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How can a current B1/B2 visa holder travel to the United States after applying for the EB-5 visa?

I have a B1/B2 visa and have invested approximately $2 million in a U.S. business since 2011. In so doing, eight full time jobs at the peak production period have been created. However, as I cannot avail of any SBA facility with my present B1/B2 visa, I believe that I need to apply for an EB-5 visa. But upon submitting the EB-5 application, I would be barred from travelling to the United States. Can I retroactively apply my investment and job creation when applying for the EB-5 visa? How can a current B1/B2 visa holder travel to the United States after applying for the EB-5 visa?

Answers

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    Steffanie J Lewis

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A B-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business. You must demonstrate that you plan to remain for a specific limited period of time for business of a legitimate nature, and you have a residence outside the United States in which you have no intention of abandoning. Evidence of additional binding ties will ensure your return to your country abroad at the end of the visit. With a pending EB-5 petition, it does become more difficult to persuade the consulate officer that you will return in a timely manner to your country, but it does not automatically bar you from travel to the United States. If the business was begun after 1990, you can retroactively apply for EB-5 by showing that you have invested $1 million in a new commercial enterprise and the investment created at least 10 full time jobs.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no automatic bar to travel to the United States for valid business purposes on B-1. Generally, you would need to demonstrate your nonimmigrant intent by showing ties to your home country. An experienced immigration attorney would be able to assist you with that. If you invested personal funds, and lawful source of funds as well as funds tracking may be demonstrated, then you should be able to proceed with I-526 petition. An experienced EB-5 immigration attorney should be able to advise you properly.

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    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Normally you can still travel to the United States for business purposes, but be prepared to explain your trip thoroughly.

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    Philip H Teplen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are some relaxed rules on B-1 travel - although, you seriously need to review this with legal counsel.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can travel to the United States after applying for the EB-5 visa; there is no disbarment upon filing of the EB-5 application. With regards to retroactive application of your current investment and job creation to the EB-5 visa, there is additional information you need to provide such as the nature of investment, how many jobs are currently created, etc. Advisably, this will be effectively addressed by consulting an EB-5 attorney.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to consult with an immigration attorney who has expertise in the EB-5 area. If you have filed an investor petition you can still travel to the United States after you filed an investor petition.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A B-1/B-2 visa is for a temporary visitor for business or pleasure. If the purpose of your entry is for temporary business, then you are eligible to enter the U.S. even if you have an I-526 pending. You should be prepared to explain your purpose and duration of your stay in the United States and that you are not working or residing in the United States while on the non-immigrant visa. You should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who can give you more details.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may travel under B1/B2 after applying for EB-5 if you state that you will do consulate processing through the immigrant visa application (DS-260) instead of the adjustment application (I-485). If you can show the investment made and the legal source of fund tracking correctly in 2011, you should be able to file I-526 based on the business you already have invested in. You should consult with an experienced EB-5 lawyer with the business plan from your business, along with the bank statements of your investment, to see how you could get your case started.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Investors need to have invested or be in the process of investing in a new commercial enterprise. 2011 may be too far back to now be considered an investment for a new EB-5 process. Obtaining a B visa requires intent to return to your home country, and the I-526 petition is an immigrant petition. However, the petition by itself only forms the basis to obtain the immigrant visa. Long story short: retain immigration counsel to assist you! These are not simple processes.

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    A Mina Tran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Technically, you would not be able to show non-immigrant intent for purposes of getting your B1/B2 visa. However, in my experience, many clients have been able to travel on an existing B1/B2 visa without a problem so long as you have a valid and temporary reason to travel.

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    Gregory Romanovsky

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You would not be barred from using your valid B-1/B-2 visa after you submit your EB-5 case. You just need to be prepared to show your intent to go back at the end of this particular visit.

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    Bernard Sidman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no bar to an EB-5 investor using B1/B2 while the application is pending.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may still enter the United States under B-1/B-2 visitor status with a pending I-526 immigrant investor petition, provided that your intent of entry for that entry is still temporary and for a visit either on business or pleasure. If you have an existing/unexpired visa you can use that to enter.

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