By: Joseph Barnett
Almost every week there is a new prohibition on foreign nationals being able to enter the United States. However, the EB-5 visa remains a viable immigration option that has been specifically exempt by the Administration from the multiple travel bans announced since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The EB-5 Visa category appears to have been left alone based on the recognition that the visa program creates thousands of jobs for U.S. workers and increases foreign direct investment in the United States by billions of dollars, with no cost to the U.S. government or U.S. taxpayer. Further, once the immigrant investor and family enter the United States and obtain conditional green cards, there are fewer travel restrictions since lawful permanent residents are not subject to the immigrant visa ban proclamation.
For those with pending EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 visa petitions or those with approved petitions who remain outside of the United States without a visa, there are special exemptions to qualify for a visa, if, for example, the foreign national’s entry would be in the national interest or if they entering as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, for many, these exemptions do not apply, leaving them stranded outside the United States, despite an approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Additionally, due to the closing of U.S. consulates, there will be more EB-5 visas next year to issue to those with approved Form I-526 petitions.
If you are interested in learning more about the EB-5 visa option, please contact a Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP attorney today.