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Congress Passes FY 2023 Omnibus Spending Bill, Funding Immigration Operations

The spending bill funds the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Labor, and other federal agencies through FY 2023. The package reauthorizes E-Verify and other expiring immigration programs through September 30, 2023. The President is expected to sign the spending bill.

The issue

Today, Congress passed an omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government – including immigration operations – through FY 2023, which ends September 30, 2023. 

The appropriations bill will fund the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, Labor, and other federal agencies through the end of the fiscal year, averting a government shutdown. Since the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1, 2022, Congress has passed consecutive stop-gap spending measures to avert a government shutdown; the most recent was set to expire tonight at midnight.

Immigration programs reauthorized

The spending package also extends three immigration programs through September 30, 2023.

E-Verify, the Conrad 30 waiver program for foreign medical graduates working in underserved areas, and the special immigrant non-minister religious worker program have been extended without change through the end of this fiscal year. In addition, the bill extends the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program and authorizes the use of funding to eliminate processing backlogs and expedite adjudication of Afghan SIV cases.

Other immigration provisions

The FY 2023 omnibus bill also includes other immigration-related provisions. The bill permits the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor to authorize additional H-2B nonimmigrant visa numbers beyond the fiscal year statutory quota, as has become standard policy and practice over the last several years. It also authorizes the use of private wage surveys for H-2B nonimmigrants and clarifies the timing of entry for H-2B seafood industry workers.

What this means for employers and foreign nationals

The passage of the spending bills means that there will be no interruption of federal immigration operations for this fiscal year.

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