Reports out of Washington, D.C. suggest an increasing likelihood that the Federal government will shut down on January 20, 2018, due to a budget stalemate. Any shutdown will necessarily affect immigration processing, since many of the agencies involved in the immigration process are funded entirely or primarily through Congressional appropriations. Following is a brief overview of the expected impact of a shutdown on immigration processing at various agencies:
Updating our post from last week (see below), it appears that Congress will soon pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to temporarily extend budget funding and avoid a shutdown of the Federal government on October 1.
The CR, if passed, will fund the Federal government through December 11, 2015, at which time Congress will need to pass new funding legislation or the government will shut down at that time.
Passage of the CR will at least temporarily alleviate the pressure we and our clients faced with regard to filing and processing critical immigration applications, including Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for H-1B workers.
Of course, this is only a temporary reprieve, and we will continue monitor this situation as the new December 11 deadline approaches. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please contact us.
Reports out of Washington, D.C. suggest that there is an increasing possibility that the Federal government will shutdown on October 1, 2015, due to a budget stalemate, as happened in 2013.
We will provide additional guidance as the situation develops, but of immediate concern is the filing of Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) with the Department of Labor (DOL).
During a Federal government shutdown, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) within DOL will not accept or process any applications or related materials. This will include LCAs, which are a prerequisite for H-1B petitions.
Any applications or requests submitted prior to the shutdown and that are still pending as of midnight on October 1, will not be processed and will be held in abeyance until the department resumes operations. No new applications will be accepted after October 1 until the shutdown ends.
The DOL typically takes seven full days to process LCA filings, so it is critical that employers file the required LCA no later than Wednesday, September 23, 2015, to have the best chance of getting the certification back before October 1.
If you have any questions, or if you identify any candidates for H-1B visa processing who will need an LCA filed as soon as possible, please contact us.
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Immigration law news and updates from the attorneys at Steel & Glassman