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US Visa Bulletin Update: India Goes Current

In the July 2020 US Department of State Visa Bulletin, the Final Action Dates for Employment-based Preference Cases was updated and India has moved to “Current.” This means petitioners born in India are no longer in retrogression or backlogged.

This is good news for Indian applicants.

To start it means they don’t have to wait to schedule a consular interview or wait before they are able to adjust their status after approval of their I-526 application. When India’s date was not “C” or current, applicants had to check their priority date based on when they filed their I-526 applications to be able to proceed with processing their immigrant visa applications.

Indian petitioners should also feel more confident applying as they don’t have to worry about delays impacting their children’s ability to receive a green card under the same investment application as the parents.

Under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPAP) a child’s age is frozen on the date the I-526 petition is filed until the date the application is approved. If a child is over 21 years old on approval, they only have 1 year to seek to acquire permanent residency. With India no longer in retrogression, a significant cause of delay from moving forward post I-526 approval has been lifted.

Going “current” also impacts the final stage of the EB-5 process and the return of capital.
Indian investors can expect to file their I829’s (applications for removal of conditions and hence grant of permanent green cards) in the 5 to 6 year time frame. This step triggers the return of the original investment capital and successful transition to a permanent green card.

Every petition is different and an immigration attorney needs to be consulted but in general this is very good news for Indian-born applicants.

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EB-5 Program Update:

The EB-5 Program has lapsed. The US Congress is discussing the legislation that authorizes the program while USCIS reviews the regulations and policies for filing. Because of the recent court ruling that reversed the 2019 Modernization regulations, the investment level has shifted temporarily from $900,000 back to $500,000.

If the program is reauthorized before the regulations are updated, there may be another window of opportunity to file at $500,000.

LCR expects the program to be reauthorized in February 2022, and continues to work with international families that want to explore alternative residency options.

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