United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) closed all its domestic offices to the public on March 18, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All overseas U.S. embassies and consulates were also closed, providing services only in cases of emergency. The closures were slated to end on May 4 but have been extended to June 4, 2020, as the pandemic is not showing any signs of slowing down.
As an EB-5 investor, you may have noticed or experienced disruptions in your U.S. visa process. For those residing abroad, visas applications have been placed on hold due to the suspension of all routine visa services at U.S. embassies and consulates. For those living in the United States, visa interviews and all other face-to-face appointments with USCIS have been rescheduled.
Even though its public offices are closed, USCIS is offering remote services. You can also get in touch with USCIS via phone or email. It is business as usual when it comes to the adjudication of I-526 petitions and I-829 petitions, which has always occurred behind the scenes.
COVID-19 travel restrictions are also affecting the ability of EB-5 investors to enter the United States. It is important that you keep an eye on the ongoing developments so that you are aware of when you may be permitted to enter the United States. You should also consult with your immigration attorney to determine the impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions on your specific situation and the options that are available to you.
It should be noted that EB-5 investors are exempt from the temporary immigration suspension President Trump signed into law on April 22, 2020. However, this exemption does not mean that you will not be affected by other COVID-19 travel restrictions, so EB-5 investors are advised to keep up to date on the ever-evolving situation.