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OIS NEWS – 12/13/2018

Consular Operations Abroad Potentially Impacted by a U.S. Government Shutdown

If Congress does not pass a funding bill to continue operations of several federal agencies, a partial government shutdown will begin on Friday, December 21, 2018. As the U.S. Department of State is one of these agencies, a partial shutdown will very likely interrupt certain functions of U.S. consulate operations abroad. Specifically, nonimmigrant consulate interviews and visa issuances would likely be suspended or cancelled, thereby delaying the return of certain international travelers to the U.S. (Limited exceptions may apply e.g. humanitarian emergencies.) International students, employees, and visitors who anticipate travel abroad over the next several weeks, and who need a new visa to re-enter the U.S., are strongly encouraged to schedule their consulate interviews as far in advance of December 21 as possible, or consider rescheduling and postponing their overseas travel. Additionally, those travelers with interview dates prior to December 21 may also experience delays in the issuance of their visas.

It is not anticipated that international students, employees, and visitors with unexpired, multiple-entry visas who plan to re-enter the U.S. after December 21 will be impacted by a government shutdown. However, it is remotely possible that Customs & Border Protection operations at ports-of-entry will also be impacted, thereby making re-entries more difficult for returning foreign nationals to the U.S. 

OIS will continue to monitor the potential government shutdown and its effect on U.S. immigration operations abroad, and will update UIC international students and the international community accordingly. As always, if there are any questions or concerns about these announcements, please feel free to contact us at ois@uic.edu or (312) 996-3121.