In light of the imminent expiration of funding for federal operations after midnight on December 7, Congress passed a short-term spending bill that will provide funding through December 21. This spending bill is now awaiting President Trump’s signature for final approval and execution.
This short-term spending bill will have an impact upon immigration programs that were set to expire on December 7 but are now being extended without changes through December 21:
- EB-5 Regional Center permanent residence program for foreign investors;
- E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system;
- Conrad 30 waiver program for foreign medical graduates who will work in areas of the United States that are underserved by physicians; and
- Special immigrant non-minister religious worker permanent residence program.
Because this is only a temporary and short-term spending bill that goes through December 21, a federal shutdown remains a possibility if Congress does not settle upon an agreement for a Fiscal Year 2019 budget by December 21.
A federal shutdown would entail a complete suspension of the Department of Labor, preventing the completion of Labor Certification Applications (LCAs), prevailing wage determinations, and PERM filings. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the State Department would continue to process applications, but there may be delays due to the federal shutdown.
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