As Congress failed to reach an agreement to avert the unthinkable, the US Government shut down at midnight.  This will affect some immigration-related government agencies:

  • US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),which processes immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions, will continue operating.  Petitions already on file will continue to be processed, and new petitions will continue to be accepted.  eVerify will not be operating during the shutdown.
  • US Customs and Border Protection, which conducts inspections of those arriving by land, air, and sea, and enforces immigration laws, will continue operating.
  • Department of Labor, which processes Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for H-1B petitions and E-3 applications, prevailing wage determinations for H-2B and PERM labor certification cases, and H-2B and PERM labor certification applications, will not continue operating during the shutdown.  The review of applications already on file will be suspended, and new applications will not be accepted until the shutdown is over.  This will delay the filing of H-1B, H-2B, prevailing wage requests, and PERM applications.  The USCIS has not yet addressed whether employers will be able to file H-1B petitions without LCAs at this time.   It is unlikely that E-3 applicants at US embassies and consulates will be able to obtain E-3 visas at this time without certified LCAs.
  • Department of State, which oversees US embassies and consulates, will continue to operate.  Embassies and consulates will continue to accept and process visa applications.  However, as the shutdown continues, it is possible for some of the visa processing services to cease if the fees collected will not support operations.  In addition, while US passport agencies will still accept and process applications, those offices located in Federal Buildings forced to close may not be operational.