The recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino are going to result in an increase in security checks for visa applicants at U.S. consular posts. We also anticipate Congress to at least review the Visa Waiver Program for potential changes, based on President Obama’s address to the nation. Referencing one of the San Bernardino terrorists who allegedly had come to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program, Obama called for Congress to look carefully at the rules of the program.
Changes to visa policy because of terrorism will have a ripple effect on EB-5 applicants. While we don’t expect changes in the immediate term of the coming weeks, we do foresee increased scrutiny and enhanced security checks at U.S. consular posts of visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of predominantly Muslim countries. If you are a regional center or project with investors from the Middle East, Pakistan or South Asia, be prepared to offer additional assistance and guidance on the visa process to individuals who may wish to visit the U.S. and who need to apply for visas.