Updates on the Government Reopening (Updated 10/25/13)

October 25, 2013
EOIR: EOIR alert that non-detained case filings that were due during the shutdown will be considered timely filed if received by the appropriate court by November 8, 2013. BIA will consider any filing as timely filed due during October 2013 as long as the BIA receives the filing on or before November 1, 2013. OCAHO granted all requests for extensions of time or temporary stays of proceedings made during the shutdown and accepted all filings received. Further requests for extensions or stays will be decided on a case-by-case basis. (AILA Doc. No. 13102547).

October 23, 2013:
USCIS: USCIS alert that beginning on October 23, 2013, due to the unique time sensitivities associated with agricultural work, USCIS will temporarily accept H-2A petitions that are filed with a copy of the certified TLC and signatures on the TLC submitted to USCIS do not need to be original. (AILA Doc. No. 13102343)

October 22, 2013
DOL: OFLC is aware that there are continuing access issues as a result of having to shut down its filing systems, especially the current impact of higher than usual number of users seeking access. OFLC is working to overcome them as quickly as possible and appreciate your continuing understanding. Additionally, in response to an inquiry from the AILA DOL Liaison Committee, DOL has advised that it will be re-sending PERM verification questionnaires electronically for those PERM cases for which questionnaires had not been sent due to the shutdown. (AILA Doc. No. 13102040)

October 21, 2013
USCIS: USCIS invites existing users of E-Verify to webinars on 10/21/13 and 10/23/13 to discuss how the federal government shutdown affected E-Verify cases. (AILA Doc. No. 13102140)

DOL: The AILA DOL Liaison Committee has raised a number of urgent post-shutdown questions with DOL, including how to avoid a PERM denial for a case that is ready to be filed but for a prevailing wage that expired and/or recruitment that went stale during the shutdown. Watch InfoNet for updates. (AILA Doc. No. 13102040).

DOL: DOL issued an alert that due to the unique perishable nature of the agricultural commodities in the H-2A program, OFLC will temporarily (for a period not to exceed 30 days) implement special mailing procedures for H-2A certifications. (AILA Doc. No. 13102142.)

DOL: For updates on iCERT and PERM system outages, please see AILA Doc. No. 10101531.

October 18, 2013
USCIS: USCIS alert that if an H-1B, H-2A or H-2B petition is submitted with evidence establishing that the primary reason for failing to timely file an extension of stay or change of status request was due to the government shutdown, USCIS will consider the government shutdown as an extraordinary circumstance and excuse the late filing, if the petitioner meets all other applicable requirements (AILA Doc. No. 13101803).

DOL: The PERM system was restored as of 12:30pm ET.

DOL: iCERT has been restored as of 11am ET but due to what is most likely going to be a high volume day, users may experience slowness with the system. Members also report receiving LCAs and prevailing wage determinations. The PERM system was still unavailable as of 11am ET.

October 17, 2013
CIS Ombudsman: Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman’s Case Assistance webpage has been restored.

USCIS: USCIS alert that E-Verify has resumed operations following the federal government shutdown, and all E-Verify features and services are available. Alert includes Q&As regarding how the shutdown affected E-Verify and Form I-9. (AILA Doc. No. 13101747).

EOIR: EOIR alert that detained cases will be heard as scheduled. However non-detained cases scheduled for 10/17/13 will be rescheduled for a future date. Effective 10/18/13, all non-detained case dockets will proceed with all scheduled cases. BIA and OCAHO have also returned to normal operations. (AILA Doc. No. 13101763).

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13101740.