Does USCIS Work During Government Shutdown? – Yes

Anil Gupta  11 Feb, 19      12  USA USA News USCIS Processing Time

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:

USCIS services STOPPED during government Shutdown

The only services that USCIS officially will suspend until the government shutdown is stopped are:

  1. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program
  2. E-Verify
  3. 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.
  4. Non-minister religious workers
USCIS is open during govt shutdown
USCIS is working during govt shutdown

   12 Questions & Answers



  1.  Neo   28 Jan, 19 at 8:52 pm

    Is there any chance that during this shutdown, USCIS will keep scheduling interviews for the cases that are in final stage & on review? My uncle is waiting to get his interview date.

    •  Anil Gupta   9 Feb, 19 at 10:02 am

      Yes, interview scheduling is done by USCIS as per my information.

      •  Neo   9 Feb, 19 at 10:12 am

        That’s great. that means we shouldn’t be too worried with the shutdown

  2.  shekhar   28 Jan, 19 at 8:51 pm

    Hi All,

    I started my H1- B cap process last year in March 2018. Got lottery result in June 2018. After that I got RFE which is submitted on 10th October 2018. Since then I am waiting for my RFE result. It has now crossed 100 days wait period. Any idea how much more time it will take ? Is there any hope of result or should I consider it as Denied. Thanks in advance for your guidance.

    •  Anil Gupta   28 Jan, 19 at 8:52 pm

      Don’t worry. I can understand the frustration caused by extremely long waiting times.
      Your application is NOT denied until you really get the denied result.

      Lot of people are waiting at this time especially at Califonia Service center due to high backlog.
      You will get result soon.

      Stay motivated.
      You can see other people waiting here:
      https://www.am22tech.com/uscis/current-h1b-processing-times/#california

      •  shekhar   9 Feb, 19 at 10:02 am

        Thanks Anil for your quick response.Really appreciate it. If you have any idea how much more time it might take . Any rough guess will do

        •  Anil Gupta   9 Feb, 19 at 10:11 am

          You can expect result anytime now as per my estimate. I think you should hear on or before Feb second week.

          •  shekhar   9 Feb, 19 at 10:42 am

            Thanks again for you help Anil.

            •  Anil Gupta   10 Feb, 19 at 12:26 pm

              You are welcome. Do share the website with your friends if you think it is useful.

  3.  yuanzhang   14 Jan, 19 at 9:47 am

    Do the immigration officers (e.g., the ones who review the I-140 petitions) get paid? News said that most government employees get no payments during the shutdown.

    •  Anil Gupta   14 Jan, 19 at 10:04 am

      USCIS officers work as their services are paid by the fees you pay.

      •  yuanzhang   9 Feb, 19 at 10:03 am

        Thanks for the reply! It’s nice that they get paid. Don’t want to let our cases judged by grumpy immigration officers..

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