Tuesday, October 1, 2013

US GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IMPACTS SOME IMMIGRATION SERVICES

Congress’ failure to establish a budget for Fiscal Year 2014 (start date, October 1, 2013) has an impact on some areas of immigration.  If you have any questions about how the government shutdown may impact your petitions, please contact Musillo Unkenholt.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services:  USCIS operations continue despite the Federal Government shutdown, because fee-for-service activities performed by USCIS are not affected by a lapse in annual appropriated funding.  H-1B, L-1, I-140, and I-485 petitions and applications are expected to continue processing with little impact as a result of the federal government’s shutdown.
All USCIS offices worldwide are open for interviews and appointments as scheduled. E-Verify is an exception and is unavailable during the shutdown. For more information about how the shutdown is effecting E-Verify please visit www.dhs.gov/e-verify.

Department of Labor: Most DOL functions that impact immigration will stop working as a result of the federal shutdown.  The DOLwill neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses), it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. The DOL’s web site, including the iCERT Visa Portal System and the PERM system, have become static and are unable to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online accounts.

Department of State: The Department will continue as many normal operations as possible; operating status and available funding will need to be monitored continuously and closely, and planning for a lapse in appropriations must be continued. Visa issuance will be available in consulates that have adequate funding to continue operating.  Please contact our office to determine if the consulate you plan to attend will continue operating. 

Customs and Border Patrol: Inspection and law enforcement are considered "essential personnel," though staffing may be more limited than usual.  The borders will be open, and CBP is unsure of how the shutdown will affect the processing of applications filed at the border at this time.

State Agencies:  State agencies, such as driver’s licenses and professional licenses (e.g. Registered Nurse, Physical and Occupational Therapy licenses), are not impacted by the federal shutdown.


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