The Government Shutdown Continues – Day 2

 

Day 2 of the U.S. government shutdown continues and some areas impacting immigration processes are feeling its effects, while others continue with business as usual.

USCIS

  • Since most of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is funded through user fees, all USCIS offices worldwide are open and individuals should report to interviews and appointments as scheduled.
  • Applications and petitions are still being processed.  However, significant delays in processing times are possible.
  • The only area impacted is E-Verify.  For the duration of the shutdown E-Verify is not accepting or processing employment verification requests.  This means that while E-Verify is unavailable, employers will not be able to enroll any company in E-Verify, verify employment eligibility of new employees through the system, view or take action on any case, or edit the company information.  USCIS has stated that the “3 day rule” is extended until the shutdown ceases at which point verification must occur immediately.

DOS

  • Department of State officials and various Ambassadors have released statements that the Department will continue as many normal operations as possible.
  • Visa interviews (“visa stamping”) are occurring as scheduled but BIL has already noticed extended wait times at some Embassies to schedule new appointments.
  • Expedite appointments will likely be difficult or impossible to obtain.  DOS has previously stated, “a really, really important business meeting is not life or death.”

DOL

  • While some of the Department of Labor is still running as normal, the PERM and iCERT systems are unavailable.
  • NO LCAs, PERMs, or Prevailing Wages Requests will be processed during the shutdown.
  • This means all H-1B, E-3, H-1B1 applications cannot be submitted to USCIS.  In order for these applications to be submitted to USCIS, a certified LCA must be included.  With the system unavailable, certification is not possible.  All applications in these categories are impacted; regardless of whether it’s a new petition, change of employer, or extension of stay.  In the past, USCIS has made allowances for petitions to be submitted without a certified LCA.  However, at this time, announcement of such an exception has not been made.
  • Delivery of PERM audit responses by mail is possible but no processing will occur.

CBP

  • Customs and Border Protection has stated that all ports of entry are open.
  • The Admissibility Review Office (ARO) is open and continues to function.
  • All global entry enrollment centers are open and interviews are continuing and all Trusted Traveler programs continue to function as usual.
  • The CBP website will not be maintained during the lapse in appropriations.
  • CBP Officers are processing border cases such as applications for TN status, but delays are to be expected.

SSA

  • The Social Security Administration is not accepting new applications for Social Security numbers.
  • Processing has halted on pending applications.

Berardi Immigration Law continues to monitor developments closely and will inform our clients of important updates. If you wish to consult with one of our Immigration Attorneys, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

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