How is the EB-5 Regional Center Program Expiration Going to Affect my EB-5 Green Card Application?

What happened to the EB-5 Regional Center Program on June 30, 2021?

The EB-5 Regional Center program was not extended by Congress by June 30, 2021. Congress did not pass a law to extend the EB-5 Regional Center program by June 30, 2021, so the Regional Center program has lapsed. No new I-526 Petitions based on an investment sponsored by a Regional Center can be filed during any period of lapse.

How will I-526 investors be affected by the EB-5 Regional Center Program expiration?

Form I-526 immigrant petitions received by USCIS on or after July 1, 2021, will be rejected if they indicate that the petitioner’s investment is associated with an approved regional center. Any such petitions pending with USCIS on July 1 will be placed on hold until further notice.

How will the EB-5 Regional Center Program expiration affect the I-485 application based on approved I-526?

After program expiration, USCIS will reject regional-center affiliated Form I-485 adjustment of status applications and any associated forms I-765 (work permit) and Form I-131 (application for travel document). Any such petitions pending with USCIS on July 1 will be placed on hold until further notice.

Do I still need to response to the RFE while the EB-5 Regional Center Program is expired?

For affected Forms I-924 and I-526, USCIS directs stakeholders to respond to any Requests for evidence (RFEs) or other notice issued by USCIS by the required due date. Though USCIS will not be able to review the response unless the Regional Center Program is reauthorized, the agency must receive a timely response in order to process the application at a later time.

How is the EB-5 Regional Center Program expiration gonna affect my I-829 petition?

For foreign nationals already in EB-5 conditional permanent resident status, USCIS has confirmed that Form I-829 petitions to remove conditions on that status WILL NOT be affected by the expiration of the Regional Center program.

Is the EB-5 Program extended?

Despite the last-minute effort of Senator Grassley to hot line his bill through the Senate last week – allowing for the bill to quickly pass, but only based on the unanimous consent or all the Senators, it was blocked. Senator Lindsey Graham objected to the effort thereby killing the passage of the bill before the July 4th, 2021 weekend congressional break. So for now, the EB-5 program has not been extended.

Are there any options for EB-5 investors who don’t want to wait for the reauthorization of the Regional Center?

The EB-5 Direct program is permanent, and will accept $500,000, especially in an investor’s own EB-5 business.

Can you obtain a Green Card with L1 or E2 visa? Is it faster than EB-5?

The L-1 Visa is considered by USCIS to be a dual intent visa, which means that you are able to seek permanent resident status while on L-1 status. The L-1 Visa has a maximum duration of 7 years. An L-1 applicant (especially the L-1A visa holder) in their second year of working in the United States can file for EB1-C and receive a green card at the end of process. And now the EB-1 visa category is current for all countries. 

The E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa which prohibits the visa holder from having an intent to immigrate to the United States at the time of the Visa is issued or used for entry. Accordingly, the E2 does not provide an individual with a direct pathway to permanent residency. However, after entry, the E-2 Visa holder is eligible to explore and proceed with options for permanent residency provided they do not violate their E-2 status in the process.

From L-1B/E2 visa to Green Card, the time frame all depends on which country you are from. All countries except mainland China, as of August 2021 visa bulletin, processing time for EB-1 is current.

The Alternatives To EB-5

What is an L1 Visa?

The United States L1 Nonimmigrant Program is for executives/managers who are seeking nonimmigrant work visas in the United States.

What do I need to qualify?
Must meet requirements for both the employer and employee.

  1. Employer Requirements:
    • The company in the U.S. must have a qualifying relationship with the foreign company.
    • The U.S. company must be or will be “doing business” in the United States.
  2. Employee Requirements:
    • The applicant employee be an executive or manager of the U.S. company.
    • They must have worked in the foreign company for at least one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

How long can I stay?
There is a seven-year maximum stay for L-1A visa holders and a five-year maximum stay for L-1B visa holders.

What are my restrictions?
You can only work for the company you were approved for.

What about my family?
Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are included. Spouses can apply for a work permit and work anywhere.

Who are good candidates for L1?
An Executive or High-Level Manager of a foreign company that wants to expand their business in the United States or is transferring to ensure the success of a U.S. branch, subsidiary, or parent. Many of our clients start an investment company which allows them to manage multiple companies. We have clients in all areas including the interior design, wholesale, marketing, software, patented products, technology, and many different areas.

What is an E-2 Visa?

E2 Visas allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted into the United States solely for the purpose of directing or developing the operations of an enterprise. The immigrant must invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. Business. With an E2 visa, you can travel freely in & out of the U.S.

What do I need to qualify?

  1. A passport with a country that is part of the E2 Treaty Program with the United States
  2. You have invested or are in the process of investing significant amount of money into a U.S. business
  3. You will be coming to the U.S. to work with that U.S. business as an investor owning at least 50% of the business or be a high-level executive of the company.

How long can I stay?
You able to stay for 2 years at a time with unlimited extensions.

What are my restrictions?

  1. You can only work for the company you were approved for.
  2. Your funds invested must be lawful and at-risk.
  3. During each visa, you must maintain the intention of a non-immigrant.

Who are good candidates for E-2?
Anyone with the intention to go to the United States and has enough money to properly invest in a U.S. company and work there. Many of our clients start an investment company which allows them to manage multiple companies. We also have a turn-key E2 investments which would allow you to invest and obtain your E2 visa indefinitely. For those who do not have a second passport, we are able to assist in acquiring a Turkey passport within 90 days which is eligible for E2.

Do you need assistance with your EB5 application?

Don’t hesitate to contact us!

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