An eleventh hour deal was finally struck between Democrats and Republicans to reopen the government while they work out a long term fiscal budget for the federal government. The deal calls for the government to remain open until January 15, 2014 while Congress works on a long term budget over the next few months. The debt ceiling was also raised until February 7, 2014, meaning Congress spending and borrowing power remains in effect until that date. The impact of this deal has some very important, short term effects on some of the operations concerning our immigration matters. Some of these include the following:
– The Department of Labor is back in operation, meaning business employers can petition for immigrant workers again and that iCERT and PERM services are available.
– E-Verify is back in operation, meaning employers can verify their employees immigration statuses again
– The immigration courts should be back to normal operating hours again and the cases on the detained docket should be moving forward again
– The US Embassies/Consulates abroad should be back to normal operating hours and the State Dept. will be back to processing visas as normal at the embassies and consulates.
While the debt ceiling has been raised temporarily, it is the hope that during this period of time the US Congress will resolve the budget issues so it can operate normally. As for the above services, expect those services to take a couple days for them to be back in normal operation, as early as next week.