Immigration Update

Aug 8, 2022 | Immigration Updates

In this edition, find the latest news on WR Immigration’s lawsuit over wasted EB-5 visas, new STEM resources released for noncitizens, Ukrainians admitted into the U.S. in July, and more! 

WR Immigration Files Litigation Over Wasted EB-5 Visas 

On Friday, August 5th, 2022, WR Immigration and Banias Law filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of hundreds of Chinese foreign national plaintiffs requesting the court to compel the U.S. Department of State to authorize fiscal year (FY) 2022 EB-5 immigrant visa numbers be allocated to all plaintiffs and their families by September 30, 2022, and to process their immigrant visa applications promptly.   

This lawsuit seeks to compel the State Department to follow the plain language of its own regulations and “allocate” the visas prior to the end of FY 2022. In the past, if visa quotas are not allocated prior to the end of a fiscal year, they are forever wasted. Once the visas are allocated, this complaint also seeks to compel the State Department to issue the immigrant visas at a later date after a consular officer has thoroughly vetted each visa applicant.  This proposed modus operandi effectuates congressional intent to provide a fixed annual quota of visas.   

Plaintiffs allege that this intent is being thwarted by the State Department failing to allocate the supply of available visas, causing “age-outs” of their children and unfairly prolonging the required time their EB-5 investment capital must be deployed.   

Approximately 18,000 EB-5 visas were wasted last fiscal year and cannot be used anymore without Congressional action.  In FY 2022, which ends this September 30th, over 11,000 immigrant visas should be available to China-mainland EB-5 investors, and it is almost certain most of these will be wasted unless WR’s complaint prevails.   

Details: 

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New STEM Resources Released 

Several entities have released new resources for noncitizens in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the United States: 

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100,000 Ukrainians Admitted to United States in July 

According to reports, as part of what’s being called the largest refugee exodus since World War II, more than 100,000 Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion of their country have been admitted into the United States, mostly in temporary statuses.  

Included are approximately 47,000 on temporary visas, including tourist visas; 30,000 under the “Uniting for Ukraine” program, which includes humanitarian parole; and 22,000 paroled in at the U.S.-Mexico border. Five hundred entered the United States via the refugee system. 

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USCIS Will No Longer Accept Combined Fee Payments for EB-5 Applications/Petitions 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that beginning September 1, 2022, it will no longer accept a single, combined fee payment when an applicant or petitioner files EB-5 immigrant investor applications or petitions with related forms. If a petitioner or applicant submits a single, combined fee payment for the forms listed below, USCIS will reject the forms for improper fee payment and return the fee. 

Specifically, USCIS will no longer accept combined payments when an immigrant investor files Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor, or Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, together with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; Form I-131, Application for Travel Document; or Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. 

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