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What is the government shutdown, and what does it mean for my immigration case?


What is the government shutdown, and what does it mean for my immigration case?

What is the government shutdown?

As of midnight Friday, December 21, 2018, the U.S. federal government shut down due to a lapse in funding, fueled in large part by Trump’s demand for an expensive, environmentally damaging border wall between the United States and Mexico.

What does this mean?

The shutdown means that a number of federal agencies and offices will be closed altogether, staffed without pay, or partially staffed without pay until the government reopens. Even for the agencies and offices that remain open, operations may be impacted and slowed by this shutdown, particularly if the shutdown continues for an extended time.

I have an immigration case before USCIS. What does the shutdown mean for my case?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is funded by user fees so that USCIS will continue operations as normal. You should attend all scheduled biometrics appointments and interview appointments for your case, and you should comply with all deadlines for Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny or Revoke, and administrative appeals.

I have an immigrant or non-immigrant visa case before the Department of State. What does the shutdown mean for my case?

As with USCIS, Department of State (DOS) visa applications are user-funded. While cases should continue to move forward, some consular posts may be affected, and you should contact the consular post where your case is processing or your immigration attorney if you have questions or concerns about your case or whether a scheduled interview is going to be held.

I am not detained, and I have a case before the Immigration Court. What does the shutdown mean for my case?

If you are not detained and you have a case before the Denver Immigration Court, the court will be closed for the duration of the shutdown. The court will determine how to handle all rescheduled hearings and filing deadlines once the government reopens.

If you are not detained and your case is in a court that handles both detained and non-detained cases (Denver is not one of these), you should still be able to submit filings at the court window. However, any hearings will likely be rescheduled. You should check with the court directly or with your immigration attorney to confirm your court’s operations and scheduling.

I have a family member, friend, coworker, or loved one who is detained in ICE custody and has a case before the Immigration Court. What does the shutdown mean for their case?

Detained cases are considered essential functions, so all cases should move forward with hearings and filing deadlines. However, scheduling and operations may be impacted or slowed by the shutdown.

If you are a current client of Joseph & Hall P.C. and you have questions about your immigration case and/or how the government shutdown may affect your case, please contact your attorney or case manager assigned to your case.

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