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:
- E-Verify is NOT AVAILABLE during shutdown
Employers will not be able to:
- Enroll any company in E-Verify
- Verify employment eligibility
- View or take action on any case
- Add, delete or edit any User ID
- Reset passwords
- Edit company information
- Terminate an account
- Run reports
- Employees will be unable to resolve Tentative Non-confirmations (TNC) or conduct E-Verify self check
Interim E-Verify Policies during shutdown:
- The “three day rule” for E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the shutdown. E-Verify will provide additional guidance once they reopen.
- E-Verify unavailability does not affect I-9 compliance. Employers must still complete the Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay.
- The time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. Days the federal government is closed will not count towards the eight federal government workdays the employee has to go to SSA or contact DHS. E-Verify will provide additional time once they reopen.
- Federal contractors complying with the federal contractor rules should contact the contracting officers to inquiry about extending deadlines.
- Most of all, employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because of an E-Verify interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status due to a federal government shutdown.
- See: https://e-verify.uscis.gov/emp/vislogin.aspx?JS=YES
USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services)
- USCIS field office operation – Opened
- All interviews are carried out
- Ombudsman Office – Closed
- For further information, please see: http://www.aila.org/content/fileviewer.aspx?docid=35062&linkid=267329
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 see: http://www.aila.org/content/fileviewer.aspx?docid=35062&linkid=267287
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. See: http://www.aila.org/content/fileviewer.aspx?docid=35062&linkid=267323
- 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.
- See: http://www.dhs.gov/blog/2013/10/01/lapse-federal-funding-impact-dhs-web-and-social-media-operations