As the federal shutdown continues, most immigration functions remain operational. In a previous article, we noted which functions of USCIS were affected by the shutdown. Until the U.S. Congress and President Trump reach an agreement on the unresolved portions of the FY 2019 federal budget or an interim measure, the shutdown will continue to impact several immigration functions.
Visa Applications at U.S. Consulates
Although U.S. consulates are open and are processing visa applications, foreign nationals should consider submitting an application and making a visa appointment as soon as possible in the event that a prolonged shutdown depletes the funds needed for visa processing. If a shutdown is prolonged, it is possible that the Department of State will suspend or severely limit visa processing at the U.S. consulates. Also, if a visa application requires input from other government agencies affected by the shutdown, this could result in delays.
Department of Labor
The Department of Labor remains fully funded for FY 2019. Therefore, the Department of Labor and its functions are not affected by the shutdown.
Customs and Border Patrol
Customs and Border Patrol continues to adjudicate border applications for TN and L-1. Deferred inspection offices continue to accept Form I-94 correction requests, but may be experiencing backlogs and delays.
Social security number issuance and state Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s license and ID processing is not affected by the shutdown.
Please note that even when an agreement has been made for the FY 2019 budget, there could be continued delays or other impacts as the various agencies revert back to full operations. Our offices will continue to keep you informed of any updated information regarding this matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.