By Dillon R. Colucci
Despite repeated statements by President Trump that he would sign an Executive Order to shut down immigration to the U.S., the actual Executive Order signed today offers many exceptions. While the Executive Order bans the issuance of immigrant visas to those physically outside the U.S., it specifically exempts the issuance of EB-5 visas. Accordingly, there is no effect of this Executive Order on the EB-5 visa, the EB-5 visa process, or the timeline to obtain an EB-5 visa.
Any foreign national, whether inside or outside the U.S., who wishes to make an investment may still do so and file an I-526 petition. Investors who have filed an I-526 petition are not affected, and this Executive Order should not have a negative impact on processing times. Investors who are waiting for an EB-5 immigrant visa to be issued abroad are also not affected. Finally, investors who already hold EB-5 green cards are not impacted and can continue to file and receive approval of their I-829 petitions.
Unfortunately, the time and distance between President Trump’s statements and the actual Executive Order has caused a lot of confusion and may have led to some people receiving erroneous information. Hopefully, interest in the EB-5 visa program will not be artificially damped by these statements, especially at a time when the U.S. economy would benefit greatly from increased foreign investment.