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USCIS Program Extension Alert
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) advises the public that Public Law 112-176, signed by the President on Sept. 28, 2012, extends the following USCIS programs until Sept. 30, 2015:
- Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program
- Special immigrant visa category for non-minister special immigrant religious workers
- The date by which J-1 nonimmigrant exchange visitors must obtain that status in order to qualify for the Conrad 30 program.
E-Verify: E-Verify, an Internet-based system operated by USCIS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. More than 402,000 participating employers at nearly 1.2 million worksites nationwide currently use the program. Since Oct. 1, 2011, more than 20 million employment verification queries have been run through the system and approximately 98.3 percent of all queries are now automatically confirmed without any need for employee action.
Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program: Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, USCIS will continue to receive, process, and adjudicate all Regional Center Proposals, Forms I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and Forms I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, affiliated with Regional Centers relying on “indirect” job creation analysis. Currently, there are more than 70 regional centers throughout the United States.
Religious Worker Visa: The special immigrant visa category for non-minister religious workers covers individuals within a religious vocation or occupation and also applies to accompanying or “following-to-join” spouses and children of these religious workers. USCIS will continue to receive and process Forms 1-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Forms I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Forms I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, that relate to religious workers and their families covered by Public Law 112-176.
Conrad 30: USCIS will continue to adjudicate immigration benefits covered by the Conrad 30 program. The Conrad 30 program allows each state health department to submit a request directly to the Department of State to initiate the waiver process for a foreign medical graduate who obtained J-1 status to change to another status without the required two-year foreign residence. The law previously required the foreign medical graduate to have acquired J-1 status before Sept. 30, 2012; the law now extends the program to cover J-1 admissions before Sept. 30, 2015.