The federal government officially shut down on Tuesday, October 1, at 12:00 midnight when both houses of Congress failed to agree on a continuing resolution to keep operations funded. More than 800,000 workers have been furloughed nationwide. While some operations like national security and the armed services have been deemed necessities, other regulatory agencies are closed until further notice.
Here is what you need to know about what agencies and services are operational and what are not.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – All offices remain open worldwide.
Department of Labor Office of Foreign Labor Certification and iCERT – This office is not currently accepting or processing applications related to visa programs, including H-2B visas, applications for prevailing wage determinations or applications for permanent or temporary employment certification. Further, the iCERT Visa Portal System is not accessible nor is the information being updated.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and E-Verify – “Law enforcement necessary for safety of life and protection of property” continues at the Department of Homeland Security. However, E-Verify is currently inaccessible to employers and US citizens who wish to check employment eligibility.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – All IRS filing deadlines remain in effect. For instance, if you filed a six month individual extension for your 2012 Income Taxes, it remains due October 15. That means that if you owe taxes, you need to pay them by that date or fines will be instituted. However, if you are owed money, you will have to wait on your refund.
Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) – Along with the majority of the Department of Labor excluding its Worker Compensation Programs, most staff at OSHA are subject to the furlough. If you need to report a workplace fatality, hospitalizations or an imminent danger situation, please call OSHA’s toll-free number immediately at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742); TTY 1-877-889-5627.
Stayed tuned as CMAA will continue to monitor the shutdown and its impact!