Although the ongoing government shutdown is rooted in an immigration matter – the “wall” – its effect on other immigration processes is somewhat limited. Fee-funded activities are not affected, which means that USCIS offices will remain open, interviews and appointments will continue as scheduled, and most petitions and applications will continue to be accepted and processed. Because the Department of Labor’s funding has already been appropriated, LCA and PERM cases will not be affected.
The most noticeable effect from a domestic immigration perspective may be that the E-Verify program will not be operational. During shutdown it will not be possible to:
- Enroll in E-Verify;
- Create an E-Verify case;
- View or take action on any case;
- Add, delete or edit any user account;
- Reset passwords;
- Edit company information;
- Terminate accounts;
- Run reports; or
- Resolve E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs).
To minimize the impact caused by the government shutdown:
- The “three-day rule” will be suspended; and
- Time period for resolving TNCs will be extended.
Employers are warned not to take any adverse action against employees while an E-Verify case remains in an interim or limbo status. Please click here for E-Verify’s full announcement regarding the shutdown.
Other programs that will not operate during the shutdown due to lack of continuing funding include:
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program
- Conrad 30 J-1 Program for Physicians
- Immigrant visas for Non-Minister Religious Workers
For now, it seems that passport services will remain available and U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad will continue to provide services to U.S. citizens, but other services may be limited. Jackson Lewis will continue to follow these matters and provide updates as they become available.