While USCIS never shut down processing during the recent government shutdown, applicants in cases requiring Labor Department paperwork were largely out of luck since the DOL's systems were not operating. Unfortunately, while USCIS has dealt with these issues in the past, they chose to remain silent leaving its customers in the dark. Not the agency's finest customer service moment.

They finally issued a statement instructing people on what to do. But they really owe the public an explanation on why they ignored pleas to get this information out sooner. Here's their statement:

We wouldlike to share the following information on Form I-129 H-1B, H-2A, and H-2Bpetitions.>>
If anH-1B, H-2A, or H-2B petitioner submits evidence establishing that the primaryreason for failing to timely file an extension of stay or change of statusrequest was due to the government shutdown, USCIS will consider the governmentshutdown as an extraordinary circumstance and excuse the late filing, if thepetitioner meets all other applicable requirements.>>