The U.S. government is back in business, including immigration-related services. Immigration Courts are re-opened and Removal proceedings of non-detained aliens have resumed. The Department of Labor (DOL) will be accepting Labor Condition Applications (LCA) so employers of temporary workers in H-1B status may file to extend their employment authorization and status. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) hasn’t said whether or not it will be forgiving of applications that are filed beyond the status expiration because of lack of a certified LCA.
DOL will again be accepting and processing PERM labor certification applications … and E-Verify is back.
For affected matters, there has been a 17 -day immigration hiatus. The restart may not be seamless, but processing delayed by the shut down and cases postponed will proceed, status quo ante. Employers will need to look ahead to securing H-1B status as needed and filing labor certification applications and conducting self-audits of their I-9s…
Will the debate over immigration reform return or is reform dead for now? Hopefully, we will see immigration reform, but for now I think it has taken a holiday.