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What is the fate of EB5-5 after December 22, 2017?

I applied for an I-526 in September 2015 and got it cleared in January 2017. I recently got an email from NVC that all documentation for my case has been received and they are waiting to schedule a date with the US Embassy. However, as I was looking through the Visa Bulletin I saw that, after December 22, the current status of EB-5 will become unavailable for everyone. Does this apply to existing applications as well?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The Visa Chart changes every month and all visas are currently available for all country nationals, except the extra time delays or retrogression for Chinese nationals.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It should not apply to those who have already filed.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The legislative provision which extended the Regional Center program is due to sunset/end on 12/22/2017. As far as what parts of the Program will stay intact or change, that is still unknown; however, there is legislation that has been introduced which will result in increasing the minimum required investment amount for targeted employment area (TEA) to $1.35 million and for a non-TEA located investment to $1.8 million, as well as a proposal to change the authority under which TEA is determined. As far as your specific case is concerned, since your I-526 Petition was already approved and you are at the immigrant visa processing stage at the NVC, your application should not be affected.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    All petitions that are pending will be attended to and eventually be addressed.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Supposedly, if your I-526 was filed before the program sunset, the government agencies are supposed to let you finish the process, including the interviews for an immigration visa. However, the Embassies/Consulates have been refusing to interview or approve visa applications based on the approved I-526 petitions if the program sunsets. As there is no rules or policies stating affirmatively that they must let you finish, this may need to be litigated or challenged somehow so that they do not retroactively deny investor benefits. For now, there is no clear answer as the government agencies are doing a lot of strange things that they have never done before. We in the industry are hopeful that the program will be reauthorized or extended until Spring of 2018 to get the reauthorization completed.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While nothing is certain, it is likely the EB-5 program will be given a temporary extension along with a Continuing Resolution into January, or it is possible that, by December 22, all the parties will have signed off on the final language and there will be an EB-5 reform legislation enacted that will extend the program for a number of years. If the program is extended, then the reference to the Visa Bulletin would no longer be applicable and visa numbers would be available to all applicants except for individuals born in China.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Congress is tied up with tax reform, so we will likely see another short Continuing Resolution until January 18, 2018. We could see a bill, or we could see another extension until April or even September 2018; meanwhile, they will likely finalize regulations before April 2018 that can increase the minimum investment amount and impact current TEA rules. 2018 will be an exciting year: a year of change and reform in the EB-5 program. Some of it will be good, some not so good. The best part is all the proposals I have seen talk of DOE (or effective upon the date of enactment).

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes; it applies to all pending/existing EB-5 regional center petitions and applications. It does not apply to direct EB-5 cases.

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