Congress reached agreement and voted to end the government shutdown at least until February 8, 2018.
In case another impasse occurs, this is how a federal government shutdown would affect immigration.
Department of Labor (DOL)
The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will stop processing all applications, and its personnel will not be available to respond to inquiries by email or other means. OFLC’s web-based systems, iCERT and PERM, will be inaccessible, and Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) dockets will be on hold.
Therefore, if a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) is submitted for an H-1B employee and it has not been certified by the time of a shutdown, it will be not be certified until the government shutdown is over. LCAs that have not been submitted, cannot be submitted until the government shutdown is over. For any PERM green card case that is in preparation, prevailing wage requests (Form ETA-9141) and PERM applications (Form ETA-9089) will not be able to be filed until the government shutdown is over. Cases that have been submitted to the DOL and have not yet been adjudicated at the time of a shutdown will be delayed.
Department of State (DOS)
DOS will continue all scheduled passport and visa services in the United States and overseas as the situation permits.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
As a fee-funded agency, USCIS will continue its operations, with the exception of the following programs that may still need specific reauthorizations by Congress: EB-5 Regional Center Program; E-Verify; Conrad 30 J-1 doctors; and Non-minister religious workers.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
ICE enforcement and removal operations will continue, with primary focus on the detained docket.
Please reach out to your Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions regarding the above.