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Federal Shutdown Averted for Now

President Biden has signed a short-term spending bill that will fund the federal government – including immigration operations – through November 17, 2023.

The issue

A continuing resolution passed by Congress and signed by President Biden late Saturday will fund the federal government – including immigration operations – through November 17, 2023, while negotiations on the FY 2024 budget continue. Funding for federal operations was set to expire after midnight on September 30. 

What the short-term spending measure means for employers

The passage of a temporary spending measure means that there will be no interruption of federal operations for now, though a shutdown remains a possibility if there is no agreement on FY 2024 appropriations legislation or an additional stopgap by November 17. In the event of a future shutdown, U.S. immigration functions would likely be affected as follows:

  • Department of Labor immigration functions: All DOL immigration-related functions would be suspended during a federal shutdown, including PERM, labor condition application (LCA), and prevailing wage determination functions. The FLAG system would be taken offline.
  • USCIS immigration benefits processing: Because USCIS case processing functions are funded by filing fees, the agencies would continue to adjudicate cases, though some delays are possible. The filing of cases requiring a DOL labor condition application or labor certification would likely be delayed if the necessary documentation was not received before a shutdown.
  • Visa processing: The State Department should process visa applications as long as application fees remain available to fund consular operations. If a shutdown is lengthy, visa processing could be affected.
  • E-Verify: The E-Verify system would be taken offline and would not accept or process employment verification queries during a shutdown.
  • Border and enforcement operations: Inspection functions and immigration enforcement would continue. Border applications would likely continue, though processing of I-94 corrections at local CBP offices could be limited or suspended.
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