EIG Dispatch | October 16, 2015


  • Immigration Relief to USCIS Customers Who Are Victims of South Carolina Floods
  • Proposed Expansion of the EB-5 Program
  • Canada Launches Employer Portal

Immigration Relief to USCIS Customers Who Are Victims of South Carolina Floods

Just as the 2015 fiscal year ended on September 29th, the U.S. Congress passed a temporary spending measure to avoid a government shutdown. This temporary spending measure will allow the U.S. government to continue operating through December 11, 2015 at which time Congress must decide on a long-term re-authorization bill and funding plan. The extension also allows the EB-5 Regional Center Program to continue operating under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the current federal rules. The EB-5 Regional Center Program allows qualifying entrepreneurs and their dependents to apply for permanent residence and is credited with stimulating the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment.

Many immigration operations are effected by the U.S. federal budget, including PERM and LCA filings that are processed by the U.S. Department of Labor and certain programs run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. EIG will continue to monitor government funding actions to ensure that any possible effects of delays are considered well in advance of the December deadline.

Proposed Expansion of the EB-5 Program

Legislation has been introduced on the Senate floor to raise the number of EB-5 green cards available to foreign investors while also making permanent the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The bill, proposed by Senator Rand Paul, aims to permanently reauthorize the program, bolstering its economic stimulation and job creation potential for local and state economies across the U.S.

In an effort to stimulate the U.S. economy and labor market, Congress established in 1990 the EB-5 Program granting permanent residence status to foreign investors who were willing to invest at least one million dollars in a new commercial enterprise which would create job opportunities in the U.S. The Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program, created in 1992 followed suit, setting aside EB-5 visas for entrepreneurs who invested in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

Canada Launches Employer Portal

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) takes a step towards its goal of bringing applications for residence in Canada, temporary and permanent, to the digital age. Starting October 26, 2015, a new Employer Portal will be made available to Canadian employers seeking to sponsor foreign workers through the Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program.

Up until now, Canadian employers looking to employ foreign workers were required to submit Form IMM 5802: Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). After October 26, 2015, Form IMM 5802 will no longer be accepted and employers will have to submit LMIA-exempt offers of employment  directly on the Employer Portal. Any work permit application submitted after November 21, 2015 will not be accepted, and the employer will be required to resubmit the offer of employment to CIC using the new system.