On September 28, President Obama signed into law a bill that extended several immigration provisions for three years. They are: (1) the EB-5 Regional Center program, which permits immigrant investors to invest $500,000 in certain regional programs and obtain, if approved, conditional residency; (2) E-Verify, the Internet-based system operated by USCIS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), which allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees; (3) the Religious Worker program, a immigrant “green card” visa category for nonminister special immigrant religious workers; and (4) the Conrad State 30 J-1 Waiver program, which authorizes each state to request waivers of the two-year home residency requirement to certain foreign medical graduates in change for providing primary patient care for three years in medically underserved areas. While a more ideal outcome for all programs would have been making them permanent, the three-year extension gives important peace of mind to those in process and involved with these programs.
Posts Tagged ‘EB-5’
Three-Year Extension of EB-5, E-Verify, Religious Worker, and Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver ProgramsFriday, November 30th, 2012
The Immigrant Investor Program, commonly referred to as the EB-5 Program, makes green cards available to eligible immigrant investors and their family members who invest $1 million in commercial enterprises that create at least 10 U.S. jobs (or $500,000 in targeted employment areas). At long last, the EB-5 Program may be undergoing significant changes in the upcoming months that will make the program more attractive to prospective investors. First created in 1990, the program has been plagued by changing interpretations, uncertainty, and slow processing times, leading many to call for its complete review. In May, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) responded, and promulgated proposed rules offering three fundamental changes to the way it processes certain regional center filings, but stopped short of a total overhaul.
The first change is a fast-track for applications of enterprises that are fully developed and ready to be implemented, with an option for premium processing to further accelerate the review. Premium processing guarantees processing within 15 calendar days. Second, USCIS proposes the creation of specialized intake teams comprised of economists and subject-area experts to review proposals, communicate directly with applicants, and streamline the resolution of issues without the need for formal requests for additional evidence (RFEs). Third, USCIS proposes an “expert decision board” comprised of economists and adjudicators and supported by legal counsel, to make decisions on new EB-5 regional center applications.
The proposal is available for public comment until June 17, 2011. Those who are interested in the EB-5 program are encouraged to weigh in.
Over the last couple years, the immigrant investor program (also called the EB-5 program) has gained popularity and media attention as a viable option for those of means to obtain lawful resident status. Even those traditionally less-well-off financially have considered the program in light of ever growing immigrant visa backlogs and the devaluation of the dollar (which means fewer and fewer euros and yen are needed to meet the $1 million investment requirement (or $500,000 in certain cases)). Nevertheless, various issues have deterred would-be eligible applicants from applying for an investor green card including the uncertainly of USCIS interpretations of program requirements, and, more recently, USCIS’ fixation on the source and chain of custody of funds used for the investment.