E-Verify, EB-5, Religious Worker and Conrad 30 Programs Extended to September 30
Congress recently extended until September 30, 2009, four immigration programs: E-Verify, the EB-5 immigrant investor pilot program, the religious workers program and the Conrad State 30 program. The first two provisions were extended as part of the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations law in early March; the other two provisions were extended in a separate bill (H.R. 1127) in mid-March.
The E-Verify program allows employers to electronically verify the work eligibility of new workers. The EB-5 pilot program allows immigrant investors to invest in “regional centers” around the country and thereby obtain a green card. The religious workers program allows certain foreign religious workers to obtain green cards. The Conrad State 30 program allows certain foreign doctors to get a green card by working in medically underserved areas.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 12, 2009, that as a result of the extension of the EB-5 pilot program, USCIS will continue to receive, process, and adjudicate all Regional Center Proposals and Forms I-526, Immigrant Petitions by Alien Entrepreneur, and Forms I-485, Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, affiliated with EB-5 regional centers relying on “indirect” job creation analysis. Currently, there are 45 regional centers throughout the U.S.