The Executive Order, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” signed on April 23 by President Trump is narrower in scope than his prior statements promising a shutdown of immigration to the United States. The Executive Order bans the issuance of immigrant visas to those physically outside the United States, with certain exceptions.
Regarding the employment-based fifth preference category (EB-5), the Executive Order exempts EB-5 visas when processed abroad. Accordingly, individuals already in the EB-5 visa process, contemplating filing for an EB-5 visa, or already present in the United States on green card or immigrant visa pursuant to an EB-5 petition, will not be affected by the Executive Order. Below are some key questions and answers:
If I want to make an investment in the U.S. and take advantage of the EB-5 visa program, am I affected by the Executive Order?
No, you are not affected.
My I-526 Petition has been approved. Can I file and obtain an immigrant visa abroad?
Yes. The Executive Order specifically exempts those individuals entering the United States with an EB-5 visa. Consulates are not prohibited from issuing immigrant visas pursuant to the EB-5 program. However, EB-5 applicants should note that U.S. Consulates and Embassies remain closed for in-person interview appointments and may not open for another 60 days. Individuals who have EB-5 visas already but have yet to enter the United States are also not affected.
Likewise, those EB-5 investors in the United States who are eligible to file for adjustment of status can still file Form I-485 with USCIS.
I am a conditional green card holder; can I still file my I-829 Petition?
Yes. The Executive Order does not affect current green card holders, an investor’s ability to file an I-829 Petition with USCIS, and the ability of USCIS to grant approval of your I-829 Petition.
Will USCIS continue processing my I-526 Petition or I-829 Petition?
Yes. USCIS processing of I-526 Petitions and I-829 Petitions are not affected by this Executive Order.
Could I experience any delays in my EB-5 visa process as a result of the Executive Order?
No. There is nothing in the Executive Order that would impose a delay on processing an I-526 Petition, I-829 Petition, I-485 or Immigrant Visa application based on an approved I-526 Petition.