On Oct. 15, 2008, President Bushed signed into law a bill that would extend the special immigrant nonminister religious worker program for an additional 5 months until March 6, 2009. The program was originally set to expire on October 1, 2008.
Passage of this extension would mean that immigrants who originally qualifed under the EB-4 employment-based immigration subcategory of special nonminister religious workers may continue to obtain their Permanent Resident cards until March 2009. The program would then have to be extended again or expire.
The extension, which was signed into law on October 15, 2008, does not go into effect until the Secretary of Homeland Security issues certain regulations in order to eliminate or reduce fraud in connection with EB-4 special nonminister visas. Those regulations would have to be submitted within 30 days of passage of this bill, meaning the extension would become effective no later than November 15, 2008.
Currently, the Visa Bulletin for November 2008 lists the EB-4 category for special nonminister religious workers as unavailable. However, with the enactment of this extension, the category may be expected to become current again next month.