EB-5 Processing During the Government Shutdown
The U.S. federal government shut down at the end of the day on Dec. 21, 2018, and the president did not sign into law the extension of the EB-5 program passed by the Senate. Until the shutdown ends, and the Regional Center EB-5 program extension is signed into law, no new I-526 petitions can be filed. To clarify, while EB-5 petitions may continue to be prepared, petitions cannot be mailed to USCIS until the conclusion of the shutdown and extension of the program. Please note, however, that investors must continue to file timely responses to USCIS Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). In addition, investors may continue to prepare and file I-829 petitions.
With respect to the immigrant visa process, the State Department will cease to schedule new immigrant visa interviews until extension of the program is signed into law and the government resumes operations. If the interview was previously scheduled, and the Consular Post has not reached out to cancel said interview, the investor and family should still plan to attend. However, the immigrant visas will not be issued until the government resumes operations. The State Department will experience a significant slowdown and even cessation of all visa-issuing services during the period of the government shutdown. Furthermore, investors will be unable to file new DS-260 applications and supporting documents until the program is officially extended and the Visa Bulletin is updated.
With respect to the adjustment of status process, investors will be unable to file any new adjustment of status applications based on the I-526 petitions until the program is officially extended and the Visa Bulletin is updated. However, investors can continue to file renewals of employment authorization and advance parole, and should continue responding in a timely manner to USCIS’s RFEs relating to pending adjustment of status (I-485) applications. USCIS is unlikely to schedule any adjustment of status interviews until the conclusion of the shutdown and extension of the program.