I filed for EB-5 from India in November 2018. The Visa Bulletin for January and February 2019 shows the regional center EB-5 visas are unauthorized for all countries. I understand that this is because of the recent government shutdown. However, what does this mean to EB-5 applications filed before the shutdown? Is my case being processed or has USCIS put all EB-5 regional center cases on pause?
The regional center program has been extended to Sept. 30, 2019, and cases should resume processing based on current processing times.
The regional center program has been extended in short increments. Presently, it expires on February 14, 2019. I think it will be extended to Stemberg 30, 2019. What this means is that during the period the government was shut down and unable to pass a continuing resolution, there was no legal authority to issue regional center green cards. That will change next week and they will start issuing again.
With the expiration of the continuing resolution which extended the EB-5 regional center program to December 21, 2018, the authorization for the immigrant investor pilot program (ie., the regional center program) has lapsed. Therefore, the EB-5 categories have been listed as unavailable for February. When the program is extended, which looks like it is going to be, the EB-5 category will be listed as available. This does not affect the direct investors and their processing (short of the delay in processing caused by the government shutdown).
The government shutdown certainly affected the EB-5 regional center program. The only thing USCIS was doing during the shutdown was accepting new applications but not processing them. USCIS, on their website, published the following message soon after the shutdown on December 21st. "Some USCIS programs, however, will either expire or suspend operations, or be otherwise affected, until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress. These include the EB-5 immigrant investor regional center program (not the EB-5 program). Regional centers are public or private economic units in the U.S. that promote economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the immigrant investor program." Now that the government shutdown is over and hopefully will not happen anytime in the near future again. Your case should be processed normally.
That chart is for visa availability. USCIS will continue to process the case if it was timely filed, but once it is approved, you will have to wait for apply for the conditional green card.
Due to the recent government shutdown, there was a temporary period of time when the processing was delayed, but as of now, the EB-5 program has been extended through February 15, 2019. While it is impossible to predict, it is widely anticipated that there will be no further government shutdowns, and there will be a continuing resolution extending the necessary government funding, along with the EB-5 program for a number of months. One way or the other, the EB-5 program should continue in one form or another.
EB-5 has been reauthorized; therefore, adjudications of EB-5 cases have resumed.
Cases filed before the shutdown are being processed and now that the shutdown is over for a while, so all cases are being processed.
No, the U means unavailable. Usually, the visas are used up for that calendar year or a mistake was made letting too many through. So now the wait is long until the next government year.
It is listed as unauthorized/unavailable because the program lapsed in December and also due to the ongoing government shutdown. If and when the program is extended or new legislation is passed, the category will be available again. If you are an individual investor and filed your EB-5 application before the program expired, processing should still be underway.
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