Impact of U.S. Government Shutdown On F1,H1B Visa, OPT, H4 Visa Holders

Raghuram Sukumar Edu News 57 Comments

I will try to explain in layman terms about the impact of U.S. Government Shutdown On F1 and H1B Visa Holders?   Here are some of the FAQ’s about Government Shutdown for F1 and H1B Visa Holders

  1. How does shutdown affect you?
  2. What is the impact on students studying in USA
  3. What is the impact on students appearing for visa interview?
  4. What happens to my H1B Visa processing?
  5. What happens to my Green Card Labor Processing?
  6. Can I do H1B Visa transfer while government is shutdown?

Here is a rule of thumb about U.S. government Agencies.

If the agency’s run by fees paid by the users, it will be NOT affected.

U.S. Consular Posts : Not Affected

Visa interviews are run based on fees collected from applicants attending visa interviews. So, folks attending visa interviews will not be affected.

The State Department, which receives funding in the annual State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, will be able to operate for a limited time.

Activities carried out by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, both domestically and abroad, are fee-funded and will continue. The department will continue passport operations and visa issuance overseas.

Some passport offices are located in federal buildings that may be forced to shut down during a lapse in appropriations because of a lack of building support services. Embassies and consulates overseas will continue to provide American citizen services.

U.S. Department of Labor : Affected

H1B Visa Labor Certificate, Green Card Labor application is processed by U.S. Department of Labor. This department is Affected by the Shutdown.

What does that mean to H1B visa holders and Green Card Labor Processing?

If you are planning to apply for H1B Visa transfer (say today), then you are affected. Without Labor Application H1B Transfer application cannot be filed with USCIS.

LCA is required for H-1B, H-2B, H-2A, Green Card, Prewaling Wage, will be affected by this shutdown. Those who have filed might suffer delays in application processing.

  • During a shutdown, a majority of the Department of Labor’s employees will be furloughed.
  • Of the 16,304 employees at the agency, only 2,954 will be expected to work.
  • Those furloughed include employees at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Employment and Training Administration.

E-Verify is Unavailable

E-Verify is currently unavailable due to a government shutdown.

While E-Verify is unavailable, you will not be able to access your E-Verify account. As a result, you will be unable to:

  • Enroll any company in E-Verify
  • Verify employment eligibility
  • View or take action on any case
  • Add, delete or edit any User ID
  • Reset passwords
  • Edit your company information
  • Terminate an account
  • Run reports

Stay Tuned for more updates.

USCIS : Not Affected

uscis shutdown

Next –  Government Shutdown. Daily Updates.


  1. is there going to be any affect for the students who r applying for fall 2014….?

      1. I applied my H1b visa transfer request on yesterday. They received my FedEx with my file details. It is premium processing. Is there any delay in this?

        1. My guess – if your 221g involves getting data from other agencies then it might affect you.

  2. i had booked my visa interview date on 9th of OCT @ chennai..will that have any effect of my visa approval???

  3. Will it show any affect on visa interview and visa chances for spring 2014…..this august most of d ppl got visa approvals when considered abt d past ..Due to shutdown to increase the economy will the US govt will issue visa’s in huge number??

  4. Hi, what about those whose h1b is in process, i mean who are still waiting for decision . Is it going to delay

      1. Hello Raghu,
        THanks for your reply.
        I have attended H1b interview on 9th October 2012…
        currently My H1b is under “post Decision” (review) stage since April 2013..before that due to 221g it was delayed and then refused by Hyderabad consulate and later sent back to USCIS….its still showing that my Petition is under review since April2013..its almost more than 5 months…
        the other applicants who are from same sponsored company) cleared their stamping just couple of months back after 8-10 months waiting….they got stamped after 221g process…

        Can you please tell me how long it takes to get the stamping..what will be the next step for my visa my petitioner confident that other applicants got cleared .,.so .now mine should be get stamped..whats are the next possible stages (say .. if it is +ve) ? how long it takes ? your advice/info will boost my confident levels ..

  5. Hi, I am graduating this fall and planning to apply for my OPT this month or next. Will the shutdown affect the Opt EAD processing? what do you advice? thanks

  6. Hi,

    Today my H1B visa is expiring and I have already applied for the extension. I got my H1B extension receipt on August 14. Would this shutdown affect me in any ways?


