10.22.13

Immigration indirectly affected by shutdown

Posted in H-1b at 11:07 am by Lalita Haran

The Immigration agency that is the USCIS remained unaffected by the government shutdown. Some H1B workers and immigrants awaiting the preliminary work for filing H1B and employment based green card were affected because part of the processing is done by the Department of Labor, which was affected by the government shutdown. The online filing for the Labor Condition Application, prevailing wage determination, and Labor certification is a preliminary to filing H1B and green card filing processes and is done online with the Department of Labor website. Due to the federal government shutdown, the DOL website was not functioning. In the absence of the Labor Condition Application or prevailing wage determination, the USCIS policy does not permit to filing of these visa petitions.
Some H1B workers are likely to be adversely affected if their status expires during this period, and an extension filing deadline passed. Many may have departed the United States with hope to be able to reenter upon grant of an extension of stay although departure is not absolutely necessary. Similarly, if prevailing wages determination expired due to delayed filing of labor certification, the entire process may be faulty.
The government offices may find overcrowding at their website in the days after shutdown. Some issues could be resolved, while others will not be.

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