As recently discussed, the federal government shutdown affected the processing of H1B visas, particularly the LCA (Labor Condition Application) portion of the visa application. Since the government shutdown ended on October 17, 2013, things have slowly been getting back to normal. On Friday, October 18, 2013, it was been reported that the Department of Labor is once again processing LCAs. Thus, processing for any H1B visa application filed prior to or during the government shutdown can now be completed. Additionally, USCIS has announced that it will consider the government shutdown an extraordinary excuse for failing to make a timely filing for H-1B, H-2A, or H-2B extensions or status changes.
Looking forward, the opening date for filing an H1B visa for the fiscal year of 2015 is April 1, 2014. Due to the large number of visa applications in recent years, employers may want to begin preparing now.
Martha is an associate at Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC and concentrates her practice in the areas of employment law, immigration law, education law and governmental law. She regularly works with employers, public entities and K-12 and higher education institutions defending them against claims of EEOC, sex, race and age discrimination, wrongful termination and Civil Rights violations.