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How can a Chinese investor avoid the EB-5 backlog?

Considering the wait time for Chinese EB-5 investors, could I get citizenship through investment immigration in another country where it's a lot quicker, and then apply for EB-5 using that citizenship? Or could I do an E-2 visa from the other country and then EB-5? Would these options be quicker than EB-5 right now?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The birthplace controls the EB-5 category for the wait time. A quicker entry to the United States can be accomplished through the issuance of an E-2 or L-1 visa. These nonimmigrant processes can allow a legal entry into the United States in a matter of months. Once you are in the United States in a legal status such as L-1 or E-2, then you can file an EB-5 I-526 petition.

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    Xiaosheng Huang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I do not think so. USCIS considers your birth country.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The best hope to deal with the backlog of visa numbers for Chinese nationals is for the U.S. Congress to provide additional EB-5 visa numbers under the quota. This is a possibility as part of the reauthorization of the EB-5 regional center program, which must happen by Sept. 30, 2016. However, it is possible that the program will be simply be extended for several months without an agreement as to whether or not there will be EB-5 reform legislation along with any future reauthorization of the regional center program. It will not help you for EB-5 purposes to acquire citizenship in a third country. If you did acquire citizenship in a third country, it is possible you could use the E-2 program depending upon whether or not that particular country of your citizenship has a Treaty of Friendship, Navigation and Commerce with the United States containing E-2 provisions. You could also consider whether or not through an existing company you could set up an affiliated branch that would allow you to use the L-1 Intracompany Transferee nonimmigrant visa option. This may be viable, but only if you can establish a substantial level of activity in the United States.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You would need citizenship in another country to be considered a national of that country. An E-2 visa would not make you a national of that country.

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    Peter Zhang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, you will not be able to avoid the backlog through investing in another country. You backlog is based on the country you are born in rather than the country you are a citizen of. The best case scenario is to attempt an L-1 and EB-5 simultaneously.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The only way a mainland Chinese national can avoid the Chinese quota is via a legitimate marriage to a non-Chinese born. Chinese need to use other visas, such as EB-1, O-1/H-1/F-1, to the extent eligible, or get a Grenada passport and apply for an E-2 investment.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The backlog for China is based on the number of investors exceeding the visa availability for the country. The country chargeability is based on where the person is born, not where his current citizenship is. Thus, even if you get the citizenship in Australia, for example, before doing the EB-5, the fact that you were born in China will put you in the backlog. The only way to avoid that is if you are married to a person who was born somewhere else, then you could use the spouse's country of chargeability to bypass the China backlog for you.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your birth country is what determines which country your immigrant visa is chargable to.

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    Daniel B Lundy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is possible to become a citizen of Grenada for around $300,000, then do an E-2 so the investor can be in the United States while waiting for the EB-5 backlog. There is some complexity here, so please do not try this without an attorney that knows what he or she is doing. The only way for someone born in China to get around the quota is if they are married to someone who was not born in China, and they use the spouse's nationality. We call this cross chargeability. Unfortunately, the quota is tied to place of birth, not citizenship, so acquiring new citizenship will not get you free of the quota.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Investors are typically considered on the basis of their national origin. Thus, if you are a Chinese by birth, your chance of switching to another country purposely to avoid the current system, based on national origin, is not likely to succeed. The general rule is that such attempt is regularly rejected by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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