Certain components of the federal government that have roles within the EB-5 Program have been affected by the current federal government shutdown. Below is a brief summary highlighting these effects according to their respective government agency affiliation (with links to the respective plans posted to each agency website when a shutdown occurs):
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): Processing of petitions and applications at USCIS is expected to continue uninterrupted because the agency is funded by user fees and does not depend on federal appropriations. While the shutdown continues, however, E-Verify users will not be able to access their accounts.
- CIS’s Ombudsman’s Office: This offices is closed as of October 1, 2013. Case inquiries submitted online or through emailed/faxed DHS 7001 forms will remain pending until the Ombudsman resumes operations.
- Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC): The SEC is open and operational during the federal government’s lapse in appropriations. Any changes to the SEC’s operational status will be announced onwww.sec.gov. The operational plan in the event of an SEC shutdown is available by clicking the link below.
- Department of State: The issuance of visas, passports, and related consular services will remain operational for the present time, but there is uncertainty in the event that the shutdown lasts longer. The Department of State has indicated that if current funds are exhausted, consular services may be reduced or halted and will be handled on a case-by-case basis in the event of a lack of appropriations. Applicants for visas are advised to monitor the website of the consulate at which they intend to apply for the latest information.
- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA): The BEA and Census websites are unavailable. Calculating targeted employment areas (TEAS) using the census share methodology is not possible. Other calculations involving RIMS II data also will be delayed as the datasets are not available for download while the BEA website is down.