+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

How can a student in the U.S. on an F-1 visa obtain an EB-5 visa?

If the student under 21 years of age is already in the U.S. on an F-1 visa, does he have to return to his home country in order to obtain an EB-5 visa? Is there any other option? What is the process like?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An F-1 visa holder may apply for an EB-5 visa. It is not necessary for him to return to his home country to obtain an EB-5 visa so long as he maintains legal status until his I-526 petition is approved. Currently, it is taking between 12-18 months for approval of process to be completed.

  • Avatar

    Roberto Ortiz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to apply for the EB-5, the student would have to apply for an I-526. Currently, the I-526 is taking about 12 to 14 months. This means that the student has to maintain status until the I-526 is approved. Once the I-526 is approve, the student will be able to file for his/her residency in the US. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the student has valid status, he or she can apply for an EB-5 green card, however the student needs to remain in valid status until the petition is approved, then can apply to adjust to green card. Obtaining a new student visa for travel abroad, while the petition is pending, can be challenging.

  • Avatar

    Jeffrey E Campion

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Hello. The student can file for an I-526 and apply for the EB5 classification. The issue is one more of process. Will the student maintain his student status and then adjust in the US? Will the student depart and receive his residency in his home country? These strategic considerations need to be addressed.

  • Avatar

    Philip H Teplen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A person over the age of 18 is capable of making a contract and therefore capable of doing an EB-5 investment. The process can be done entirely in the US if you desire.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The student does not need to return to his home country as long as he is in school and his F-1 visa is valid for duration of his/her study. The EB-5 can be in process while in valid F-1 status. With regards to the process, an individual with an F-1 visa filing for an EB-5 visa is required just like any other applicants to meet the EB-5 requirements by: 1) investing either $500k in a rural enterprise or $1 million in an urban enterprise; 2) the investment funds must be coming from a lawful source; and 3) the investment must produce a 10 jobs or more. The investment also must be at risk. There is nothing unusual the student needs to do other than meeting the basic EB-5 requirements.

  • Avatar

    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the student can stay in F-1 status until the EB-5 case is approved, they can remain in the USA and get the green card here.

  • Avatar

    Minjie Xu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, the F-1 student can be an EB-5 petitioner while in the U.S. on F-1 status. She doesn't have to return to the U.S. Also, after her I-526 petition is approved, she can apply for adjustment of status from F-1 to lawful resident, without leaving the U.S., provided that she has a valid F-1 status at that time. However, she does have a travel issue: once she returns to her home country, she probably won't be able to get an F-1 visa at the U.S. Consular to enter the U.S. Since she has filed an immigration petition, her immigrant intent will automatically lead to a denial on her F-1 visa application.

  • Avatar

    Jenny Shen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Under the EB-5 law, there is no age limit to pursue EB-5. Although the U.S. EB-5 law has its requirements and restrictions, so long as you made the money 'lawfully,' then there is no age limit, as long as you are above the minimum age to legally enter into a binding contract, which is usually above 18 years old. As to whether you will need to leave the country to apply EB-5, as long as you maintain the legal status of F-1 or other types of visa, you will not be required to leave the country to apply. The process will be to first make the required investment in the US commercial enterprise, then file a Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur (I-526) with the USCIS. Upon its approval, you will then move on to file the adjustment of status (I-485) based on your investment in the US commercial enterprise. For more information, you may go to the following link on USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-through-job/green-card-through-investment and/or contact this office to discuss.

  • Avatar

    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Provided the student remains in status, once the Immigrant Investor Petition (I-526) has been approved, he can apply to adjust status in the USA. However, if the student''s status has expired by the time the I-526 is approved the student will have to leave the U.S. and apply for the visa through the Consular Process.

  • Avatar

    Kripa Upadhyay

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally speaking, as long as you are lawfully present in the U.S. i.e. you entered legally and you have maintained lawful status, you can apply to change status within the U.S. If your F-1 student visa is still valid then you do not necessarily need to return to the home country in order to re-enter the U.S. on an EB-5 visa. You will need to make sure to prepare the case properly making sure all documentation required/necessary to meet USCIS requirements are provided, but there is no absolute requirement that you return to the home country.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as the student maintains status during the I-526 then he or she can file to adjust status in the U.S. once the I-526 is approved. So stay in school. We have done this several times successfully with students.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the person is here on valid status, such as F-1, and could maintain until I-526 is approved, then he/she could file Adjustment of Status application (I-485) instead of having to return back home. This should have been explained to you by your immigration lawyer handling your EB-5 case.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the student is a dependent of the principal applicant/investor, then he or she could apply at the same time as the principal (probably immigrant visa processing at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the home country), or the student would wait until the principal receives the immigrant visa and enters the United States. At that time, the student could file for adjustment of status in the U.S., assuming the student is maintaining F-1 student status.

  • Avatar

    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While under lawful and legal F-1 status the investor/student may file an I-526 petition, obtain the approval and then file an application for conditional permanent residency with the USCIS. The EB-5 process for the investor as stated can be accomplished without the student/investor having to leave the U.S.

  • Avatar

    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It really depends on how long your F-1 visa is still valid for, and how much longer you plan to stay in the United States. The EB-5 processing of your petition can take anywhere from 4 months to over 12 months. Hence, you need to discuss the personal details of your travel plans over the next year with counsel to properly plan how best to obtain your green card following an EB-5 approval. In short, if you are within the United States while in valid non-immigrant status and your EB-5 petition is approved, then you may seek to apply for the green card here. If you are overseas when the approval comes in, then you may have to apply for an immigrant visa (which leads to the green card when you are admitted in the U.S.) at a consulate abroad.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Depending on the circumstances of the student, he may be able to adjust status from within the U.S. Returning to his home country to process through the U.S. consulate there would also work if he is willing to travel. That method requires a form, some supporting documentation, and an interview. Our law firm would prepare this applicant for either process and prepare him for any interviews required.

  • Avatar

    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The student must be 18 or older and if they are in the U.S. on a valid F-1 visa, they will not need to return to their home country when their I-526 is granted. The parents will do an affidavit of gift for the investment funds. All source and path of requirements will apply.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.