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What options are there for Chinese nationals to speed along the immigration process?

Chinese investors must currently wait on a long list because of the EB-5 quota. Are there any options to bypass or speed up the immigration process while waiting for EB-5 visas to be available to China nationals?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Currently, all we can have is patience for the incredibly slow process. Proposed new laws may provide some relief but, under current laws and policies, Chinese investors just have to wait.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can look for other immigration alternatives, such as L-1A/EB-1C. Also, USCIS has expedited criteria for petitions but, since the problem for China-born investors is related to the annual worldwide quota of 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas per fiscal year, the only real way to speed this up is for Congress to add additional immigrant visa numbers or change the way the numbers currently are being calculated. Currently, each investor, spouse, and child are allocated an immigrant visa number. A better method would be to count only the principal investors under the EB-5 quota and allow for additional immigrant visa numbers for dependents.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No individual investor or group of investors can speed up the waiting period since that is based upon the annual quota established by the United States Congress in 1990. To speed up the process, Congress would have to increase the quota through legislative action and the President of the United States would have to sign the legislation. While we are hopeful that this will happen sooner rather than later, no individual investor could speed up the process, as that would require the investor to provide more visa numbers, which is legally impossible.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The only option is if the investor qualifies for EB-1, which is a visa for persons of extraordinary ability. Also, if the investor has a legitimate marriage to a non-Chinese born person, such as a person born in Hong Kong or Taiwan, they are cross-chargeable and not subject to the China quota. I believe that when Congress does comprehensive immigration reform in the next 1-2 years, they will rearrange EB-5 program priorities and change the quota to 10,000 investor families, as opposed to 10,000 investors.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are two options for trying to speed up the EB-5 immigration process for Chinese nationals subject to the quota. One would be to seek to enter the United States in a nonimmigrant visa category that would allow you to wait here while the initial I-526 petition is pending. There are temporary nonimmigrant visa categories such as the H-1B, L-1A, and others that may allow someone to have "dual intent." There may also be other categories of nonimmigrant visas such as the F-1 Student Visa that may allow you to be within the United States for some limited periods of time. The benefit of being in the United States at the time of the approval of the I-526 is that if the visa is currently available (or if the USCIS and the Department of State allow their Date For Filing chart of the monthly Visa Bulletin to be utilized) then an application for a green card can be filed. Within 90 days of the green card filing, temporary work authorization along with travel permission can be granted. Also, when the USCIS allows the Date For Filing Chart to eventually be used, it will allow Chinese nationals who live in the United States (but also whose Priority Dates have not become current) to apply for a green card earlier. As for another route, Chinese nationals married to a foreign national born in a country other than mainland China can apply for a green card. For additional information, I recommend that you consult with a lawyer who specializes in EB-5.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Just about any other visa category would be faster. A popular alternative option (if applicable) is the L-1/EB-1C path. It has advantages the EB-5 program does not. For example, you can use it as a straight acquisition vehicle. However, there are additional requirements that are unique to L-1, such as a qualifying parent company, executive/managerial duties for the potential L-1 applicant, etc. It would be best for you to seek professional consultation to determine what visa program would work best for you.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Regrettably, there is no way to speed the process. Your priority date is the date you file your I-526 so the best action is to file as soon as you are able.

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    Robert V Cornish Jr

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    One means by which you can accelerate your process is to invest in a project that specifically has been cleared by USCIS to deal with a national emergency. These projects include, among other things, drug treatment and substance abuse rehabilitation centers. Your approval can take as little as 2-3 months in some cases, but the investments may well bear risks beyond the typical loan-to-equity deal for a hotel or shopping center. Whatever the case, you should work with a broker-dealer and a securities attorney to assist in your screening of projects. Also be aware of the sunset date for the EB-5 program: April 28. After April 28, the project investment amount may rise if the program is reauthorized. Also, the program could be temporarily or permanently suspended, depending on how the United States Congress wishes to deal with it.

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