UMD: A Globally Connected University

Message from ISSS regarding the potential impacts of a Federal Government Shutdown

Message from ISSS regarding the potential impacts of a Federal Government Shutdown

It is possible that a partial shutdown of the Federal Government could occur on Friday, January 19th if Congress is not able to pass a budget bill (or stop gap action). This message summarizes potential impacts should the shutdown happen. 

USCIS – Because the agency is funded by fees, the agency will continue to process H-1B, O-1, E3, TN, F-1 OPT and permanent residency applications.   The applications that are currently pending at USCIS, will be processed and adjudicated.  As usual, USCIS will continue to issue receipt and approval notices.  

SEVIS Database – SEVIS data is a fee-based information system considered to be important to National Security therefore it will continue to operate as normal.

The US Department of Labor (USDOL) has closed during prior government shutdowns.  USDOL issues Prevailing Wage Determinations and certifies Labor Condition Applications (LCA) and PERM applications. These applications are required for filing H-1B , E-3  and some permanent residency cases with USCIS.  A shutdown will mean that DOL will neither accept nor process any pending applications.  If the Federal Government shut down occurs please contact ISSS with you questions or concerns.

 Department of State:  During past shutdowns, US embassies abroad continued to issue visas. A longer government shut down may require that services be limited and this may impact visa applications for internationals.  If a shutdown occurs, all international travelers should contact ISSS prior to travel. 

J-1 Students and Scholars requiring authorizations will not be affected because ISSS processes many requests internally.

 Customs & Border Protection:  During past government shutdowns, services at ports-of-entry by air and land continued as usual, including the electronic I-94 process. 

 Social Security Administration will not be processing applications during a government shutdown

SAVE Database – It is anticipated that this system will remain open during any government shutdown.

 Click here to read the full alert from Fragomen, Del Rey, Bersen & Loewy LLP, an international immigration law practice, describing the impact of the government shutdown.   

We will be contacting departments to discuss individual cases that are currently in process and may be impacted by these closures.

ISSS will keep campus updated as more guidance becomes available.  If you have questions please contact a staff member in the ISSS office.