What Happens to Immigration During a Government Shutdown?

As President Trump refuses to sign a budget bill that does not include funding for his border wall, there is a government shutdown in effect right now.

Which immigration-related entities are impacted?

  Department of Homeland Security and its immigration-related components (Custom and Border Protection, Immigration and Custom Enforcement, Citizenship and Immigration Services, CIS Ombudsman), the Department of Justice (EOIR), and the Department of State.

How will it affect your immigration case?


The government shutdown will not affect USCIS’s fee-funded activities, i.e. those paid for by applicants.  USCIS offices will remain open, so all individuals should attend interviews and appointments as scheduled.  USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications, except the following programs: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Programs, E-Verify, Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors, and Non-minister religious workers.

  Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review

Detention dockets will operate as usual.  New bond motions will be accepted.  Masters and merits hearing will proceed. However, attorneys for the Department of Homeland Security will not all be on duty.

  Custom and Border Protection:

There is a warning on the CBP website stating that the website will not be actively managed.  It was last updated on December 21, 2018, and will not be updated again until funding is enacted.  Thus, information on the website might not be up to date.  Furthermore, transactions submitted via the CBP website might not be processed.

  If you or someone you know have any questions about your immigration status in light of the government shutdown, please contact your local USCIS office.

  Interested in starting off your immigration process in the new year? Give us a call on (770) 913-0800 or click here to request a consultation with one of our legal experts.  

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