IMMIGRATION AND THE GOVERNMENT SHUT-DOWN
Wonder how the immigration system will be affected by the possible government shut down? Using the 1995-1996 shut-down as precedent, here are the predictions:
USCIS and SEVIS are fee-funded programs, so will most likely continue operating as normal, with the possible exception of the USCIS asylum program.
Visa processing would likely be suspended, as the Department of State would stop all non-emergency services, including visa processing at Embassies and Consulates. The Department of State has urged people to make “prudent” plans regarding visa appointments that are currently scheduled, and contact the individual Embassy and Consulate websites to determine whether the appointments will continue.
The Department of Labor would likely stop services as well, a move that could slow PERM processing and prevailing wage determinations. Customs and Border Patrol should continue to operate, as the agency is deemed essential to national security, which means that border crossings should be unaffected. It is difficult to know with certainty the full effects of a government shut-down, but these are our best predictions today. Stay tuned!