Jan 08 2016

EB5 Regional Center Pilot Program Extension and Other Changes

The recent omnibus budget bill made several changes to the immigration law.

  1. The EB5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program was extended to September 30, 2016. This was the program’s second extension in 2015. The program was previously due to expire on September 30, 2015, and it was extended until December 11, 2015.Lawmakers proposed several changes, including increased investment amount, new Targeted Employment Area definition, indirect job creation restriction, stricter source of fund documentation, and more. In the end, the lawmakers could not agree, and the program was eventually extended to next year without any change.
  2. The Conrad 30 J-1 waiver program for physicians working in medically underserved communities was extended to September 30, 2016.
  3. The special immigrant religious worker program that allows non-ministers to adjust to permanent resident status was extended to September 30, 2016.
  4. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) applicant must not have been in Syria or Iraq, or any country designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and a designated area of concern, after March 1, 2011. The change also applies to nationals of these countries who have not traveled to these countries.
  5. L1 & H1B supplemental fees increased for petitioners who employ 50 or more individuals in the U.S. and more than 50% of those employees are in H1B or L1 status. The applicable fee will increase to $4,500 for L1 and to $4,000 for H1B. Other fees (base filing fee, Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee, and American Competitiveness and Workforce Improve Act of 1998 (ACWIA) Fee) remain the same.