A government shutdown? How might it effect you?
With the impending threat of a government shutdown looming, many are wondering what the possible effects on the various departments that have a role in immigration services might be. While we can only speculate on the results of such a shutdown, the consequences could be far-reaching. A partial shutdown would likely include those functions that are deemed non-essential services and would not include emergency or essential protection services.
USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Services), the department that oversees lawful immigration into the United States, likely WOULD NOT be affected by the shutdown. USCIS is funded primarily through application fees which offset costs so the Service does not depend solely on the government for funding. Therefore, should a shutdown occur, USCIS will retain a “business as usual” approach. It is anticipated that any side effects would be minor in nature, and not something that would be noticed by the general public.
However, USDOS (United States Department of State) Bureau of Consular Affairs, the department that adjudicates all visas and passports, likely WOULD be affected, should the U.S. Federal Government impose a shutdown. It has been speculated that visa applications would likely not be processed; consulates would not be open for visa appointments and processing; and foreign nationals could encounter long delays in obtaining visas outside the United States, possibly extending beyond the shutdown itself as consular offices would be forced to reschedule canceled appointments. It is advisable that foreign nationals monitor this situation closely when they plan travel to the United States.
Finally, CBP (Customs and Border Patrol), which oversees all U.S. and international borders, likely WOULD NOTbe significantly adversely affected. Most areas of operation would continue to be funded, however, personnel may be scaled back and travelers may experience longer delays.
Page Summary: Should a partial government shutdown occur, the effects could be far-reaching.