Does the Federal Government Shutdown Affect Your Immigration Case?

Does the Federal Government Shutdown Affect Your Immigration Case?

 

As the U.S. government shutdown continues, many foreign nationals are asking if and how this may impact them.

Who is affected by the government shutdown?

The following are the government programs that are affected by the shutdown:

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. Please note, that this only concerns Regional Center Investor Program, not the entire EB-5 Program.
  • E-Verify system is affected by the shutdown. Companies, using the system to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S., will not be able to access the system during the shutdown.
  • Immigration Courts are affected by the federal shutdown and stay close for the duration of the shutdown. If you have a case scheduled for a hearing in the court, it will be postponed and rescheduled for later.

Other programs affected by the current shutdown include Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors, and Non-minister Religious Workers Program. These programs may be suspended or otherwise impacted by the shutdown.

Who is NOT affected by the shutdown?

Government shutdown does not affect the operations of the organizations that are fee-based and are self-sustaining. Most immigration-related organizations fall into this category, including USCIS.

USCIS offices continue to work and process petitions because they are funded by our filing fees. This means that you can still file a petition during the shutdown. Petitions that had been filed with USCIS prior to the shutdown will be processed as before.

US DOS offices worldwide are open for the appointments and interviews as scheduled. 

ASC offices are also staying open throughout the shutdown, so if you had a biometrics appointment scheduled, you should attend it.

The Department of Labor (DOL) stays open during the shutdown as well. DOL has secured funding through September 30, 2019. Thus, Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) and PERM Labor Certification Applications can be filed during the shutdown. 

Keep in mind, that even though USCIS offices are open and keep adjudicating cases, there can be processing delays if other agencies involved in the process are affected by the shutdown.

If you have any concerns regarding the current federal shutdown or its impact on your immigration case, please contact our experienced immigration attorneys at Root Law Group for a free in-office consultation. Call us today at (323) 456-7600.