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Immigration Implications of the Impending U.S. Government Shutdown

Electronic highway billboard with government shutdown ahead warning

A possible U.S. government shutdown on Oct. 1st will affect some immigration services. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to process applications and petitions that are funded by filing fees, such as naturalization, green cards, and work permits. However, some of their offices may be closed or have reduced staff, which could cause delays and disruptions.

The Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will suspend most of its activities related to foreign labor certification, such as processing applications for H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, and permanent labor certifications. This could affect the ability of employers to hire foreign workers or extend their status in the U.S.

The Department of State (DOS) will continue to issue visas and passports, as long as they have sufficient funds from fees and other sources. However, some consular services may be limited or suspended, especially in countries where the U.S. embassy or consulate is operating on reduced staff or has security concerns. Reduced staff may impact the visa interview timelines.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue to enforce immigration laws and secure the borders. However, some of their operations may be affected by the shutdown, such as the E-Verify and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program, which allows federal, state, and local agencies to verify the immigration status of benefit applicants such as driver’s licenses.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will continue to handle immigration cases in the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). However, non-detained cases are expected to be postponed or rescheduled, which could prolong the already lengthy wait times for a hearing or a decision.

If you believe you or your company may be impacted by the shutdown, please call our office to schedule a consultation. We are a full-service immigration law firm. Please contact us at or by calling us at (972)-241-4698 to schedule a consultation. Continue to follow and like us on Facebook at Akula & Associates and Instagram at Akulalaw.