Oct 04, 2013

Government Shutdown: Impact on Immigration Services

The shutdown of the U.S. federal government on October 1st has impacted immigration-related services across a number of different government agencies including:


E-Verify is currently unavailable during the shutdown. The “3-day rule” for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown until E-Verify reopens.  This does NOT affect the Form I-9 requirement employers must still complete the Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) operations continue despite the federal government shutdown, because fee-for-service activities performed by USCIS are not affected by a lapse in annual appropriated funding. Therefore, all USCIS offices worldwide are open for interviews and appointments as scheduled.

State Department

Consular services for U.S. citizens and visa applicants continue to operate at this time.  However, a loss of federal funding will likely impact visa processing as fees cover only a portion of the costs associated with visa processing. Accordingly, foreign nationals should be prepared for delays in consular visa processing and may want to consider postponing travel outside the United States if a new visa would be required to re-enter the United States.

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor has stated that it will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses) it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification.

Port Security Operations 

Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and Port of Entry Operations remain operational under a government shutdown because they have been deemed law enforcement necessary or necessary for the safety of life and protection of property.

If you have any questions about this Client Alert, please contact Laleh Sharifi at

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