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How can an investor check on the status of their project during the EB-5 process?

Once we submit our EB-5 application, may we obtain a visitor visa to visit the United States project to verify that our investment is going into a genuine organization? Are we allowed a visitor visa during the EB-5 processing period? If not, how else can we check on the status of our project?

Answers

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    Irina Lust

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are advised to retain an EB-5 due diligence specialist to evaluate the regional center project before filing your I-526 petition. Also, most reputable regional centers will issue quarterly status reports and you are also allowed to examine their books in person (this could be done via one of your representatives in the United States such as an accountant).

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should conduct due diligence of the regional center project before you invest and file an I-526 petition. Advisably, you should apply for a tourist visa before you consider filing I-526 because this helps eliminate any possible inadmissibility issues for future immigration to the U.S. when the I-526 is approved and you also take advantage of exploring the viability of the regional center project before you invest.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The filing of I-526 petition is an indication of intent to migrate. The verification matter should have been accomplished as part of due diligence process before you initiated your project with the organization. As a result, chances are you may not be allowed to enter the U.S. on a visitor visa. However, there are several means you can use to verify that your investment projects are progressing as expected. Advisably, consult an EB-5 attorney on this matter.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, it is possible to apply for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa if you disclose you have filed an EB-5 Investors Petition Form I-526. Remember: every applicant for a B-1/B-2 visa has the burden of proof to satisfy the American Consoler Officer that they do not intend to immigrate to the United States and that they will return home. Thus, since you are the beneficiary and have filed an improved Form-526, the American Consoler Officer may deny your visitor visa. However, under the concept of dual intent, you could say you intend to immigrate the United States on a long-term basis, but have an immediate short-term need to visit the U.S. Remember, even if the visitor visa is issued to you, you will have the same problem when you apply for entry at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The U.S. Immigration Inspector will also have to determine if you are a short-term visitor and you will have to disclose that you have filed an I-526 Petition. Again, under the concept of dual intent, you may be admitted, but the odds of being issued both the visa and being admitted are not in your favor. Regarding the progress of the project, you must contact the project developer and ask whatever questions you have.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can check on the status of the project by either by enquiring with the Regional Center (if it is an RC managed project) and having them provide a status report/documentation or indeed you may apply for a visitor visa. You must disclose the pending EB-5 immigrant investor petition; however, you will need to show that you are entering the U.S. now to check on the progress of your investment and will return home after the visit and fully document your nonimmigrant intent and current ties abroad in order to be granted/issued the visa.

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    Mitch Wexler

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Although there is an apparent conflict in intent between a visitor visa entry to the U.S. and one who intends to permanently reside in the U.S., we have not seen this play out in this context. It is quite common for EB-5 applicants to apply for a visitor visa and/or seek entry to the U.S. during the pendency of an I-526 petition. Although the B-1/B-2 does not have the dual-intent feature (which allows nonimmigrant visa holders to safely apply for a green card and seek entry prior to immigration), as a practical matter, we have not heard of any issues in this context. Of course, things presently are fluid regarding U.S. immigration practices and policies, meaning things can change quickly. Now, we would not expect a problem with you entering the U.S. to check on your investment if you are otherwise eligible for B-1 or B-2 entry without intent to stay permanently in the U.S. This can be evidenced by such things as property and employment abroad and a return ticket home after the brief visit.

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    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once your I-526 petition has been filed, USCIS will issue a Receipt Notice with a unique Receipt Number. Using that receipt Number, you can track the progress of your petition on the USCIS Case Status Website.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We usually recommend an EB-5 client obtain a multiple-year B1/B2 visa before they start so they can do exactly what they wish. After filing the I-526 immigrant petition, getting a non-immigrant visa becomes more difficult. However, if you explain your situation to the consulate officer, he/she will approve it if your finances, family and community ties to your home country are strong enough to ensure you will return home. The consular officer has complete discretion on this. As for other options, some regional centers or projects have construction cameras installed to help show the progress of the project.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for a B-1 visa. You should be prepared to prove the specific reason for your visit and the plan to return to your home country to Consular Process once the I-526 has been approved.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Step one would be to contact your investment immigration attorney. He or she should be able to connect you directly with the project. If you are working with a licensed securities representative, they also should be able to help you. Investors are generally limited partners in EB-5 projects and have a right to know the status of their investments.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may apply for a visitor visa, but it is up to the discretion of the consulate whether to grant this. They will only do so if you can show sufficient nonimmigrant intent. Be sure to disclose that you have a pending I-526. You should also insist that the project developer provides you with periodic reports; feel free to call and email them regularly to ask what is going on with the project.

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