Feb 09 2018

After Brief Shutdown, President Trump Signs Spending Bill

United States

At a Glance

  • After a brief government shutdown overnight, President Trump has signed a short-term measure to reopen the federal government through March 23, 2018, while lawmakers finalize a broad two-year budget deal. 
  • The stopgap measure reauthorizes the EB-5 Regional Center Program, E-Verify and other expiring immigration programs through March 23.

A closer look

President Trump has signed a short-term measure that reopens the federal government after a brief shutdown last night and funds it through March 23, and supports a long-term spending deal through September 30, 2019. The President’s signature came shortly after the House and Senate gave final approval to the deal.

The stopgap measure means that federal operations – including immigration functions – will continue without interruption through March 23, while Congress works on a detailed long-term spending bill.  The EB-5 Regional Center Program, E-Verify, the Conrad 30 Waiver Program and the Non-Minister Religious Worker Program are reauthorized through the same date.

Extension of immigration fees

The long-term budget deal would extend two immigration fees through September 30, 2027:

  • The H-1B and L-1 Border Security Fee, which requires employers with 50 or more employees, more than 50% of whom are in H-1B or L-1 status, to pay a $4000 fee with each initial H-1B petition or change of employer and a $4500 fee with each initial L-1 petition and change of employer.  The fee amounts would not change.
  • The ESTA fee for Visa Waiver Program travelers.

Future immigration debate

The budget deal does not include DACA relief provisions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to allow an immigration debate at a later date to determine whether there are enough Senate votes to pass DACA relief measures.  There is no similar plan in the House of Representatives, but Speaker Paul Ryan has indicated that he would permit debate.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.