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Why does the U.S. consulate in Islamabad still claim that the EB-5 regional center program has expired?

I filed my I-526 petition in Dec. 2016 and received the I-797 approval notice from USCIS in May 2018. My case was sent to the national visa center and I was interviewed in Oct. 2018 at the U.S. consulate in Islamabad. During the interview, I was told by the officer that my case needed to go through Administrative Processing (AP). It has been under AP for 4 months. On Feb 18, 2019, I received a phone call from the consulate and was told that since the EB-5 regional center program has expired, my visa cannot be processed until the program gets extended. I am so confused. I thought last week the U.S. president has already signed a bill that would prevent the government from shutting down and this automatically extended the EB-5 regional center program to Sept. 30. Why does the consulate still claim it? What options do I have now?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Many consulates were confused. Show them note D in the February 2019 Visa Bulletin. It should have been in the March 2019 Visa Bulletin. It appears the State Department may not have sent out clear instructions in March 2019, which is causing a lot of confusion at the National Visa Center and consulates worldwide.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The program has been temporarily extended once again (this time until Sept. 30, 2019). Have your attorney contact the consulate with the updated information.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the American consulate in Islamabad is still claiming that the EB-5 regional center program has expired, it may well be that they made such assertion at a time when it was actually expired. However, as of Friday, Feb. 15, President Trump signed the continuing resolution that extended not only funding for the remaining 25 percent of the U.S. government, but also the EB-5 program through Sept. 30, 2019. Thus, it's not clear why the American consulate would still say that it has expired; presumably, they will correct their action in the near future.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is a case of administrative snafu. Just treat it as an error and since the program has been extended to September 2019, you and your attorney should contact the U.S. consulate in Islamabad again.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Have your attorney communicate with the embassy, inform them and request to reschedule you or ask to speak with a supervising consular officer.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    They are clearly misinformed. The program has been extended with no changes until Sept. 30. I believe the communication to local consulates was not done immediately after the extension was approved. The March Visa Bulletin was probably prepared before the extension. It will most likely appear in the next bulletin. The best course of action would be to have your attorney get in touch with them and clarify the matter.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It was extended. Perhaps it will take a few days to get the news to them.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Contact the supervisor.

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    Irina Rostova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The officer is simply not informed. We had this happen to a French investor right after one of last year's extensions. We emailed the consulate a few times and they fixed the issue. You should email the consulate with a link to the update about the extension of the program.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Have your attorney communicate with the consulate. The EB-5 program has been extended.

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    Stephanie Lee

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 regional center program has not expired, but simply the EB-5 visa numbers are not available due to the pending reauthorization.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    According to the March Visa Bulletin, which controls the availability of immigrant visas/green cards, the EB-5 regional center is still listed as unavailable. I think the bulletin was drafted before the new extension was signed. Unless they change it before March 1, applicants may need to wait until the April bulletin is released, which should open up the EB-5 immigrant visas/green cards for processing.

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