Government Shutdown Updates

 

This page provides links to announcements made by immigration-related agencies and other updates regarding the status of their services during the government shutdown.

Update: On January 25, 2019, President Trump signed a continuing resolution that provides funding and reopens the government until February 15, 2019. Any programs described below that had been closed during the 35-day shutdown should be reopened accordingly through February 15, 2019 while Congress and the White House continue negotiations on the FY 2019 budget.

Department of State Visa and Passport Services

"Consular operations domestically and abroad will remain operational as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations. However, if a passport agency is located in a government building affected by a lapse in appropriations, the facility may become unsupported. The continuance of consular operations in such instances will be treated on a case-by-case basis by the Office of the Under Secretary for Management."

Department of Labor Office of Foreign Labor Certification

"December 27, 2018. OFLC National Processing Centers Are Open. The Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is making this announcement to assure employers and other interested stakeholders that the temporary lapse in appropriations for some Federal government programs and activities does not directly impact the administration of OFLC programs. A full year appropriations through September 30, 2019, for all DOL program and activities was enacted by Congress on September 28, 2018. The OFLC national processing centers and the iCERT System are open and operating as normally scheduled."

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

"The current lapse in annual appropriated funding for the U.S. government does not affect USCIS’s fee-funded activities. Our offices will remain open, and all individuals should attend interviews and appointments as scheduled. USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications for benefit requests, except as noted below.

Some USCIS programs, however, will either expire or suspend operations, or be otherwise affected, until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress. These include:

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program (not the EB-5 Program). Regional centers are a public or private economic unit in the U.S. that promotes economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 Program will continue to operate.
  • E-Verify. This free internet-based system allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S.
    • Note: NAFSA has asked USCIS and SEVP to work together to address the needs of F-1 students facing STEM OPT filing deadlines because their employers are not currently enrolled in E-Verify due to the unavailability of E-Verify services during the government shutdown. See NAFSA's page.
     
  • Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors. This program allows J-1 doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after completing the J-1 exchange visitor program. The expiration only affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the U.S.; it is not a shutdown of the Conrad 30 program entirely.
  • Non-minister religious workers. This special immigrant category allows non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations to immigrate or adjust to permanent resident status in the U.S. to perform religious work in a full-time, compensated position."