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Impact of Shutdown? – (01/08/19)

**1/28/19 Update: With a temporary funding agreement in place through February 15, 2019, all previously disrupted U.S. agencies and services have resumed operations. Given that services like E-verify were unavailable for over a month, it will take some time for full reinstatement.

In light of the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government as of midnight, December 21, 2018, some petitioners are wondering whether visa processing will be affected. Because U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services is largely fee-based, many services, including processing O and P artist visas, are continuing as normal. Consular visa issuance by the U.S. Department of State, while continuing, may become subject to delay as the shutdown continues, so petitioners and artists should be sure to build in extra time, especially in light of the previous Executive Order revocation by the Trump administration that was already increasing wait times at consulates. Consular officers were reportedly instructed last year to take more time with vetting of visa applicants across all classifications, so it is vital to leave more time than usual for the consular process. 

On the payment end of engaging foreign guest artists, U.S. employers should be aware that due to the shutdown, E-Verify and E-Verify Services are unavailable. However, employers must still complete Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay, and comply with all other Form I-9 requirements. Please find more information here.