How the Government Shutdown Could Delay New '90 Day Fiance' Season

In addition to furloughed government employees, the U.S. federal government shutdown could soon impact reality TV, namely TLC's 90 Day Fiancé.

The popular series, which follows six couples going through the K1 visa process to bring someone from halfway around the world to the United States and forcing them to wed within three months or call off their engagement, is reportedly in the process of casting for its upcoming seventh season — though the partial government shutdown, which is noted the longest in history, is reportedly having adverse effects.

"It could cause significant delays in visa processing, and it's going to be a new challenge for reality producers looking to cast the upcoming seventh season," a source told Page Six.

"The casting process is going on right now. In a sense, it's holding up production, because without a locked-down cast, we can't film," the source added. "The stories are contingent on a good cast, so it's harder to find available couples, because it's following people who have already been approved. The wait is longer."

Immigration attorney Edward Shulman told E! News that while the shutdown hasn't yet caused problems, participants in the show will likely run into trouble due to the Department of State.

"When the people abroad try and come into the United States, they will have a bit of a difficulty coming into the United States with the visa," he said.

Currently, it is not known if visa processing has been affected by the shutdown, and in late December, the State Department wrote on their website that "at this time, scheduled passport and visa services in the United States and at our U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas will continue during the lapse in appropriations as the situation permits."

The popular TLC series was renewed for a seventh season earlier this month after its sixth season posted record ratings, marking the franchise's highest-rated season among women 18-34 and the top cable program on Sunday nights among women in that same age group.

"It is so exciting that, after six seasons, the tried and true original 90 Day Fiancé is captivating more viewers than ever," Howard Lee, President and General Manager of TLC, said at the time. "From laughter to tears to a ticking clock, TLC is dedicated to giving our viewers a rollercoaster of emotions with 90 Day Fiancé — and we're just getting started."

Spinoff series 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? was also renewed and is set to return this spring.


TLC has not yet commented on the possibility of 90 Day Fiancé production being impacted by the partial government shutdown. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that funding had been secured to reopen the government for the next three weeks.