With less than two days remaining until the critical deadline for additional Federal funding, Congress appears to be heading towards a government shutdown. What does this mean for your pending U.S. immigration cases? This depends on how long the shutdown will last and which agencies suspend their operations. Keep in mind the following points as the potential shutdown looms near:
- The Department of Labor (DOL) will likely suspend its internal operations as employees will not be paid for their work. This will very likely affect the PERM labor certification program and the various steps of the PERM process that are conducted by the DOL.
- Depending on the severity, we may see delays with PERM adjudication.
- Depending on the severity, we may see delays with prevailing wage requests filed with the DOL.
- Audits may be impacted as their submissions may not be processed. If you have an audit on your PERM, you should continue to submit before the original deadline and not expect any additional time given by DOL.
- If the DOL decides to give additional extensions on PERM labor certification program related deadlines, these will not be announced immediately and will be announced later, depending on the severity of the shutdown. You should not rely on an extension when it has not been given yet, and continue to submit necessary PERM responses on the original deadline.
- Employers will need to keep in mind original PERM submission/filing deadlines to avoid the expiration of any recruitment efforts for the PERM.
- Delays in relation to the Labor Condition Application (LCA). We expect to see delays with LCA adjudication if there is a government shutdown.
- The DOL will not process their adjudication of LCAs during a shutdown. This will cause delays as LCAs will likely not be certified during the 7 day processing time.
- We expect that the FLAG system used to submit PERMs and LCAs will not be available. We will not be able to access the platform until the shutdown ends, thereby restricting access to certified applications.
- As of this time, USCIS has not announced any additional extensions or grace periods given for employment visa applications that were not submitted on time due to delays caused by the DOL in LCA or PERM adjudications.
We will be actively monitoring each and every individual case and carefully plan our strategies to avoid disruptions. Reach out to our office if you have any questions regarding your case and the affect of the upcoming shutdown.