U.S. Government Shutdown (1/20/2018)

UPDATE: 1/22/2018

On the afternoon of January 22nd, Congress passed a temporary stopgap measure to fund the government through February 8th, 2018. All immigration processing and related government services will resume Tuesday, January 23rd.

Possible Effects on Immigration Due to Government Shutdown

As of 12:00am on Saturday, January 20th, 2018, the United States Congress has not come to an agreement on a bill to fund the government. Therefore, many government agencies will be shut down, employees will be furloughed, and services will be unavailable. Aspects of this shutdown may affect immigration processes and programs. Klasko Immigration Law Partners, a respected immigration firm, has identified areas which will likely be affected – and some areas which will not:

Likely Affected

  • Visa renewals – especially related to international travel. If you have traveled, or are traveling abroad and had planned to renew your visa while abroad, the shutdown will likely render you unable to do so.
  • H-1B petitions, extensions, or amendments – while USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has historically remained in operation during shutdowns, the Department of Labor – which handles Labor Condition Applications – will not. Since it is impossible to process an H-1B without an LCA, H-1B processing will likely cease unless a prior-approved LCA is held.
  • E-Verify – the E-Verify system will not be operational during a government shutdown. If you are in the hiring process somewhere, it is possible this process will be delayed due to the inability to verify your status.
  • Social Security Office - The following services will not be provided during the shutdown:  issue new or replacement Social Security cards; replace Medicare cards; update or correct earnings record.  The State College Social Security Administration office will provide the following limited services: help applicants apply for benefits, assist individuals in requesting an appeal; accept reports of death; verify or change citizenship status.

Likely Unaffected

  • USCIS operations – historically, USCIS has remained open during government shutdowns. It is possible that the new administration will elect to cease operations. However, this seems unlikely.
  • International travel with a valid, unexpired visa – this travel will likely be unaffected. Customs and Border Patrol will remain in operation during a government shutdown. It is possible that processing times may increase, making travel more difficult.

Global Programs will be closely following the news regarding the shutdown and will make the international community aware of further updates. Please check this site for further details.

  • For the full alert by Klasko Law, visit their Alert Page.