Partial Government Shutdown Does Not Effect Most USCIS Operations

by Joseph McKeown

USCIS announced that the current lapse in annual appropriated funding for the US government does not affect most USCIS operations and fee-funded activities. USCIS offices will remain open, and all individuals should attend previously scheduled interviews and appointments. Additionally, USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications with only certain exceptions.

These exceptions include the USCIS programs listed below which either expired, suspended operations, or are otherwise affected until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress:

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. While the EB-5 program will continue to operate, the program for regional centers, which are public or private economic units in the US that promote economic growth and are designated for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program, expired due to the lapse in congressional authorization;

  • E-Verify. The free internet-based system which allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the US is unavailable during this partial government shutdown;

  • Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors. This program allows J-1 doctors to apply for waivers of the two-year residence requirement if they have completed the J-1 exchange visitor program. USCIS says: “The expiration only affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the U.S.; it is not a shutdown of the Conrad 30 program entirely.”

  • Non-minister religious workers. The EB-4 non-minister special immigrant religious worker program, for non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations to immigrate or adjust to permanent resident status in the US, expired due to a lapse in congressional authorization.  

Individuals can subscribe to USCIS updates to receive changes in the status of these programs. We will also update this post with any developments.