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How can I convert from H-4 to EB-5 status?

My current status is an H-4 visa and I have started a corporation of my own. I am not taking any salary or profits out of it. How can I change from H-4 status to an EB-5 visa? Can I use all this incorporation to show that I am in the process of investing money into an existing company and am creating jobs?

Answers

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    J Bruce Weinman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, as long as you stay in status until you file the application for adjustment of status (after the I-526 petition has been approved). Sit down with an experienced immigration attorney to make sure that you are in compliance with the immigration requirements.

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is possible to use your own business to create a direct EB-5 investment. There are many factors to consider here. For example, how will you use the investment? How many jobs will be created? More importantly, your H-4 visa status does not allow you to "work" while the EB-5 petition is processed by USCIS. You might find yourself in an awkward situation when one USCIS officer finds your business can generate enough jobs, but another officer may find you in violation of H-4 status by effectively working without authorization. Simply put, while under H-4 visa status, it may be possible to establish your own EB-5 project, but extreme caution is needed to make this a success.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are in the United States in valid nonimmigrant status when your I-526 petition is approved and there is an immigrant visa number immediately available (i.e., your priority date is current), you would be eligible to file for your adjustment of status (Form I-485) from H-4 to conditional green card. As an H-4, you may or may not be eligible to apply for work authorization starting May 26, 2015 (the USCIS just announced work authorization for spouses of H-1B who are pursuing immigrant status through approved I-140 petitions). As long as the money you invest was lawfully obtained and as long as you meet the other requirements for EB-5 classification, you may be able to invest into your corporation (new commercial enterprise) and file your I-526 petition.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An EB-5 case is not something you could simply change from another visa, such as H-4 to something else. If you wish to use the new company you have established for the EB-5 investment business, you will still have to prepare all the business documents to be EB-5 compliant, proving business activity and that the investment funds will lead to the required amount of job creation. This documentation for a direct investment will include a comprehensive business plan, including the details of the business activity and what kinds of jobs and how many will be created and maintained. It is advisable to work with a business-side EB-5 attorney to prepare your business documents to be EB-5 compliant.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes that should work. You stay on the H-4 or other status until the I-526 is approved and you can file the I-485 to adjust.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may adjust your status from H-4 to EB-5. You will need to file an application and file the necessary documents. One of them will be a business plan wherein you can describe your investment and procedures for creating the jobs.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have invested $1 million (or $500,000) as required, and have hired (or are in the process of hiring) 10 employees, you may have a viable case. You need to consult with an EB-5 attorney who can help you structure the deal.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to submit the I-526 petition to qualify yourself as an investor immigrant. If you apply for the EB-5 visa based on your investment into the existing business, you need to prove 1. this business qualifies as a "new commercial enterprise" 2. you invested or are in the process of investing $1 million USD, or $500,000 USD if the job creating entity is in a Targeted Employment Area 3. the capital invested is from legitimate source 4. the business has or will create at least 10 NEW jobs. Normally, we call this direct EB-5 or a stand-alone EB-5 project. It is very complicated. I would suggest you contact an experienced attorney for professional assistance.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can file a petition for an EB-5 and adjust your status to that of an EB-5 if you meet the requirements.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, continue to not be employed or engage in employment activities. Second, once the I-526 is approved, you can adjust to permanent residency as long as you are still in a lawful immigration status. Otherwise, you need to leave the United States and go through the consulate. Be mindful of your status and consult an immigration attorney to assist you.

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