S. 3245 – 3-year Extension of EB-5, E-Verify, Religious Worker, and Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver (Updated 9/28/12)

S. 3245, introduced by Sen. Leahy (D-VT) on May 24, 2012, provides an extension of:

1. EB-5 Regional Center program – The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”) was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (Oct. 6, 1992), and has been extended through Sept. 30, 2012. EB-5 requirements for an investor under the Pilot Program are essentially the same as in the standard EB-5 investor program, except the Pilot Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a “Regional Center.” Investments made through regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation including both “indirect” and “direct” jobs.

2. E-Verify – an internet-based program used by an employer to verify an employee’s identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States.

3. Special Immigrant Non-minister Religious Worker program – a limit of 5,000 workers who may be issued a special immigrant non-minister religious worker visa during each fiscal year under the (EB-4) visa classification.

4. Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver program – allows J-1 medical doctors to apply for a waiver of the 2-year home residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program to work in underserved areas in the US.

On August 2, 2012, the Senate passed S. 3245 with unanimous consent. The bill was amended to provide a 3-year extension of the four programs.

Text of S. 3245

On September 13, 2012, the House passed S. 3245 by a vote of 412 to 3. The measure now goes to the President for signature.

On September 28, 2012, President Obama signed S. 3245 into law.

Source of Information: “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12080343 (posted Sep. 28, 2012)”