ALERT: What the Possible Government Shutdown would mean for Immigration Services

With the current economic talks stalledand a potential shutdowImagen as early as next week many people want to know what does this mean for immigration services?  For those dealing with USCIS in the US, the answer is easy, nothing.  USCIS is funded through user fees (i.e. the fees they charge for applications, not the general budget, so a government shut-down does not affect them.  The only piece that is affected is e-verify, which is separately funded and would be shut down.

If you are not in the United States, it is a little murkier.  The Department of State is in Charge of the US Consulates overseas as well as running the National Visa Center and handling immigrant and non-immigrant visas.  They would be affected by the shut-down and would stop providing such services except in emergency situations and for diplomats (A visa holders) and International Organization members (G visa holders).
The Department of Labor, which handles the labor certification system and the LCA system (for H-1Bs and E-3 visas) would cease those operations in case of a shut-down.  This would mean that any pending labor certification or LCAs would remain pending and not be worked on until the shut-down is over.  It also means that there most likely be long backlogs created in the even of any shut-down.

The above is general, and only touches on some specifics of the situation. As always, please contact us with any specific questions or an answer about how the shut-down could affect your particular situation.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/58551403@N06/5601911092/”>boris.rasin</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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