As the possibility of a government shutdown on September 30 looms, employers should proactively address the potential immigration implications that may arise. Here are key considerations:
Impact of a Government Shutdown on the US Department of Labor (DOL):
- During a government shutdown, the DOL will cease processing pending Labor Condition Applications, PERM labor certification applications, and prevailing wage determination applications.
- The DOL’s electronic filing system (FLAG) will not accept new applications, although mail-in PERM applications may still be accepted.
- Maggio Kattar will provide additional updates should the DOL issue further guidance regarding the shutdown.
E-Verify System Unavailability:
- E-Verify, the online system for verifying a new hire’s eligibility to work, will be entirely unavailable during a government shutdown.
- Employers will not have access to their E-Verify accounts to create new cases, manage existing cases, update user accounts, terminate accounts, or run reports.
- Employees will also be unable to access their myE-Verify accounts or resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations.
- Employers must diligently track I-9 forms completed by employees during this period and ensure that E-Verify cases are promptly created once the shutdown ends and the system is restored.
USCIS and Department of State Operations:
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State are expected to maintain their operations during the potential government shutdown. These agencies are primarily funded by fees generated from their services.
- Nonetheless, it’s essential for employers to stay informed about any developments and be prepared to adapt to changes as needed.