Trump’s Order to Halt Immigration Does Not Apply to EB-5

April 22nd, 2020 Peter Bibler

President Trump issued an executive order on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 temporarily suspending immigration into the United States for 60 days. Importantly, the Proclamation exempts those immigrants entering the U.S. through the EB-5 program. See the full text of the proclamation here. EB-5 investors who are currently adjusting status or proceeding by consular processing may proceed without interruption. Those EB-5 investors outside the U.S. who obtain the immigrant visa may enter the U.S. and will not be affected by Trump’s executive order.

Trump’s Proclamation suspends immigrants from entering the United States for the next 60 days, and the order may be continued beyond 60 days as deemed necessary by the president. Thus, it will suspend the approval of immigrant visas or “green cards” for those outside the United States.

It does not apply to those seeking green cards to persons who are (1) already in the U.S. filing an I-485 Adjustment of Status; (2) spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens; (3) doctors, nurses and other medical professionals engaged in combating the COVID-19 pandemic (see COVID-19 impact on real estate market); and (4) EB-5 investors, among other exemptions. As this executive order targets persons entering the U.S. with a green card, it also does not apply to anyone entering on a non-immigrant visa (e.g. student visa).  The ban does also does not apply to those who already are lawful permanent residents, or “green card” holders. Find more analysis of potential impact if order extended here.

The EB-5 Program remains a viable option for immigrant investors seeking a U.S. green card for them and their families. Under current EB-5 policy, the minimum investment amount is $1.8 million and $900,000 for TEA-eligible investments. As of March 31, 2020, USCIS has implemented a new procedure for adjudicating I-526 petitions, reviewing petitions based on visa number availability. Rather than a simple first-in, first-out basis, USCIS first will look to see if a visa is available or imminently available to the petitioner, then review I-526 petitions in order of receipt. This means EB-5 investors from backlogged countries may wait longer for I-526 approvals, while those from countries without retrogression, may experience faster I-526 approval.

To learn more about the potential impact of Trump’s recent Proclamation or of USCIS’s new I-526 adjudication procedure, contact Behring and schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.

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