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COVID-19 Executive Order: EB-5 FAQ

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.

©2023 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 114

About this Author

Dillon Colucci, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Los Angeles, Immigration Law Attorney

Dillon R. Colucci practices and handles U.S. immigration concerns and helps individuals, families, professionals, skilled workers, investors, and businesses live, work, invest and do business in the United States. Dillon works extensively on EB-5 immigrant investor matters. He regularly works with developers across a variety of industries, as well as private equity funds on developing new projects that qualify for EB-5 investments. This includes the creation of new Regional Centers, having projects adopted by existing Regional Centers or through pooled individual EB-5...