre-filing actions by the Department of Labor, such as H-1B Labor Condition Applications (LCAs). The Department of Labor is not a fee-funded government agency, so their immigration-related functions will be suspended during the shutdown. When the last government shutdown happened in 2013, USCIS allowed temporary exceptions and/or extensions for such petitions, but it has not announced whether it will do so for the current shutdown since it just began.
The Senate is set to vote at noon today, January 22, to end the shutdown. We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as they become available on our website.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact your ISSS advisor if you any questions.