USCIS is largely unaffected by the government shutdown. Only a few immigration programs are suspended.
Funded by application fees, rather than tax dollars, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) remains open during the current government shutdown. Unless otherwise notified, all applicants should attend their interviews and appointments as scheduled.
In addition, USCIS will continue to accept new applications except for the EB-5 regional center program, E-Verify, and non-minister religious worker visas. Applications already in process before the shutdown will continue processing.
According to USCIS, the following programs are affected by the shutdown and lack of appropriated funds or congressional reauthorizations:
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program (not the EB-5 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. This free internet-based system 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 doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after completing the J-1 exchange visitor program. The expiration only affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the U.S.; it is not a shutdown of the Conrad 30 program entirely.
Non-minister religious workers. This special immigrant category allows non-ministers 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.
This information is provided as an educational service. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration options, you are invited to call me at 214-472-2161, complete my contact form, or visit my websites at www.badmuslaw.com and www.physicianimmigration.com.