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The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government is in its second month and is beginning to affect some immigration-related services that impact employers, travelers and U.S. missions abroad.
On Thursday, the Senate failed to pass two competing bills aimed at ending the shutdown. A prolonged shutdown could have a widespread impact on immigration services. Government operations that are funded through budget appropriations are suspended, but services funded by fees are not affected until their fee-based funding runs out.
BAL Analysis: Employers and international travelers should plan for a potentially lengthy shutdown as lawmakers appear far from agreement on how to break the impasse. In particular, companies using E-Verify are reminded that they are still required to fulfil all Form I-9 obligations while E-Verify is unavailable. BAL recommends that companies maintain their lists of new hires since Dec. 22, 2018 to ensure that all new hires are properly submitted to E-Verify when the system reopens. Companies should notify employees who are traveling to the U.S. to make sure that their I-94 stamp correctly reflects their permitted duration of stay in the U.S. before leaving the immigration entry gate, as CBP has limited resources to correct or update any errors.
This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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