According to a spokesman of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the current US government shutdown which continues in its second week will probably not affect significantly the operation of the Immigration authorities in the country. The reason for this is because the immigration officers receive most of their salaries from the processing fees which all applicants pay in order to have their visa applications received.
The federal budget of the United States must be approved before 30 September of every year. Currently, however, this has not happened since democrats and republicans cannot agree on how much money the government should spend for the new healthcare program that was introduced by the President Barack Obama on 1st of October. The President has refused to make any negotiations on his signature healthcare law which has led Republicans to block the new budget, a move that has resulted in a US government shutdown for the first time in 17 years.
All non-essential functions of the government were closed and employees were sent in unpaid vacation. The shutdown will not have any significant effect on the visa applicants due to the fact that 95% of USCIS’s budget is covered by fees so the department will not have to lay people off in the visa processing department but the E-Verify system, which allows US employers to check the immigration status of potential employees, will close down as this is funded from the federal budget.
The United States, Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for accepting and processing visas on the territory of the United States. The State Department which processes visa application in the embassies and consulates will also remain largely unaffected by the shutdown for now.
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