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How can I immediately qualify for the EB-5 visa and move to the United States?

I'm in Australia and I just bought a $1.1 million home, cash, in Florida. I have cash ready for a $500,000 or $1 million investment, and am ready to commit. Can someone advise me on what I need to do to qualify for an EB-5 visa and legally stay in the United States until the visa gets approved?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should retain the legal services of an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who will be able to prepare your I-526 petition and guide you regarding lawful source of funds documents to support your I-526 petition.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, consult with an EB-5 immigration attorney. Second, with the assistance of an attorney, you can review EB-5 investment projects for immigration compliance. Third, if you have another lawful nonimmigrant visa/status, you may be able to enter the United States while the first step of the EB-5 process is being reviewed by USCIS, subject to the time limitations on that visa/status.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, purchasing a home in the United States is irrelevant to your immigration status and to the EB-5 program in particular. There are many regional centers and EB-5 projects available; some are good and some not so good. It would make sense for someone in your position to hire a financial adviser who can conduct due diligence on some available EB-5 projects and report back to you so you can make an informed decision about where to invest, or whether to invest at all. Regarding your stay in the United States, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney, who can advise you on your options to stay. EB-5 cases usually take at least a year or longer and most visitor visa stays are six months or less.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Since I-526 immigrant petition is taking more than 14 months to adjudicate and then it would take another 4-6 months for the immigrant visa processing, it is almost impossible for you to invest and obtain the EB-5 visa to come into the United States. However, as an Australian, if you have a significant business that could establish a subsidiary in the United States. or you are willing to establish and run a business in the United States, you may consider either the L-1 or E-3 visa category to enter the United States before starting the EB-5 process.

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    Russell C Weigel, III

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 petition does not give you a visa immediately. The EB-5 visa petition must first be adjudicated by USCIS, a procedure that is taking more than one year per petition. You should consult legal counsel to help you determine your options for immediate entry.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no "immediate" under EB-5. Basically you have to invest in a business that will produce 10 new jobs from your investment. There are hundreds of projects out there that you can choose from, but the process takes well over a year. There is no provision for you to stay here while the application is pending. Probably your best bet is to apply for a student visa and then as long as you maintain your status you may remain while your EB-5 application gets processed.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an Australian, you should first seek to obtain a work visa, such as an E-3, then find a decent project that qualifies.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The money you invested in purchasing your home ($1.1 million) can not be used for qualifying for the EB-5 immigrant Investor visa since the investment must be in a commercial enterprise; however, as you state that you have a cash reserve of $500,000 to $1 million, that amount may be invested in a commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for the EB-5 processing. As far as remaining in the United States while this gets approved, there are options, but would depend on various factors.

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    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    Make sure you're here legally first if you aren't, EB-5 becomes very difficult. Work with both a securities attorney and immigration attorney to help you get the paperwork going. You might wish to work with the attorney or a broker/dealer in performing due diligence on potential deals. Some have already done research to assist in your efforts. But you should act quickly before the $500,000/$1 million goes up to $800,000/$1.2 million with the legislation now pending in Congress.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    With your investment you could invest in a regional center. The investment amount for most regional centers will likely go up to $800,000 (from $500,000) and the petition will take around 14 months for the government to adjudicate. The I-526 petition does not confer any status so you would need a nonimmigrant visa that allows you to stay in the United States during that time. A B visa may work for some of the time, but you may run into immigrant intent issues after the I-526 has been filed when you try to renew the visa or try to enter the country.

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