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US Shutdown Will Not Effect Visa Sections

Australia Immigration

The US Government shutdown has been highly documented in the past few days, but during what is a crucial time in regard to the future of Indian visas the Bureau of Consular Affairs has made it clear that it feels the sector will not be affected.

H1-b visas for Indian citizens

This means that on-going negotiations about the future of H1-B visas issued to Indian citizens and new/existing applications will not be delayed. The shutdown, which came into place just after midnight on the 1st October US time, will affect a number of different sectors.

However, even though this is the case, if the shutdown continues for “an extended period” the State Department could soon see reductions made as a result. “Department of State and USAID activities can be sustained on a limited basis” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. It was not made clear how long this period would be because the Department of State are unaware of how long their reserve funds will last, but this is something that will shortly be released once the “budget wonks” have worked out all the finer details.

Jen Psaki made it clear, that even if staff members were laid off temporarily the department would do all it can to continue working to “advance national interest”. 

There is good news and bad news

Luckily enough the departments did not receive their yearly funding until March 2013 (they were supposed to receive it in October 2012), which means they still have a decent amount in reserve. However, how long these funds can last without being topped up remains unclear.

The good news in regard to Indian visa applications is that as a lot of the sector is fee funded the number of staff will remain largely unaffected even if the shutdown stays in place for an extended period of time. Therefore, the chance of there being any lengthy delays to applications is limited. 

However, with this in mind, some experts are predicting a shutdown that lasted longer than 15 days would really start to have an effect on a number of different sectors that officials are currently saying will not be affected. Some are even saying that if the shutdown goes beyond 15 days, new visa applications could be delayed by a couple of weeks. If this is the case, then a shutdown going beyond a month (however unlikely) could really have negative connotations.

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