How Will the Government Shutdown Affect My Immigration Filing?
As of today, October 1, the US government is under partial shutdown. Fortunately, this does not mean that all is lost (or on hold) for US immigration filings.
USCIS: USCIS is open and operating worldwide. This means that the government shutdown should not cause delays with USCIS filings, and that if you have an appointment with a USCIS office, you should show up for that appointment as scheduled.
Department of Labor: The Department of Labor is closed during the government shutdown. The agency has reported that their websites like iCert and the PERM portal will be static meaning users will not be able to submit or access information. DOL has also indicated that they will not process or accept any immigration-related filings including prevailing wage requests, labor condition applications (LCAs) or PERM applications.
Note: Because DOL will not accept LCA filings, it may not be possible to start new H-1B cases for the time being. We are waiting to hear from USCIS as to whether they will accept H-1B filings without the certified LCAs in light of these extraordinary circumstances.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP): The CBP will not be impacted, per their officials. They report that they will be able to authorize overtime to handle incoming flights, but you may want to still allow for extra time to go through immigration just in case.
US Department of State: DOS will also continue to operate as much as possible, though they say that they will monitor funding, implying that they may need to cut operations later depending on how things go.
CIS Ombudsman: This office will be closed, and will not accept new cases through their intake system.
We will continue to post any updates or changes as we receive information.
Keep your chin up (and plan ahead)!