Trump Extends Several Immigration Programs; State Dept. Issues Guidance

January 11, 2021

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.

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which extends several expiring immigration programs. The E-Verify, Conrad 30 and non-minister religious worker green card programs are reauthorized through September 30, 2021, and the EB-5 Regional Center Program is reauthorized through June 30, 2021. These programs had been set to expire on December 28, 2020. The legislation also provides that certain nonimmigrants who pay taxes and meet other requirements may be eligible for a COVID-19 pandemic recovery rebate.

The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for January 2021, which was released before Congress voted on this legislation, stated that with respect to the employment fourth preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) category, an extension means that “the December dates would continue to be applied, potentially for the remainder of the month. …If there is legislative action extending this category for January, the final action date would immediately become ‘Current’ for January for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemal and Honduras, which would be subject to a March 1, 2018, final action date, and for Mexico, which would be subject to a December 1, 2018, final action date.”

With respect to the employment fifth preference (I5 and R5) categories, the bulletin states that an extension means that “the December dates would continue to be applied, potentially for the remainder of the month. …If there is legislative action extending this category for January, the final action date would immediately become ‘Current’ for January for all countries except China-mainland born, which would be subject to an August 15, 2015, final action date, and for Vietnam, which would be subject to a September 15, 2017, final action date.”