Thursday, October 17, 2013

Government Shutdown Ends

Federal agencies shutdown for the last 16 days will re-open today. The Department of Labor closure has had the most significant impact on foreign national employees in the process of obtaining or extending H-1B status and those with pending ETA9089 applications for immigrant petitions. 

Although open, it is expected that we will continue to experience delays as the workers return to work and face a presumably large backlog of pending requests. 

Updates will be posted here as they become available.

From, 10/17/2013
Immigration Operations After the Federal Shutdown

The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is expected to reopen soon, as government agencies return to work in the wake of last night’s passage of a federal budget and debt ceiling bill. It may be several days, however, before OFLC’s PERM, labor condition application (LCA) and prevailing wage functions are operating fully. 

As of this morning, the PERM and iCERT online application systems remain offline. When they resume operation, employers and foreign nationals should expect processing delays and other slowdowns for several weeks at least, as DOL works through a large backlog of filings and deals with an expected surge of new cases. The slowdown may affect employers' ability to file H-1B petitions with USCIS, which require a DOL-certified LCA. 

USCIS’s E-Verify system, which was offline during the shutdown, is now operating.

From the Council for Global Immigration, 10/18/2013

Social Security Administration and CIS Ombudsman’s Office Resume Normal Operations 
We have received reports that the Social Security Administration and the CIS Ombudsman’s Office have resumed all normal operations. This means that employees can once again file for Social Security numbers and that the CIS Ombudsman’s office has resumed case assistance.