DEFERRED - Potential Government Shutdown – Will It Impact your immigration status?

November 16, 2023
By ISSS Staff

PLEASE NOTE: Congress has passed a short-term funding bill postponing a government shutdown deadline until February 2nd, 2024.

Since there is a possibility of a U.S. federal government shutdown that could have an impact on crucial immigration services, ISSS has prepared for the common Q&A regarding its potential effects on immigration matters. Please revisit this page for future update as ISSS is closely monitoring the related government announcement.

If you are currently in the US maintaining a valid immigration status, this government shutdown will not impact your ability to remain in the Unites States.

F-1 Students in School & F-1 Students with OPT/STEM OPT

I am a current F-1 student or F-1 student in OPT and STEM OPT status (including F-2 dependents). Can I and/or my F-2 dependent travel overseas and still be able to return to the US?    
There may be possible delays in visa issuance, therefore, we recommend that you avoid unnecessary international travel, especially if you need to apply for a new visa to return to the US.

If I need to apply for OPT or STEM OPT extension, can I apply during the government shutdown?
Yes, if you have fulfilled the OPT and STEM OPT application requirements, you can apply for OPT and STEM OPT. However, the processing time may be impacted if the government shutdown is prolonged.

 

J-1 and J-2 Exchange Visitors

I am a current J-1 exchange visitor (student or scholar). Can I and/or my J-2 dependent(s) travel overseas and still be able to return to the US?
There may be possible delays in visa issuance, therefore, we recommend you avoid unnecessary international travel, especially if you need to apply for a new visa to return to the US.

My DS-2019 form will be expiring, and I need to extend it. Will the government shut down prevent me from extending it?
No, the government shut down will not affect extension of DS-2019 forms and your extension of J-1 sponsorship.

My J-2 spouse wishes to apply for work authorization (EAD).  Will they not be able be able to apply for an EAD card?
No, the government shutdown will not affect the processing of EAD applications. However, the processing time may be impacted by the government shutdown, if a shutdown is prolonged.

I am a J-1 student and want to apply for Academic training.  Will a government shut down prevent me from doing so?
No, applications for academic training will not be affected.

 

Penn sponsored H-1B & E-3 Employees

My PENN department submitted my extension/amendment/new H-1B (or E-3) petition to ISSS. Will my H-1B (or E-3) petition be impacted by the government shutdown?
ISSS will process H-1B petitions as usual. However, the processing of Labor Condition Applications would be impacted by a Department of Labor shutdown. Historically, when it was not possible to obtain a certified LCA, USCIS temporarily created an exemption to the LCA requirement to allow filings that are needed to maintain status. We will closely monitor future updates and guidance on these issues from the USCIS.

My family and I plan to travel outside the US and we need to apply for new visas. Will I be impacted by the government shutdown?
There may be possible delays in visa issuance, therefore, we recommend that you avoid unnecessary international travel, especially if you need to apply for a new visa to return to the US.

 

Penn sponsored O-1

If you are a Penn sponsored O-1 employee that does not have international travel plans and will not apply for visa, then you should not be impacted by the government shutdown.

 

Penn sponsored TN

If you are a Canadian citizen with international travel plans:
Since you do not need a visa on your passport, and your TN status is given at the port of entry, you should check with the port of entry you plan to enter through for the latest operational updates.

 

If you are a Mexican citizen with international travel plans:
There may be possible delays in visa issuance, therefore, we recommend you avoid unnecessary international travel, especially if you need to apply for a new visa to return to the US.

 

Pending Green card applications sponsored by Penn

Will my PERM and Prevailing wage be processed during the government shutdown?
No, PERM and Prevailing wage applications will not be processed.  This will impact the ability to file petitions with USCIS. Further details, please consult your ISSS assigned advisor or your immigration lawyer.