On March 23, 2018, the Trump Administration signed the $1.3 trillion appropriations bill to keep the federal government open and funded through Fiscal Year 2018. The spending bill extended four immigration programs through September 30, 2018.
EB-5 Program Will remain the Same until September 30, 2018
The EB-5 Regional Center Program for foreign investors was reauthorized through to September 30, 2018 without change. A reform bill that would have increased the minimum investment amount of $900,000 and redefined the types of projects eligible for a reduced investment threshold was under consideration but was not included in the package. Regional center advocates also wanted to increase the number of visas issued each year by issuing visas to families instead of individuals, but this was also not included. However, USCIS will continue to consider rules that would revise the program. To learn more about the EB-5 Regional Center Program, please click here.
E-verify, the Conrad 30 Waiver Program for foreign medical graduates working in underserved areas, and the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program have all been extended without changes.
H-2B Visa Program
The H-2B visa, temporary non-agricultural workers program which allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the country to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs, was authorized to increase the cap for this fiscal year if the Department of Labor determines that there are not enough U.S. workers to meet the needs.
To Border Wall or Not to Border Wall
The bill also provides just over $1.5 billion for additional fencing and other barriers along the U.S.- Mexico border, far less than the $25 billion original sought by the Trump Administration to build a wall. The $1.5 billion will also provide funding for additional Customs and Border Protection officers. The bill does not provide relief for DACA beneficiaries.
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