United States: Government Shutdown Averted After President Signs Short-Term Spending Bill

• The fiscal measure will fund the federal government through December 8, 2017. • Immigration functions will continue in the near-term. • E-Verify, the EB-5 Regional Center program and other expiring immigration programs have been extended for three months.

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A government shutdown was averted late Friday night, after the President signed into law an appropriations bill that will increase the debt ceiling and fund the federal government through December 8, 2017.   

  • The spending measure will allow immigration functions to continue uninterrupted for three months. It will also ensure relief funding for hurricane victims, while giving lawmakers more time to settle on the debt ceiling and an appropriations bill that will fund the government through the end of the 2018 fiscal year.
  • Four expiring immigration programs have also been extended without changes through December 8, 2017:

o the EB-5 Regional Center permanent residence program for foreign investors; 

o the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system; 

o the Conrad 30 waiver program for foreign medical graduates who will work in areas of the United States that are underserved by physicians; and 

o the special immigrant non-minister religious worker permanent residence program.  

What the Short-Term Spending Measure Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals 

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 the debt ceiling and FY 2018 appropriations legislation by December 8, 2017.  

I n the unlikely event that Congress does not reach an agreement, a government shutdown could occur, which would affect some immigration operations. State Department and USCIS application processing would continue as those functions are largely funded by filing fees, though they could be delayed.  Foreign labor certification functions at the Department of Labor would cease for the duration of a shutdown.  This would include the processing of PERM applications, labor condition applications (LCAs) and requests for prevailing wage determinations. 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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