Washington, D.C. – February 26, 2018: Two weeks ago, the Senate began negotiations for legislative changes to immigration law, using a “shell bill” introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) with no preexisting provisions. The neutral start to the legislative proceedings is intended to allow debate to proceed among lawmakers to introduce amendments as the weeks progress. The immigration negotiations will likely tackle several controversial issues, likely balancing the longstanding Democratic Party priority of giving stability to foreigners who arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors (“Dreamers”) against the campaign focus of the Trump Administration on securing U.S. borders.
Several draft bills have also included language which proposes ending the Diversity Visa lottery and reallocating these visas to the employment-based system, with the aim of reducing significant backlogs in these categories. This possibility could be very beneficial to the EB-5 program should the category receive additional visas as a result of new legislation. The current waitlist for main-land Chinese nationals continues to increase and other countries may soon follow-suit. Adding additional visas to the EB-5 category would reduce current wait-lists for Chinese applicants.
Outside of lawmaking, the Department of State’s (DOS) monthly visa bulletin for March 2018, reinstated a priority date of 07/22/2014 for visa issuances in both EB-5 direct and EB-5 Regional Center categories. Going forward, the year 2018 begins with legislative debate that has the potential to reduce visa waiting lists for the EB-5 program.
I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide any new information as it becomes available.
I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC is a law firm based in Washington, D.C. and is recognized as a leading immigration law firm with expertise in visas for EB-5 investors, professionals, and academics.