  7. Hi Raghuram … I am a follower of your blog from many days… I am studying MS in quarter system… I was ready for conversion from H4 to F1 processing… I need to have my F1 visa by Jan to start trying for internships… does the shutdown mean I cannot submit my application for conversion in status?… If I do submit.. do you think I will get my F1 visa on time ?Please reply… thanks…

    1. H4 to f1 shouldn’t be affected, since USCIS is funded by the fees.

  8. Can we assume that the delay (say in Prevailing Wage determination) will be as many days as the government is shutdown? Thanks.

    1. Yes and no. There will be backlog. So it will take a while to clear the backlogs.

  9. Would it be worthed to study in the US after it has shut down?, which may have caused further economical and political issues for the country?, how this shut down will affect the quality of education, and safety within the country?, for example wouldn’t this result in violence and especially racial issues against indian and asian students?, if US graduate students can’t find jobs, how can we find jobs after graduation?,

    1. It affects the image if USA and several services. About 800,000 federal employees are not working from today.

  10. how does the H1-b transfer process will be affected?

    I believe my new employer’s lawyer have sent application yersterday (monday) or by latest today?
    how will i get affected?

    1. H1B is 2 step process – Labor then application. LCA stage is affected.

  11. Hi Raghu,
    I have given my papers to my employer for my H1B Visa Extension and its expiring in first week of Jan-14. Will there be any impact on me. I stil have 3 months.


  12. Hi,
    Labor for h1b amendment is filed last monday(9/23/2013) and haven’t received it as of today.Is it going to effect the labor applications submitted last week.

    1. If you haven’t received labor, you could be affected. Most folks in Labor dept aren’t working.

      1. Hi Raghuram,

        I have got my petition approved, but not appeared for VISA stamping yet.Since there is a change in the location we have initiated petition transfer. I was told by my employer that my application is filed with iCERT. How will it affect my visa stamping and travel .


  13. Hi Raghuram… I have accepted an offer from other company and they have already started my H1B transfer and filed my LCA 2weeks back through normal process. Will the shut down affect my transfer?

  14. Are we expecting a recession now?
    I got pre-approval for a loan. Should I go ahead with purchase assuming that I wont get loan afterwards?

    Are alien workers with Valid visa now and with intent to file new H1-B in new April in a Fix?

  15. Hi Raghuram ,
    I am moving to another employer and got my new LCA also one week back . They have started processing my H1b transfer and sent the Fedex to usics. fedex delivered to SAINT ALBANS, VT on 09/30/2013. Now I am waiting for Petition processing number .

    Will the shutdown effects my process.

    They are doing it in Premium processing .

    Thanks in Advance.


  16. hi ,
    I am planning for MS in Fall-2014. will there be a problem for international students workingin US while graduating? and Is it safe to plan for MS from coming years?

  17. Hi,
    To file new GC, can my employer use old LCA that was approved for my H1 last year?

  18. Hi,

    what do u think might affect fall 14 or fall 13 students if there is any .These sort of revelations do play a significant role in terms of their decision ..etc ,dont they ?? ..I mean its not going to be permanent but still am afraid this will be a concern

    regards 😀

    1. Impact on students who came for Fall 2013 – Should be almost nil.

      Future applicants – Nothing I can think of.

  19. Hi Raghu… my employer reapplied my H1 in premium process which was effected with RFE… my petition was again in acceptance status from 27th september 2013, will the shutdown effect or will there be any delay in the process.

  20. For OPT extension, you are eligible for employment only if the company is E-verified. So I presume, I wouldn’t be able to extend till this is over. What do you think?

  21. i am planning to apply for college in the US as an international student in either spring or fall 2014; will the government shutdown affect me in any way?

  22. Hi Raghuram,
    Would the EDD department be affected in Jan 2014. I wanted to apply for disability leave and insurance during this time as i would be out of work.


  23. its very distressing as we have several students for 2014 who absolutely confused .what do i tell them any authentic link?lot many issues as bank loans and universities attitude involved too

  24. I have applied for H1b extension this July. My extension was filed with uscis on 26th July. My case status still shows Initial Review. Will my h1 extension process be affected/delayed due to shut down? How long it takes these days for a h1 extension to be approved by uscis under normal processing? Will there be any difference in timeline ofr processing for consular and non-consular processes?

  25. Hi Raghuram Sukumar,

    My new employer filed H1B extension plus transfer in August. I received my LCA and receipt by August 12th. Case status is showing as Initial review. My current VISA is valid till Dec2013. I am waiting for new petition.Please let me know my application will have impact with US govt. shutdown?

  26. Hi Raghuram Sukumar,

    Does government shutdown affect my I20 processing time?

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