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How Will the Government Shutdown Affect Immigration?

Posted by attorney Wendy Whitt

Because Congress was unable to resolve the budgetary deadlock, the U.S. federal government has been “shutdown." Certain agencies will cease operations, and immigration cases may be delayed.

We will be contacting each of our clients directly over the next few days to let you know how the shutdown will impact your case. Until then, here is a brief overview of the agencies affected:


USCIS is funded by your filing fees and most operations will continue. Interviews and appointments will be conducted as scheduled. USCIS will continue to accept new cases for processing. Security background checks conducted by other agencies may cause a delay in the adjudication of some cases.

U.S. Department of State

The Department of State will continue to operate until its budget for visa processing is exhausted. Once the budget is exhausted, the agency will stop processing most visa applications and will cease scheduling interviews and appointments for visa applicants. U.S. citizen services are not expected to cease.

U.S. Department of Labor

The DOL will no longer accept or process Labor Condition Applications and Applications for Prevailing Wage Determinations. This will affect preparation of cases for H-1B visas, H-2B visas and permanent residence through employment.


The immigrations court will continue to adjudicate cases for detained persons. All non-detained cases will be reset.

EOIR’s operations are limited during the lapse in government funding, so staff at the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals will not be available for photo identification verification to complete the eRegistration process. Upon its return to normal operations, EOIR will again be able to process eRegistration applications.

Customs and Border Patrol

Staffing may be limited at CBP. Expect delays at airports and border crossings.

Social Security Administration

SSA has stopped processing requests for new and replacement cards.

To learn more about how the government shutdown will affect your immigration matter, you are invited to contact us at 214-431-5237 or through our online contact form.

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