USCIS is OPEN in Government Shutdown
Will USCIS be affected by shutdown? Answer is No.
USCIS has most of its services funded by the fees, that they charge from applicants.
Hence, government shutdown does not affect them.
USCIS premium processing including RFE cases are also processed.
File H1B, i485 Visa in Govt Shutdown?
USCIS will work on your H1B, H4-EAD, L visa petitions, as its immigration officers and consultants do come to work even in government shutdown.
You can file H1B extensions, Amendments, transfers and Change of Status including new Green card applications.
The Green card interviews and RFE (Request for evidence) cases will also be worked on, as normal work day.
All USCIS service centers like Nebraska, California, Texas, Vermont and Potomac stay open and process applications, un-affected by government shutdown.
Are US embassy open for Visa interview?
Specific US embassy may or may not work during shutdown. Each individual US embassy maintains a buffer to keep their services moving even in federal govt. shutdown.
If the specific US embassy like Delhi US consulate, does not have sufficient funds to keep them going, they will inform this on their website specifically.
If open, US embassy also takes interviews as scheduled in foreign locations like India, China and consular processing happens for H1B and other visas.
The government shutdown, normally, is resolved within days and hence, no operations are affected. In the last government shutdown, all US embassies were open.
You should check with specific US embassy that you plan to visit and see if they are closed or open during government shutdown.
My fingerprint appointment is scheduled with USCIS. Should I go?
USCIS offices remain open and take fingerprints and interviews as scheduled during government shutdown.
They have in-fact urged people to go to USCIS for their interviews and appointments, as usual, in official tweet:
Interviews and appointments at our offices are not affected by the government shutdown. Please come to your interviews and appointments as scheduled. For more information, visit: https://t.co/QDxDkMFUPN
— USCIS (@USCIS) December 26, 2018
USCIS services STOPPED during government Shutdown
The only services that USCIS officially will suspend until the government shutdown is stopped are:
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program
- Conrad 30 J-1 doctors : This program allows J-1 doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after completing the J-1 exchange visitor program. The expiration only affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the United States; it is not a shutdown of the Conrad 30 program entirely.
- Non-minister religious workers