Update: On September 28, 2012, President Obama signed this bill into law.
On Thursday the House of Representatives approved a bill that reauthorizes for three years the EB-5 Regional Center Program, the E-Verify Program, the Special Immigrant Nonminister Religious Worker Program, and the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program. All four of these programs were slated to expire at the end of this month. The House-approved bill (S. 3245) sets September 30, 2015 as the new expiration date.
As previously discussed, the four programs granted extensions do the following:
- The E-Verify program assists employers in verifying the employment eligibility of its employees.
- The EB-5 Regional Center program is available to immigrant entrepreneurs who invest between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in a U.S. business that creates 10 full-time jobs for American workers. In exchange for job creation the entrepreneurs are given permanent resident status.
- The Special Immigrant Religious Worker program provides a path to permanent residence for religious workers in the United States. The religious workers can hold a professional or non-professional position within their religious vocation.
- The Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver program assists medical doctors studying in the United States on J-1 status. Each state receives 30 J-1 visa waivers for foreign medical graduates each fiscal year. A J-1 visa waiver eliminates the requirement that a J-1 physician return to his or her home country for two years before applying for a permanent U.S. visa.
The Senate unanimously approved this measure last month, and it is expected to be signed into law.
Photo credit: David Franklin