According to the IRS web posting (April 26, 2013), foreign financial institutions may now consider applying for Qualified Intermediary (QI), Withholding Foreign Partnership (WP), or Withholding Foreign Trust (WT) status in conjunction with complying with their FATCA obligations.
The IRS web posting announces a due date of May 3, 2013, for these foreign financial institutions. Thus, according to the IRS, in order for QI, WP, or WT status to be obtained prior to the July 15, 2013 date when an on-line FATCA registration portal opens, foreign financial institutions seeking such status must submit the appropriate QI, WP, or WT application and all required attachments no later than May 3, 2013.
The IRS web posting also states that applications will be accepted until November 15, 2013, with respect to obtaining QI, WP, or WT status for the 2013 year.
Informal conversations with IRS officials today clarified that the May 3, 2013 deadline applies only with respect to an entity that is seeking new QI status (i.e., it has never been a QI) and that would like to have QI status in place before the on-line FATCA registration portal opens in July 2013.