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Does the applicant need to physically live in the United States for the entire EB-5 process?

I am from Iraq but now live in the United States. My cousin is interested in the EB-5 program to get U.S. citizenship, but he still lives in Iraq. He has a business there that he can leave more than a few times a year. Does he have to physically live in the United States while going through the EB-5 visa process, or can he make his investment and continue to live in Iraq throughout the process and still get the visa? How does this work?

Answers

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, your cousin does not need to be in the United States while the I-526 petition is being adjudicated. However, once he is issued a conditional green card, he will need to establish residency in the United States.

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    He can process his visa from Iraq, but once the visa is issued he is expected to move to the United States and establish residency in the United States.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, your cousin does not need to live in the U.S. in order to get the conditional green card. However, U.S. should be your cousin''s primary residence after the conditional green card is granted.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No. An EB-5 applicant can be living anywhere in the world when the application is filed and while it is pending.

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    Stephen Yale-Loehr

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, your cousin can invest in the US but still live in Iran while his EB-5 green card application is pending. However, he needs to live in the US after he gets his green card.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    He can live abroad during the process, but once he receives his immigrant visa and green card, he is supposed to maintain the intention to permanently reside in the United States.

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    Jeffrey E Campion

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your cousin can wait in Iraq for the EB-5 petition to be approved. It''s taking around 16 months. Then, once approved he will go to the consulate to have an immigrant visa stamped in his passport. At that time, he has 180 days to enter the US and receive his green card.

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    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You do not need to be in the U.S. until final approval of the I-526 and the issuance of your immigrant visa through consular processing at the U.S. embassy.

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    Kripa Upadhyay

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once your cousin has been approved for conditional Lawful Permanent Residence, he MUST live in the United States for a majority of the year i.e. no absence of more than 6 months continuously as that could be looked upon as abandonment. If he leaves the United States and fails to return within one year of departure, he will automatically loose his "Green Card" If he needs to leave the U.S. for a period of more than 6 months continuously, he should apply for a re-entry permit so that he at least preserves residence.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the goal is U.S. citizenship, your cousin will need to be in the United States for a certain period of time as a permanent resident (which is the result of a successful I-526 Petition and Application for Immigrant Visa or Adjustment of Status). The time spent in the U.S. is substantial, and he has to comply with other requirements of permanent residency (like paying US taxes) if he wishes to obtain U.S. citizenship.

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    Darren Silver

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The applicant does not need to be physically located in the U.S during the EB-5 application process. Once he/she receives an approval of the petition, he/she will be invited to their local Consulate for an interview. Once the immigrant visa is approved at the Consulate, they will then be required to enter the U.S with their permanent residency status.

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    Ebiho Ahonkhai

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your cousin does not have to reside in the United States to participate in the EB-5 Program. In fact, most of our clients reside outside of the Unites States for the entirety of the I-526 Application process until they obtain an approval of the I-526 Application from US Citizenship and Immigration Services. After such approval, applicants that reside outside of the United States proceed to Consular Processing, administered by the Department of State, to obtain an EB-5 visa for admission to the Unites States and status as a conditional permanent resident.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The rules or permanent residency do apply, but that does not mean you cannot leave the United States. You should discuss a reentry permit with your attorney. It is valid for 2 years and this can help with your absence from the United States.

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    Charles H Kuck

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    He does not have to come to the United States at all, until his immigrant visa is approved.

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    Jessica Marks

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For individuals who are residing abroad at the time the EB-5 petition is filed, they generally wait outside the U.S. until the petition is approved and, within a few months, are scheduled for an immigrant visa interview. As of the date the applicant enters the U.S. on the immigrant visa, s/he is a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).

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    A Mina Tran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your cousin can stay in Iraq until the green card issues. Once the green card is issued then he would need to make his primary residence in the United States.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The investor may remain in Iraq while their I-526 petition is pending. If he so wishes, he may visit the U.S. during the pendency of the EB-5 process which may be the adjudication of the I-526 petition. Once the I-526 petition is approved the investor and family members , if any, can the start the process of U.S. consulate processing to obtain the conditional permanent residency visas. Please note the investor has to have permanent residency for five years before the investor or permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship.

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    Gregory Romanovsky

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, there is no requirement for the investor to be physically present in the U.S. for the duration of the EB-5 process. Once your friend gets the green card, there will be some limitations on his ability to continue to live in Iraq (as he will be a permanent resident of the United States and will be expected to permanently reside in the U.S.), but there are way to preserve his residency for at least a few years. He would need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney about this issue.

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    Tammy Fox-Isicoff

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, in fact the EB-5 rules do not allow this. He would have to process outside the United States at an American consulate or abroad.

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