Due to the impasse over President Trump's demand for funding to build the Mexico-U.S. border wall, a partial government shutdown went into effect, starting on December 22, 2018, Unlike previous government shutdowns, this year’s closures will have a very limited impact on business immigration.
Due to a lapse in government funding, the E-Verify system will not be available for employers during the government shutdown. Employers will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts to enroll or create E-Verify cases at this time. To minimize the impact on employers, the three-day rule for creating E-Verify cases has been suspended for cases affected by the unavailability of E-Verify during the shutdown. E-Verify employers should complete the E-Verification process for employees hired during the shutdown, as soon as the shutdown has ended, and E-Verify system is up and running again. Please note that the shutdown does not affect employer’s I-9 employment verification obligations, which are still in effect during the shutdown.
USCIS will continue to accept and process immigration petitions and applications during the shutdown
The USCIS announced that the current government shutdown does not affect its fee-funded activities. USCIS continues to accept for processing petitions and applications for immigration benefit requests, such as H-1B petitions, change of status applications, adjustment of status (green card) applications and citizenship applications. Furthermore, local USCIS offices remain open and individuals are advised to attend interviews and appointments as scheduled. Certain USCIS programs will however experience interruptions by the government shutdown due the expiration of congressional authorization or a lapse in funding. This includes the adjudication of EB-5 Investor petitions and applications, E-Verify system (see below), Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 Medical Doctors, and EB-4 non-minister special immigrant religious worker program.
No impact on DOL operations
Unlike federal government shutdowns in previous year’s the Department of Labor (DOL) will not be impacted as government funding has already been secured for this agency through fiscal year 2019. DOL is continuing to accept Labor Conditions Applications (LCAs) and PERM labor certification applications.
Please contact out office should you have any questions regarding the partial government shutdown. We will provide updates as more information becomes available.
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Goeschl Law Corporation’s Business Immigration Alerts provide a general description of the law; they are not intended to provide specific legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship.
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