Congress Averts Government Shutdown, Extends Immigration Programs to December

October 17, 2016

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.

Arrow Over Books

On September 29, 2016, President Barack Obama signed a continuing resolution (CR), H.R. 5325, that provides funding for the federal government through December 9, 2016. Among other things, the legislation extends four expiring immigration programs to December 9. The Senate passed the legislation 72-26 and the House of Representatives passed it 342-85. The CR allows Congress to return to work after the November 8 presidential election and take up an omnibus appropriations bill before the new deadline.

The immigration-related programs extended by the bill include E-Verify, EB-5 regional centers, EB-4 non-ministerial religious workers, and Conrad 30 for J-1 medical workers. EB-5 observers expect a battle between urban legislators like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who wants to maintain the status quo, and rural legislators like Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who are adamant about getting more EB-5 visas for rural projects.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it would update the information related to the EB-5 and EB-4 programs on its adjustment of status filing charts from the October 2016 Department of State Visa Bulletin shortly. A related USCIS announcement can be found here. The Visa Bulletin information will be updated here.

Find the full text of the bill here.

Find a section-by-section summary here