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How will entering the United States on an I visa affect an EB-5 application?

I have the opportunity to go to the United States on an "I" visa for journalists. I am also applying for an EB-5 visa. Can I enter and live in the United States with the I visa while waiting for the I-526 petition to be approved? How would the I visa affect my EB-5 application and vice versa? Can I bring my family with me on the I visa to wait for EB-5 application approval?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can be working in the United States under a nonimmigrant status. Once the I-526 petition is approved, then the investor can apply directly at the U.S. consulate.

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    Steffanie J Lewis

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The I visa does not carry a dual intent option. In other words, you cannot both intend to stay temporarily in the United States at the same time that you intend to remain in the United States as a conditional permanent resident. When you enter the United States on an I visa, you must intend to return to your home. If you enter on an I visa, which impliedly states that you intend to return, but really you intend to stay permanently, you would be misrepresenting a material fact in order to obtain an immigration benefit, i.e. entry. I suggest that you enter on an I visa with the intent to return. If your EB-5 visa becomes currently available to you while you are in the United States, you may change your intent. You would not be misleading the customs officer on entering and a person may change an intent with a change of conditions.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It may be possible for you to enter the United States on an I visa and bring your family as dependents. However, you cannot intend to use a nonimmigrant I visa to wait to adjust in the United States assuming your I-526 is approved. The most appropriate option is to depart the United States on an I visa and consular process your immigrant visas abroad upon approval of your I-526 petition. Alternatively, file your I-526 after you enter the United States on an I visa. I suggest you consult an immigration attorney.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Technically, yes, but the Customs and Border Protection Officer may ask additional questions of you when they see the I-526 petition pending. If you happen to be in the United States when the I-526 is approved, you should be able to adjust your status to permanent resident.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have already applied for the EB-5 visa and then wish to come in on an I visa, you may have a problem at the Port of Entry. The Inspecting Officer may say that you are an applicant for an immigrant visa and deny your entrance as as a nonimmigrant. I would check with the U.S. consulate in your home country for a clarification.

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    Jeffrey Stewart

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 application should not be affected by your entering the United States, as long as you leave the United States while on the I visa to process your EB-5 visa at an embassy of your residence. Yes, you can enter the United States while on an I visa, but you must plan to leave the United States while on the I visa. No, you cannot bring your family on the I visa waiting for approval of the EB-5 visa. If your family enters on the I visa, they must leave on the I visa and obtain the EB-5 visa through the embassy of their residence.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Although the I visa is not a dual intent visa, you do not have to maintain a foreign residence and it does not seem to prohibit the detrimental consequences of having an immigrant intent. Also, while there is no limit on the time a person can spend in the United States on an I visa, the visa is issued in increments of one year only. Thus, in order to extend an I visa, an application must be submitted that includes a letter from the employer explaining the activities that are the basis for the requested extension. You could also bring your family with you, but your spouse cannot work on the I visa.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as you have a valid I or other nonimmigrant visa, you are able to remain in the United States awaiting I-526 approval. Do not overstay the nonimmigrant status though, as this will affect your eligibility to adjust in the United States when the I-526 is approved. The same rule applies for your dependents.

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    Gregory Romanovsky

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Assuming you already have (or will receive) an I visa, you can use it to enter the United States while your I-526 is pending to perform your duties as a journalist. Your family should be able to get their dependent visas and enter with you. What you cannot do, however, is use your I visa to come and "wait for the EB-5 approval." Your entry on the I visa must be related to your journalist activities. Good luck.

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