As of today, the United States is still under a partial federal government shutdown due to the fact that an fiscal year budget has not been agreed upon. However, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)’s fee-funded activities are not affected. USCIS offices will remain open and all individuals should attend interviews and appointments as scheduled. USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications for benefit requests except what is noted below.
USCIS programs that will either expire, suspend operations, or be otherwise affected until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress:
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program: Regional centers are a public or private economic unit in the U.S. that promotes economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 Program will continue to operate.
- E-Verify: A free internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S.
- Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors: This program allows J-1 foreign doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after completing the J-1 exchange visitor program. The Conrad 30 program will not be shutdown entirely. The expiration only affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the U.S.
- Non-minister religious workers: This special immigrant category allows non-ministers who are in religious vocations and occupations to immigrate or adjust to permanent resident status in the U.S. to perform religious work in a full-time compensated position.
We will be sure to keep you up to date about any changes regarding these matters. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions.