The US government has failed to agree its Budget for 2011-2012. If an agreement is not reached by midnight on Friday, 8 April 2011 there is a possibility that a number of government services will shut down including the USCIS offices that the UKBA use for biometric enrolment. If these centres do close, it may only be for a matter of days, or possibly weeks, but it will clearly impact on the visa processing timeline.

The UKBA have a business continuity programme in place which can be activated should USCIS not be able to take biometrics. Under this programme, a limited biometric enrolment service could be made available at the various British Consulates in the US through the use of a stock of mobile biometric machines kept for this purpose.

We are in touch with senior management staff at the UKBA in the US and will update clients as soon as we have any news.