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How would EB-5 be impacted if there is a government shutdown?

With the Jan. 19 deadline of approving the continuing resolution and the likelihood of a government shutdown, what possible impact would that have on the EB-5 regional center program? If it sunsets, what are the chances that it would be revived and when could we expect that? If not, what is likely to happen.

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Usually, there is a continuous resolution. If not, then the EB-5 Regional Center projects may be grandfathered in for a certain period of time.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is deeply troubling that Congress has not reauthorized this program although they have been discussing it for the past 2 years. While we hope that Congress and USCIS will provide a measure to protect investors who have relied on the existing laws and regulations to invest and file the petitions before today (Jan. 19) if the program is not authorized and ends, USCIS will have to return the petitions as they cannot be adjudicated. They also should be returning the filing fees they have taken, some 2 or more years ago, if they will not proceed to adjudicate the petitions. If the regional center program is not extended, the visa category (I5 and R5) for that also disappears and even those with I-526 approval may not be able to finish the last step of the process with consulate process as DOS cannot issue visas for the category that no longer exists. This would be analogous to a family-based immigration where I-130 has been approved but the petitioner dies before the beneficiary gets the IV. Having an approved immigrant petition in such a situation does not give the beneficiary the right to permanent residency and neither would an approved I-526 if the visa category disappears, according to Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa number control of Department of State. Therefore, this failure to reauthorize the regional center program by the Congress has ramification far beyond just what would happen to the recently filed or not yet filed cases, and it is an epidemy of bureaucratic mess unheard of before.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No noticeable impact at all.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is a significant impact of the government shutdown and the expiration of government funding and the EB-5 Regional Center program on January 19th. It is almost certain that at some point, sooner rather than later, the Congressional Republican and Democratic leaders will reach an agreement and we will have a short-term 3-4 week approval of a Continuing Resolution to fund the government and along with same will be a temporary extension of the EB-5 Regional Center program. But as the EB-5 Regional Center program has never been approved on a permanent basis, the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) and the Department of State would not be able to process any pending petitions related to the Regional Center program because it would not be authorized and furthermore, government employees would be on furlough with temporary leave due to a lack of funding. However, petitioners who have already filed a bona fide I-526 petition would only have their petitions put on hold until the EB-5 Regional Center program is reauthorized along with a Continuing Resolution to extend to extend for government funding.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As of 1/22/2018, during the shutdown, the EB-5 immigrant investor regional center program will be suspended/expired, until the program receives appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress. This should not affect the currently filed/pending EB-5 Applications, but no new applications until this is resolved.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is fee-based, so it can continue processing petitions. However, applications based on the regional center are no longer authorized. So as a practical matter USCIS will hold adjudications until the regional center program is reauthorized. Therefore only direct programs are presently authorized.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The program comes to a halt of the government shuts down as the EB-5 program is not permanent.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Regional center cases will not be processed but will be held in abeyance pending an extension or new legislation/regulations.

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