IMMIGRATION LAW UPDATE
Welcome to the latest Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper Immigration Law Update, our overview of developments in immigration law that affect you, your business, and your employees. If you have questions about the items in this Update, or immigration-related concerns that you’d like to discuss with a lawyer, please contact Karen Moss or Brad Ortman.
How a Potential Government Shutdown Will Impact Immigration Services
If Congress does not act in the coming days to pass a funding measure, the U.S. government will shut down on October 1, 2023. How will this impact immigration services? The answers vary depending on the agency and the service provided. Let us provide a brief summary as this pertains to the immigration services used by our clients —
- S. Customs and Border Protection — All Ports of Entry (POEs) into the U.S. will remain open, however, the processing of applications at POEs may be impacted.
- S. Dept. of State — Consular operations related to the issuance of visas and passports will be unaffected, because they are fee-for-service operations.
- S. Dept. of Labor – LCA filings, a key component of H-1B and E-3 petitions, will not be processed. The same is true of PERM filings, as the government’s FLAG online portal will not be operational.
- S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) – Visa petitions will still be received and adjudicated, because they are funded by fees paid by applicants and petitioners. In the event there are filings that are delayed (i.e. due to inability to obtain timely issuance of an LCA), USCIS has in the past excused such late filings. USCIS Ombudsman’s Office may be closed due to a shutdown.
- E-Verify — A shut down would render the E-Verify system temporarily unavailable for employers remotely verifying I-9 documents. USCIS confirmed that employers can use an alternate document review process until E-Verify becomes available.
- Congress – Congressional Constituent Services may be closed in the event of a shutdown.
- Travel at Airports – A government shutdown may disrupt travel plans. Although Federal Aviation Administration employees, including air traffic controllers and TSA agents, are considered essential workers, and required to work during a shutdown, they would be doing so without pay. Therefore, travelers should expect delays and longer screening lines.
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If you have questions or would like to learn more about these or other immigration topics, please contact Karen Moss, Brad Ortman, or Anne Grove of the Immigration Law Group at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper via email or at (216) 621-7227.
Bradley L. Ortman and Karen Gabriel Moss
Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC
This Immigration Law Update contains general information that should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion concerning individual situations. Legal counsel should be consulted for specific advice.
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