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Impact on J-1 Programs in the Event of a Federal Government Shutdown

October 1, 2013 - As the US Congress delays approving a budget for FY 2014, it is possible that tax funded “non-essential” services will be suspended.  “Non-essential” services are those that are not considered to be a health or security concern.

Read on to learn areas that may impact our exchange visitors in J status:

1.)    Visa processing.  Visa processing is funded in part by user fees.  The Department of State has said that consular services will continue so long as fees cover the costs.  This means that some US consular posts may need to reduce service.  If, so, then there will be delays in the wait time for visa appointments at such posts.

2.)    Social Security enumeration.  No new Social Security cards will be issued during the government shutdown. However, J-1s can be placed on host company payrolls pending the receipt of the SSN.

3.)    E-Verify. Host companies who must run a J-1 trainee or intern through e-Verify will not be able to do so until the Social Security Administration can resume enumeration.

4.)    Driver’s Licenses.  In States where the J Exchange Visitor must have a Social Security number, the issuing of the driver’s license will be delayed for participants who must wait for enumeration.

5.)    J-2 Employment Authorization. EAD cards will be delayed.

6.)    Opening bank accounts and signing rental agreements. Those activities requiring a Social Security Number will be delayed until the Social Security Administration can resume enumeration.

The American Immigration Council requests all host companies to render as much understanding and assistance as possible in helping newly arriving J-1 exchange visitors to deal with any effects of the Federal government shutdown.


Thank you!

-The International Exchange Center Staff