What are Immigration Consequences for Employers and their immigrant employees if Government shuts down?
Summary: If Congress is unable to resolve the 2018 Fiscal Year funding by December 8, 2017 then a government shutdown will have trickling effect on Employers of all sizes and will impact the agencies involved in the immigration petitions, such as USCIS.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- 1) If the government shuts down then USCIS won’t be affected must be the agency is largely funded using the government processing fees paid by applicants. Generally, the petitions will be processed, with some delays. That being said, however, for petitions that require a Department of Labor (DOL) certification such as a H-1B or E-3 application that requires a Labor Condition Application (LCA), there be delays.
- 2) E-Verify will be inaccessible during the shutdown, and will still be required to comply with I-9 onboarding and create E-Verify accounts when it becomes available.
Department of Labor (DOL)
Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) employees, who fall under the umbrella of DOL, will likely be on furlough during a shutdown since they are considered non-essential. Unfortunately, OFLC won’t accept applications including LCAs, applications for a prevailing wage determination, applications for temporary employment certification, applications for permanent employment certification (PERM applications), or PERM audit responses.
Department of State (DOS)
Visa issuance will likely continue, and it is expected that Consular operations will remain so long as the consular processing fees are sufficient to cover the operational expenses.