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What happens to my case during the government shutdown?

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The current government shut-down can be confusing and alarming. Stay informed about how your immigration case will be impacted by the government shutdown by reading our FAQ below.

Can I still file a petition for immigrant status?

Yes. Immigration petitions can still be filed at any time. USCIS, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, office are open throughout the government shutdown. According to a statement by USCIS, “fee-for-service activities performed by USCIS are not affected by a lapse in annual appropriated funding.”  Since immigrants applying for benefits pay fees for their applications, immigration offices are able to stay open during the shutdown.

 

What if I have a petition that is already filed?

Your petition will continue to move forward despite the government shut-down. Filed petitions will not be abandoned during this time.

My fingerprint appointment is scheduled for this week.  Should I go?

Yes.  USCIS offices including biometric processing centers are open during the shutdown.  If you do not go to your fingerprint appointment your case could be delayed.

 

Will my scheduled interview still happen?

Yes. If you have a scheduled interview, your interview will go foward. According to a USCIS statement, “all USCIS offices worldwide are open for interviews and appointments as scheduled.”

 

Is ICE open?

Yes. ICE detention, and enforcement operations will continue and the ICE Community and Detainee Helpline will continue to operate.

 

What about the immigration courts? 

Most immigration courts are closed during the government shutdown.  Except in urgent deportation cases, the US Immigration Courts are not open. This means that if your case is scheduled for a hearing during the governmental shut-down, it will be postponed. However, it is important that you stay updated and continue to prepare for your hearing! Courts could open at any time, and it is imperative to stay up-to-date and prepared. Stay informed on the AILA website.

If you are facing a filing deadline for your case, please read this memo from the Executive Office of Immigration Review for more information.

AILA also “reminds members to comply with all local immigration court orders and BIA filing deadlines during the shutdown […]” and encourages members to “contact EOIR chapter liaisons or contact the court administrator to confirm local procedures.”

How can I get updates?

ILG will continue to post updates on our website.  You can also look for updates on the AILA website and the US Department of Justice website.