By Marta Lillo
A potential federal partial shutdown on November 18 is looming if the U.S. Congress fails to pass appropriations legislation or a spending bill. It is the second time the U.S. government has faced this situation this year, having narrowly averted a shutdown before October 31.
Regarding EB-5 visa applications, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gets most funding through fee-based immigration processing, which means that the agency should continue to operate during a potential shutdown, although there may be delays.
Business as usual, but EB-5 investors should plan ahead
Following the EB-5 visa program's legislative reauthorization in 2022, the USCIS became financially autonomous. Unlike other federal agencies that rely on government funding, it has the authority to process EB-5 investor petitions.
However, there could be delays if the USCIS needs to confer with another federal agency that requires U.S. government funding while processing I-526, I-485, and I-829 petitions or if the shutdown lasts for an extended period.
Foreign nationals applying for EB-5 visas through U.S. embassies/consulates should continue to receive immigration services during a government shutdown. However, services like interviews could be delayed if the Department of State (DoS) closes consular facilities or reschedules appointments.