Immigration Shutdown: Green Card Process Delayed And E-Verify Unavailable During Government Shutdown


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), which processes Applications for Permanent Employment Certification (the first stage of the green card process), prevailing wage requests and Labor Condition Applications for H-1B cases, has been shutdown and its employees placed on furlough status. Therefore, all such applications normally filed with the OFLC have been placed on hold. Similarly, the government’s E-Verify system is currently unavailable. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) advised employers enrolled in E-Verify to continue to complete the Form I-9 for new hires within the required time-line of three days after an employee starts working for pay. E-Verify deadlines have been revised, including the three-day rule for submitting E-Verify requests and when to respond to a Tentative Non-confirmation. USCIS operations continue despite the shutdown because the fee-for-service activities performed by the USCIS are not affected by a lapse in funding.