How will the Partial Government Shutdown Affect Your Immigration Application?

There is a partial shutdown over Trump’s border wall funding fiasco (which I thought the Mexican Government was going to pay for). So will this shutdown affect your immigration application?

The short answer is likely not if the following departments or agencies are processing your immigration application:

Fee Funded Agencies

The partial shutdown is affecting the agencies that have not been fully funded for the year. Those departments include the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State. However, the agencies within the DHS and the DOS that process applications are fee funded. Therefore, agencies such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State consular and visa services are unaffected at this time. This includes passport services.

Essential Function Agencies

The Custom and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provide essential security. The government will be funded as essential services. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is also an arm of ICE’s essential services. It will be unaffected.

Department of Labor (DOL)

The DOL processes the labor certifications and the wage determinations necessary for employment based visas. This department t has already been funded by Congress. It does not face the same funding challenges as the DOS and DHS.

But there are some applicants that may face some challenges and delays due to the partial shut down. The USCIS cannot continue certain services without the reauthorization from Congress.

Congressional reauthorization necessary for certain USCIS services:

– EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Program

– E-Verify

– Conrad 30 J-1 doctors

– non-minister religious workers

The above will face suspension and delays if the partial shutdown continues. I’ll keep you posted as the partial shutdown continues. Hopefully there will be a resolution soon to avoid further affecting applicants and federal employees.

As always, this is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Seek professional advice regarding your individual circumstances.

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