• Federal Shutdown Averted for Now; Key Immigration Programs Temporarily Reauthorized
  • December 4, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The continuing resolution passed today in Congress will fund the federal government - including immigration operations - through December 11, while negotiations on the FY 2016 budget continue.

    The interim spending measure also temporarily extends four immigration programs that were set to expire on September 30: the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system; the EB-5 Regional Center permanent residence program for foreign investors; the Conrad 30 waiver program for foreign medical graduates who will work in areas of the United States that are underserved by physicians; and the special immigrant non-minister religious worker permanent residence program. The H-1B and L-1 border security fee, which also expired on September 30, was not included in the interim measure but could be reauthorized later this year.

    What the Temporary Spending Measure Means for Employers

    The passage of the continuing resolution means that there will be no interruption of federal immigration operations for now, but a federal shutdown remains a possibility if there is no agreement on the FY 2016 budget by December 11.

    To minimize the impact of a potential shutdown in December, employers should continue to work with their Fragomen team to assess their upcoming need for labor condition applications (LCAs), prevailing wage determinations and PERM filings, and to submit applications in the coming weeks if possible. If an agreement is not reached and a shutdown occurs later this year, Department of Labor functions would be completely suspended, and could impede preparations for the FY 2017 H-1B filing season, which begins on April 1.