On December 7, 2018 Congress has passed a short-term spending bill through until December 21, 2018. The previous extension was passed on September 27, 2018 and extended the government until December 7. This means that the programs that were slotted to expire on December 7 have been given an extension without change for another 3 weeks. The programs included extensions for the EB-5 Regional Center program along with the E-Verify system, the Conrad 30 waiver program, and the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker program. Expected to be included in the December 21 discussions also include budget for building the southern border wall.
The EB-5 program, also known as the Million Dollar Green Card, allows investors to obtain a green card if they invest either $500,000 or $1,000,000 in business or projects that will create 10 full time jobs. To learn more about the program, please click here. Despite the fact that the program has been renewed again, again, and again, every time it has come close to expiration, the Trump Administration has issued a notice to Congress in June 2018 to either eliminate the program to transform it. While it is unclear what (if any) changes will occur to the program, the two biggest proposed changes are the changes to the investment amount and the changes to the definition of what constitutes a Targeted Employment Area (TEA – one where unemployment rate is 1.5 times the national average or a rural area). The investment amount will almost certainly increase to over $800,000 and it is also likely that the definition of TEA will be more restricted. Congress will now have around 3 months to reform the plan and pass it in the House, let the program expire come December 7, 2018 and eliminate this method of obtaining a green card completely, or, extend the program again without change for another couple of months to a year.
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