• Bill to Make Permanent Several Immigration Programs Introduced in Senate
  • June 11, 2012
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced a bill, co-sponsored by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), that would make permanent the E-Verify program and the EB-5 permanent residence subcategory for foreign nationals who invest in designated regional centers, as well as two other immigration programs, all of which are currently set to expire on September 30, 2012.

    E-Verify was originally scheduled to expire in November 2008 but has been extended via a series of short-term reauthorizations, as well as a longer three-year extension signed by the President in 2009. If Congress reauthorizes E-Verify on a permanent basis, in the coming months and years DHS could increase its efforts to require more employers to use E-verify, which is currently a largely voluntary system.

    The EB-5 Regional Center Program, which was established by Congress in 1992 as a pilot and has since been reauthorized several times, allows foreign investors to obtain permanent residence in the United States by investing in designated regional centers.

    The bill would also make permanent the Conrad 30 program, which provides a waiver of the J-1 home residence requirement for foreign national physicians working in underserved areas of the United States, and the employment-based fourth preference (EB-4) permanent residence subcategory for non-minister religious workers.

    Senator Leahy’s permanent reauthorization bill must pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives before it can go to the President for signature.