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How can we come to the United States immediately?

I have Jordanian nationality and am married to an Egyptian accountant. We live in Egypt and we have a four month old American son. We are exposed to religious persecution and terrorism in Egypt, and are afraid for our son and want him to live a safe life in the United States. My husband does not have a U.S. visa and my visa will end in 2017. If we apply for the EB-5 visa, do we have any options to immediately come to the United States and to remain there until we receive green cards? We feel that we are in great danger.

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The best option for you may be to apply as refugees from outside the United States. Your minor U.S. citizen son is not able to help you immigrate to the United States until he becomes 21 years old and is able to sponsor you as parents. EB-5 processing times currently are 14+ months and will not allow you to immigrate to the United States immediately until your I-526 petition is approved and you compete the consular processing step for an immigrant visa abroad unless you explore other work visa options available to allow you to come to the United States quickly - for example, the E-2 visa for small business investors and then structure the E-2 business properly to eventually apply for EB-5 inside the United States and ultimately adjust status to conditional permanent residents.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The fact that you are from Jordan is positive in that there is no backlog under the quota. However, once you file your I-526 investor petition, it could take more than 12 months, maybe as long as 18 months for it to be adjudicated given the backlog in the adjudication process with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You cannot apply for your and your wife''s immigrant visa until the I-526 petition has been approved. The fact that you have filed the I-526 petition does not enable you or qualify you for any other immigrant visa status. In fact it might make it difficult for you to acquire a B-1/B-2 nonimmigrant visitor visa or F-1 student visa, since in both cases you are required not to intend to immigrate to the United States. The only possibility would be to qualify for a long-term temporary work visa as an intracompany transferee under the L-1 classification or as an H-1B professional if you could find a sponsor, but that is not feasible since there are no H-1B visa numbers available until the next fiscal year effective Oct. 1, 2018. With a smaller direct investment with a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Jordan and Egypt, you might qualify for an E-2 nonimmigrant visa.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    UNHCR is the best organization to contact to see if you will qualify as refugees.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Filing for an EB-5 will ordinarily take 18-24 months to process the green cards and the fact the application is pending gives you no right to stay - in fact it can make it more difficult. You might be eligible for an E-2 investors visa based on a lesser investment amount if you direct and control the business, but that is not a green card; rather it allows you to stay for a fixed period of time depending on reciprocity.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no provision to get a visa to come to the United States in order to wait for EB-5 approval. It is currently taking about 14 months for EB-5 approval.

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