Immigrant Visas

Visa Bulletin for August 2018 Shows Backlogging/Oversubscription in EB-1 Category

OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF AUGUST 2018 EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

WORLDWIDE, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, AND PHILIPPINES EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE:  As readers were advised in item F of the July Visa Bulletin, there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for E1 numbers, primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants. Therefore, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose an E1 Final Action Date for the month of August, with this date being imposed immediately. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits.  

The implementation of the above mentioned dates will only be temporary, with the dates returning to Current status for October, the first month of fiscal year 2019.

EB-5 Regional Center Program gets Extended (again) without Any Changes

SEC. 204. Section 610(b) of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (8 U.S.C. 1153 note) shall be applied by substituting “September 30, 2018” for “September 30, 2015”

This language refers back to Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102-395) Section 610 (PDF page 47), which established the regional center program. The 2018 Appropriations Act does not include the EB-5 Reform Act, or other EB-5 changes. It just extends the borrowed time until we get a good piece of EB-5 legislation.

EB-5 Regional Center Program Extension

USCIS administers the EB-5 program, created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a program initially enacted as a pilot in 1992, and regularly reauthorized since then, investors may also qualify for EB-5 classification by investing through regional centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. On February 9, 2018, the President signed Public Law 115-123; extending the Regional Center Program through March 23, 2018.

Congress Passes Stopgap Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown Against a Friday Deadline**

**which includes the EB-5 Program extension to January 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — Congress gave final approval on Thursday to legislation to keep the government funded into January, averting a government shutdown this weekend but kicking fights over issues like immigration, surveillance and health care into the new year.

The stopgap spending bill extends government funding until Jan. 19 while also providing a short-term funding fix for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, whose financing lapsed at the end of September.

USCIS to Expand In-Person Interview Requirements for Certain Permanent Residency Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants whose benefit, if granted, would allow them to permanently reside in the United States. This change complies with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” and is part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.
 
Effective Oct. 1, USCIS will begin to phase-in interviews for the following:
 
• Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
 
• Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.
 
Previously, applicants in these categories did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers in order for their application for permanent residency to be adjudicated. Beyond these categories, USCIS is planning an incremental expansion of interviews to other benefit types. 
 
“This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” said Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament. “USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.”
 

Republican Senators David Perdue, Tom Cotton to unveil skills-based immigration bill at White House Wednesday

President Trump will join Republican Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas at the White House Wednesday to unveil legislation that proposes a skills-based immigration system and seeks an overall lower level of legal immigration, two sources have confirmed to the Washington Examiner.

Comprehensive Government Funding Bill Includes Language Extending EB-5 Program to September 30, 2017

The final paragraph of the TEXT OF THE HOUSE AMENDMENT TO SENATE AMENDMENT NUMBERED 1 TO H.R. 244, THE HONORING INVESTMENTS IN RECRUITING AND EMPLOYING AMERICAN VETERANS ACT OF 2017, Page 734 substitutes "September 30, 2015" with "September 30, 2017".    It remains possible that Congress could pass EB-5 legislation before September 30, 2017.  

Court of Appeals Unanimously Upholds TRO

February 9, 2017 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has unanimously upheld the Temporary Restraining Order maintain the nationwide halt on Travel/Refugee Ban.

Nationwide Temporary Restraining Order has halted the Executive Order

National temporary restraining order granted in Washington State and Minnesota's challenge to President Trump's executive order banning Muslims and refugees.

DOS Emergency Alert: Executive Order on Visas

As a result of the Executive Order on immigration, Department of State has temporarily stopped scheduling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as well as cancelled currently scheduled visa appointments, for those individuals who are nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

This Executive Order does not restrict the travel of dual nationals from any country with a valid U.S. visa in a passport of an unrestricted country.  Embassies and Consulates around the world will continue to process visa applications and issue nonimmigrant and immigrant visas to otherwise eligible visa applicants who apply with a passport from an unrestricted country, even if they hold dual nationality from one of the seven restricted countries.