How will the Government Shutdown affect Immigration Services?
If the U.S. government fails to pass legislation to fund the federal government beyond September 30th, certain government agencies will be affected. Below is information on how a potential government shutdown will affect immigration services.
Immigration benefit applications:
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is fee-funded and will operate as normal.
- Department of Labor (DOL) will not be able to process Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) or PERM applications — which would delay the filing of any H1B petitions and PERM related green card filings.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue screening and admitting foreign nationals at ports of entry, but delays could occur with application processing or inadmissibility waivers.
Consular services and visas:
- The Department of State (DOS) is fee-funded, so visa services would continue as long as funding is available.
- Please note that DOS works with many other agencies in the visa process, e.g., security screening. If another agency shuts down or has to de-prioritize its work for State, that halts processing of the visa application.
Social Security Administration:
- The Social Security Administration (SSA) indicates that it will still issue new Social Security cards and numbers during a shutdown.
- However, it is anticipated that this process will be severely delayed throughout the duration of a shutdown, this can impact anyone who is in the process of applying for a Social Security Number.
In the event of a government shutdown, it is impossible to predict how long it would last. Depending on the duration of the shutdown, government agencies may have a backlog of work to process when they reopen. Any delays to immigration services will be outside of our control. Please reach out to iss[at]umass[dot]edu if you have any questions or concerns.