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How long does the EB-5 process take if conducted in the United States, as opposed to staying in my country of origin?

I am Brazilian national interested in EB-5. I know of a Florida regional center I can make an investment through. How long does the process of getting a conditional green card usually take? If the process is done in the USA as opposed to Brazil, will it go by faster?

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The first part of the process (I-526 Petition processing) takes approximately 18 to 24 months from the time of filing to be adjudicated. Once approved, if you are filing for adjustment of status in the U.S., the processing time until approval is approximately 10 -12 months after filing and processing from abroad can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months. The advantage of processing in the U.S. is that you can obtain a work permit and ability to travel during this part of the process.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The process is not going to be faster if it is done in the US. Generally, EB-5 processing is affected by country of origin of the petitioner and not where the petitioner currently lives. Unless you have a nonimmigrant visa that allows you to stay in the US, you stay in Brazil and pursue your petition from there.

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    Irina Rostova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Filing an EB-5 application (I-526) does not give the investor a right to remain in the US while he waits for the approval of the application. The investor can continue to come to the US on his tourist visa or another visa, but must not stay here longer than that visa allows. On average, the process from investment to the receipt of a conditional Green Card takes 2 years. There is no substantial time difference between being in the US while the application is being adjudicated or being outside of the US.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is currently processing applications that were filed prior to Dec. 18, 2015. Visas are currently available for all countries, except China.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The adjudication of the I-526 immigrant petition is the same process whether you are physically present in the United States or not. Currently, the adjudication is taking about two years on average, with some I-526 petitions being processed earlier if they are in a regional center project that already has I-526 approvals. After I-526 approval, if you are in the United States in a valid nonimmigrant status and there is an immigrant visa number immediately available (i.e., the priority date is current), you may apply for adjustment of status (Form I-485) if you are otherwise admissible to the United States. After three months, you could receive temporary work and travel authorization and, after another few months, you will receive your interview notice to appear before a USCIS district office and be interviewed for your adjustment of status. This is a new requirement instituted by executive order for all employment-based cases, including EB-5; previously, only a very small number of employment-based adjustment of status applicants had received personal interview appointments. If you are not in the United States or not eligible for adjustment of status, your other option is to undergo immigrant visa processing at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Once the I-526 is approved, your file is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) to prepare the case for a personal interview. This processing takes 3-5 months. After the interview abroad, if approved, you will receive an immigrant visa valid for six months. Once you enter the United States, you will become a conditional lawful permanent resident and they will mail you a two-year green card within a few weeks after your entry.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 is a two-step process: The first step is the immigrant petition I-526 which takes 12-24 months these days, as USCIS is taking longer and longer for adjudication. The second step is the (DS-260) or adjustment of status (I-485), which takes another 6 months. If you are in the U.S. with a valid visa that will allow you to stay legally for at least 2 years, you may be able to conduct the process in the U.S. and adjust status. However, if you only have a B1/B2 visitor visa, then you will have to conduct the process in Brazil and consulate process through the immigrant visa application (DS-260), as the visitor visa only allows you to be in for 6 months at one time.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Basically, the process and time of acquiring your EB-5 conditional status is the same whether you remain in Brazil or whether you are physically in the U.S. It is really a question of convenience; should you be in the U.S., for example, as a bona fide visitor or in bona fide student status or on a temporary work visa, it would make sense to file an application to adjust status within the U.S.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to do it in the US, you must have valid nonimmigrant status that allows you to stay here, such as an F-1 student visa or H-1B temporary worker visa. However, it will not speed up the process, but rather add to the process as adjustment of status can take another 6 to 12 months or longer, on top of the 18-24 months that it takes to process the I-526 or first-stage petition. My advice is to wait in the home countryyou can expect to land in the US in about 2 years.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no significant difference in the time it takes if the person filing lives in the U.S. or lives outside of the U.S.

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