Impact of US Government Shutdown on Immigration Operations
UPDATED October 1, 2023 ** US Congressional leaders reached a budgetary agreement allowing the government to continue operations for an additional 45 days, temporarily averting the October 1 shutdown.**
September 29, 2023
As has been widely reported in the US media, there will be a shutdown of US government services on October 1, unless the US Congress reaches an agreement by then to continue funding government operations. This memo is to clarify the anticipated impacts to US immigration services as they affect Tufts University's international students, scholars and employees, and hiring units.
In most cases, US consular services at US consulates overseas, as well as USCIS processing of employment benefits and related petitions, will continue to operate as normal. These are fee-funded services not dependent on Congressional allocations. In particular, students seeking optional practical training (OPT) or change of status benefits should still be able to file applications with USCIS. In addition, students and scholars who have the required documents to apply for visas for entry or arrival later in the year or early 2024 should be able to continue the visa application process at their local US consulate.
In addition, US Customs and Border Protection will continue to maintain operations at US border crossings and ports of entry, allowing international arrivals and entry to the country to proceed as normal.
However, other parts of the federal government that play an important role in immigration processes may temporarily cease operations or experience delays. In particular, US Department of Labor units responsible for issuing prevailing wage or labor condition applications needed for H-1B or US permanent residence petitions are likely to be shut down, creating potential delays in H-1B or related PERM filings with USCIS. In past shutdowns, USCIS has created alternative procedures or offered accommodations to petitions or applications that were filed late due to the impact of the shutdown. We are continuing to monitor this year's developments, and will work with individual departments and hiring units in the event that the shutdown impacts specific employment petitions and cases.
Please contact me at Andrew.Shiotani@tufts.edu if additional information is required. Further updates will be posted as warranted.
Andrew K. Shiotani
Director, Tufts International Center