Government Shutdown Impacts on Immigration
The anticipated, some would say inevitable, government shutdown that has loomed over the U.S. in recent days is now a reality. While the list of those effected by the shutdown is broad, wide and deep, U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad are largely reporting “business as usual.” In a September 30, 2013 statement,U.S. Ambassador to Germany, John B. Emerson said, “I cannot predict what will or will not happen back in Washington. Regardless of what happens, Mission Germany – that is, the Embassy and our Consulates here in Germany – will remain open and working tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. We will be open for essential services. Our Consular Affairs operations will be open for German citizens and American citizens alike. So if you have an appointment, keep it. There will be somebody there to meet with you.”
Websites for the United Kingdom and France reflect similar sentiments. Berardi Immigration Law advises our clients to assume that already scheduled visa interviews will move forward as anticipated. However, exceptional services such as requests for expedited appointments may not be as easy to come by.
The State Department has made public it’s plans for operations during a time of “lapse in appropriations.” That plan can be viewed here: http://Users/davidlewis/Sites/berardi/app/public.state.gov/m/rls/2013/214880.htm That plan contains the following, “Consular operations domestically and overseas will remain 100% operational as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations. However, if a passport agency is located in a government building affected by a lapse in appropriations, the facility may become unsupported. The continuance of consular operations in such instances will be treated on a case-by-case basis by the Under Secretary for Management.”
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.
View our previous blog on this topic here: How will a government shutdown impact immigration to the U.S.?