Recent news indicates that President Trump intends to shut down the government if Congress refuses to fund his ill-advised border wall. Here is how the Trump shutdown will affect federal agencies that process immigration cases:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS): This is a fee funded agency; therefore, processing of cases such as adjustment of status applications (form I-485), immigrant visa petitions (forms I-130 and I-140), employment authorization applications (I-765), naturalization applications (N-400) and applications filed directly with a USCIS Service Center will continue to be adjudicated.
E-verify will likely be unavailable during a government shutdown.
U.S. Department of Labor: It is likely that the Trump shutdown will delay web-based systems including iCERT (for H-1Bs and E-3s). The processing of labor certifications or PERM systems may also be adversely affected. The shutdown will also impact requests for prevailing wage determinations, and temporary labor certifications related to the H2A and H2B visa category.
U.S. Department of State: This agency is responsible for the issuance of visas and passport operations. Since these are fee funded applications, they will not likely be affected. However, a lack of funding in other consular areas of responsibility may slow down processing times.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP): This agency is considered “essential” and all ports of entry will remain open. However, applicants processing their admission at a port of entry may be impacted. This is particularly true for Canadians applying for TN or L visa status.
Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE): Enforcement and Removal operations will continue as this agency is considered “essential.” ICE Student and Exchange Visitor programs offices should continue to operate, which includes tracking students, issuing I-20s since SEVP is funded by fees.
Immigration Courts (Executive Office of Immigration Review): It is not clear if the Trump shutdown will affect the immigration courts. Specific questions about cases before the immigration court should be addressed to your attorney.
If you believe that your case may be adversely impacted or if you have questions regarding the impact of a government shutdown, contact our offices for an appointment 1(866)690-1844.