For the past month, the news has been full of predictions about how the government shutdown will affect our nation’s political, economic and social landscapes. Some effects are certain: government-funded monuments, museums and parks will be closed until the shutdown ends. Likewise, most of the government’s researchers and scientist will be sent home.

govt shutdown

The post office, however, will continue to run. Police and emergency services also will remain in full effect.

Many government-funded services are expected to continue but will almost certainly encounter delays. U.S. citizens hoping to renew their passports likely will be out of luck, which would seem a barrier to foreign nationals applying for visas.

Fortunately, U.S. embassies and consulates remain a high priority to return to action. During the last shutdown, the government still processed visa and green-card requests, but there were significant delays.

The problem with speculating about how visa issuance will be affected at any given point during the shutdown is that the State Department has been contradicting itself. One article that was posted on Rappler claims that foreign nationals have nothing to fear. The article bases its predictions on a State Department statement that the activities of the Bureau of Consular Affairs will not be altered by the shutdown.

The article quotes a spokesperson from the Department, who stated that many of the Bureau’s employees would not be sent home, at least not right away. According to this spokesman, employees will continue normal operations, because they still have residual funds remaining. However, the speaker cautioned that the Department couldn’t remain in operation indefinitely, but it’s likely to weather the shutdown intact.

Euractiv cites a different State Department account that was far less optimistic. It warned that consular operations would remain unchanged only as long as they collect enough fees to fund their processes.

If the revenue from these fees dips too low, employees would be sent home. That article also points out that consular operations during the last shutdown were technically still functioning, but somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 applications for visas went unprocessed every day the government was shut down.

These conflicting reports may leave you wondering what you can do to ensure that your permanent visa request moves forward. In times like these, it’s important to have an immigration expert on your side.

At the O’Brien Law Group, we have more than a decade of experience working with the State Department. We have the knowledge and skills necessary to help guide you through the application process, even during a shutdown. To learn more, Call Us At 502-400-7890 Today! .

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