“I am from Nigeria with a pending I-526 petition filed in November of 2019. Recently, the Trump administration announced that it would exert new restrictions on immigrants coming from several countries, including Nigeria. With this new policy, what will happen to my EB-5 case? If the case is approved, will I be able to obtain an EB-5 visa?”
On January 31st, U.S. President Donald Trump added six countries to his administration’s travel ban — Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar (Burma), Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Sudan.
The amended executive order, which takes effect February 21st, still maintains restrictions on some citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with Venezuela and North Korea.
The Trump administration says the expanded list is vital to U.S. national security and ensures countries meet security standards.
Implications of the Travel Ban
The United States will suspend the issuance of visas that can lead to permanent residency for nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Nigeria, stated the Presidential Proclamation from the White House. Specifically, for citizens of Nigeria, the Proclamation states that, “Entry into the United States of nationals of Nigeria as immigrants, except as Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government, is hereby suspended”.
The Proclamation applies to intending immigrants abroad who have not yet received an immigrant visa. Intending immigrants abroad who have a valid visa, but have not yet entered the United States, may still do so—so long as they meet all other conditions of admissibility under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Further, legal permanent residents may continue to reside in the United States, if they continue to meet the terms of their residency.
In summary, the Proclamation will apply to those nationals from the newly designated six countries as follows:
- Outside the U.S. on the effective date of the Proclamation.
- Does not have a valid visa as of the effective date of the Proclamation; and
- Does not qualify for a visa or other travel document under 6(d) of Proclamation 9645, which applies to individuals whose visas were marked revoked or canceled, but then later permitted to travel.
Hope for Barred Countries
It’s important to understand that these restrictions are not permanent if a country commits to change, states the U.S. Government.
For example, in April of 2018, the president removed travel restrictions imposed on the Republic of Chad. After Chad shared its exemplars, improved lost and stolen passport reporting, and deepened its exchange of terrorism information, this country was removed from the list.
In fact, these restrictions imposed by the president reflect the greater confidence that these countries can make meaningful improvements in a reasonable amount of time. If the restricted countries do, the president may remove travel restrictions at any time.
Can Travelers get Waivers to the Travel Ban?
Yes. Applicants are automatically considered for a waiver based on their visa application; a process already established under Trump’s existing ban. However, a federal lawsuit is challenging the waiver process, alleging it is difficult to navigate.
Waivers will also continue to be available as per Proclamation 9645, at the discretion of a consular officer, Customs and Border Protection agent, or any other designated official who may grant the waiver on a case by case basis, per the guidelines set.
We Are Here to Serve You
Since 2011, our EB-5 team at Christian Tyler Properties, with our partners, have helped hundreds of foreign investors successfully navigate complex immigration challenges. Our investment team includes MBAs, CFAs, transactional attorneys, and commercial real estate developers. In addition, we maintain relationships with the leading EB-5 law firms to ensure compliance with current USCIS policy and guidelines such as those outlined above. Our trusted lawyers include Miller Mayer, EXEO Attorneys, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Hirson & Partners, and Baker Donelson and others.
Our office will continue to monitor and report on policy changes, but please reach out to us if you have any questions. As always, we are here to serve you.