Potential Hiring and Travel Impacts During Government Shutdown

 December 18, 2018

TO:  Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:  Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President for Administration
RE:  Potential Hiring and Travel Impacts During Government Shutdown

In the event of a partial  U.S. Government shutdown on Friday, several federal agencies and services will be temporarily unavailable, including E-verify, which is used to determine the eligibility of new employees to work in the United States. 

During such time, our ability to hire new faculty and staff will continue unabated. Duke will continue to keep a record of I-9 forms for new employees hired during the shutdown. Hiring may continue at Duke during this time. Employees hired during this period will go through the E-verify system once it is reinstated, and any eligibility issues will be addressed at that time.

However, the temporary and permanent labor certification function at the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will cease processing applications entirely, and associated personnel will not be available to respond to inquiries until the office reopens.

In addition, the following agencies would also be affected:

  • U.S. Consulates and Visa Services: International students, scholars and employees travelling internationally and plan to renew or request a new visa while abroad, may encounter delays at the U.S. consulates. The Department of State funding bill has not been passed and consular operations have been subject to prior government shutdowns. Visa issuances and consular interviews likely will be suspended with only very limited (humanitarian emergency) exceptions. We recommend these travelers schedule consular interviews as soon as possible. Travelers with interview dates this week could be delayed in receiving their visas. Appointments after Dec. 21 may be cancelled or seriously delayed.
  • SEVP/SEVIS: The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and SEVIS will remain open and functioning because they are fee-funded.
  • Social Security Administration: This agency will not accept or process applications for Social Security numbers or replace cards during a possible shutdown.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS offices and processing will continue to operate normally, because the USCIS is primarily fee-funded.
  • U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP): Because of its national security role, CBP services at ports-of-entry by air, sea and land will continue as usual during a shutdown.
  • Department of Labor: Funding was passed for the Department of Labor and unless ordered to shut down, Labor Condition Applications for H-1B Petitions will be processed.

 For the future updates on the impact of the federal government shutdown, visit Duke’s Office of Government Relations website.