As we alerted clients last fall, four important immigration programs were scheduled to end at the beginning of the government’s 2009 fiscal year and were temporarily extended to March 6, 2009.
With signature of the Omnibus Appropriations Act yesterday, two of these programs were extended to the end of the 2009 fiscal year (until September 30, 2009). The EB-5 immigrant investor regional center program allows qualifying investors to invest in targeted areas to increase employment in the United States, a critical program in these economic times. The E-Verify program allows employers to electronically verify an employee’s work eligibility, and is a cornerstone of the Administration’s plans to reduce incentives for illegal immigration by making employment authorization documents harder to forge.
Two other programs, the religious worker immigrant visa program and the Conrad State 30 program to attract foreign doctors to work in medically underserved areas, have also expired as of March 6, 2009. Extensions of these programs to September 30, 2009 were passed in a separate bill by both the House and Senate and are expected to be signed by the President shortly.