EB-5 program does not rely on federal funding, however, delays are possible during lengthy shutdowns. - EB5Investors.com

Why the EB-5 visa process won’t shut down if the U.S. government does

EB5Investors.com Staff

By Marta Lillo

A potential federal partial shutdown loomed on November 2023 as the U.S. Congress failed to pass appropriations legislation or a spending bill. It was the second time the U.S. government has faced this situation this year, having narrowly averted a shutdown before Oct. 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.

In March 2024, Congress passed a spending package to fund various federal agencies, including immigration agencies, through September 30, 2024. President Biden signed the bill into law.

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, delays could occur 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.

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