Government Shutdown Affecting Immigration Related Government Functions

[Editor’s Note: This update is provided by Jared C. Leung, Director of the Immigration Practice Group at Fennemore Craig, P.C. in Phoenix, Arizona.  Republished with permission.]

This is a quick update of the impact of Federal Government Shutdown on various immigration related government functions / agencies.  Please note that the situation is fluid and the various agencies are updating their status on a regular basis.  Effective October 1, 2013, please note the following:

USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services)

  • USCIS field office operation – Opened
  • All interviews are carried out
  • Ombudsman Office – Closed
  • For further information, please click here.
  • [E-Verify Program: visit our sister blog for more details here.]

DOS (Department of States (Embassies and Consulates))

  • Embassies and Consulates are open for regular visa application and U.S. citizen services (passport)
  • Stateside passport application – No report that this has been affected
  • See: www.state.gov

EOIR & BIA (US Immigration Court and Appeals System)

  • Immigration Courts – Continued for detained cases. Courts are closed for regular hearings and matters concerning non-detained cases
  • Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is processing emergency stay requests and cases concerning detained aliens, including appeals, motions, remands, and bonds.  It has been reported that BIA Clerk’s offices are open
  • The Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer will maintain its ability to issue subpoenas and accept for filing any complains that must be filed to comply with statutory deadlines
  • For further information, please click here.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

  • Detention and enforcement operations will continue
  • ICE attorneys will work on only detained dockets during the shutdown
  • ICE Community and Detainee Helpline will remain operational
  • ICE’s website will not be managed, however
  • See: www.ice.gov

CBP (Customs and Border Protection)

  • U.S. port of entries are not affected (airport, land port, preflight clearance)
  • CBP’s website will not be managed, however.
  • See: www.cbp.gov

DOL (Department of Labor)

  • Office of Administrative Law Judges will be closed
  • Hearing that has been scheduled will be cancelled and will not be rescheduled until the shutdown has been resolved
  • Deadlines will be suspended during shutdown. For more details, click here.
  • iCert visa portal system will be down during shut down – no labor condition application, prevailing wage request, or PERM will be processed
  • See: http://www.dol.gov

DHS (Department of Homeland Security)

  • The only report from DHS is that their website will not be maintained during shutdown.
  • For more details click here.

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Jared Leung is Director, Immigration Practice Group, at Fennemore Craig, P.C. in Phoenix, Arizona.  He has extensive experience in business immigration matters, including corporate and high-tech clients to streamline immigration processes for the hiring and retention of non-U.S. workers. Mr. Leung is a frequent speaker on U.S. immigration matters, and has published numerous articles on corporate immigration topics.