• Federal Shutdown Averted for Now
  • December 11, 2018
  • At a glance

    Congress has passed a short-term spending bill that will fund the federal government – including immigration operations – through December 21.

    The situation

    A continuing resolution passed by Congress on Thursday will fund the federal government – including immigration operations – through December 21, 2018, while negotiations on the FY 2019 budget continue. Funding for federal operations was set to expire after midnight on December 7. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.

    Four expiring immigration programs have also been extended without changes through December 21:

    • the EB-5 Regional Center permanent residence program for foreign investors;
    • the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system;
    • 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.

    What the short-term spending measure means for employers

    The passage of a temporary spending measure means that there will be no interruption of federal immigration operations for now, though a federal shutdown remains a possibility if there is no agreement on FY 2019 appropriations legislation by December 21, 2018.

    If a budget agreement is not reached and a shutdown occurs, Department of Labor functions would be completely suspended. USCIS and the State Department would continue to process applications, with possible delays. To minimize the impact of a potential shutdown after December 21, employers should work with their Fragomen team to assess their upcoming need for DOL labor certification applications (LCAs), prevailing wage determinations and PERM filings, and submit applications as soon as possible.