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How Does the Partial Government Shutdown Affect the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program?

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At this time, we are entering the fourth week of the partial government shutdown. Most immigration programs remain unaffected by the shutdown, except the EB-5 Regional Center program.

To explain, there are two ways to invest and qualify for the EB-5 immigrant visa. An investor can start or buy a commerical enterprise and directly manage the business. This is typically called the “direct investment” EB-5 program. Alternatively, an investor can invest in an approved regional center and have limited involvement in the management of the investment. This EB-5 regional center program expires annually and requires congressional “reauthorization” to continue.

On December 21, 2018, the EB-5 regional center program expired at the end of the day on Dec. 21, 2018. The extension of the program was included in the appropriations (“spending”) bill sent to the president, who refused to sign the bill due to lack of funding for a border wall. Until congress and the president extend the program, the EB-5 regional center program will be affected as follows:

  • Undecided regional center-affiliated Forms I-526 and I-485 are on hold for an undetermined length of time.
  • The USCIS will continue to accept regional center-affiliated Forms I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and Forms I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; however, processing will be suspended for an undetermined length of time.
  • All Forms I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, filed at any time, are not be affected.
  • USCIS will not accept new Forms I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program. Any pending Forms I-924 as of Dec. 21, 2018, will be put on hold until further notice.

The EB-5 direct investment program remains in effect and is unaffected by the shutdown. For more information on immigration services and the shutdown, read my previous article.

This information is provided as an educational service. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration options, you are invited to call me at 214-472-2161, complete my contact form, or visit my websites at and

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