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With the threat of a federal government shutdown distinctly on the horizon, it is important to consider the implications this may have on the immigration process. As our readers know, there are many federal agencies involved in this process. Generally, agency operations must stop in the event of a government shutdown except for “essential personnel.”

The impact of a shutdown on each agency is as follows:

USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is supported by the filing fees it collects and is expected to remain operational except for E-Verify.

DOS: The Department of State’s visa and passport operations are fee-funded and also are expected to remain operational, but this may be impacted by the lack of operational funding for other activities, such as those cases that are chosen for 221g Administrative Processing.

CBP: Customs and Border Protection performs inspection and enforcement activities at U.S. ports of entry that are considered “essential,” and thus international travel is not expected to be affected.

DOL: The Department of Labor will cease processing all applications, including Labor Condition Applications (LCA) required for H-1B petitions, PERM Labor Certifications, and Prevailing Wage Determinations.

ICE: Immigration Customs and Enforcement performs enforcement and removal operations that are considered “essential” and are not expected to be affected. The ICE Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is funded by fees and also is not expected to be affected.

* * * *

If you have any questions regarding this Alert or any other U.S. immigration issues, please contact Epstein Becker Green’s Immigration Law Group:

Robert S. Groban, Jr.
New York
Pierre Georges Bonnefil
New York
Patrick G. Brady
Jungmin Choi
Jang Hyuk Im
San Francisco


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