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How can I live in the United States after submitting the I-526 petition?

I recently submitted the I-526 petition in my home country. I would like to relocate to the United States ASAP. I have a B-1/B-2 nonimmigrant visa and am aware of the intent while traveling to the United States. What are my best options if I want to move to the United States ASAP and remain there for longer than six months? Is there a dual-intent visa I can apply for? Or should I apply for a study visa?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Filing or approval of your I-526 does not provide you with legal immigration status or grant you any immigration benefits. Once your I-526 is approved, you will generally need to go through consular processing to receive your immigrant visa to the United States based on the approved I-526, and enter the United States as a conditional permanent resident. Presently, I-526 processing takes on average 14 months, and the consular process takes on average 3-6 months. You may consider L or H-1B visas that are dual-intent visas if you are qualified. Unfortunately, H-1B is lottery-based. The F-1 visa requires showing of a nonimmigrant intent. It may be difficult for you to obtain an F-1 visa because you have filed an immigrant petition. You should consult an immigration attorney to see what visa options may be available to you.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    With only an I-526 pending, you may be able to travel to the United States, but be prepared for additional questioning upon entry. If you happen to be in the United States on your B-1/B-2 and the I-526 gets approved, you can adjust. Applying for a new non-immigrant visa while the I-526 is pending may be challenging.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would think the F-1 student visa will probably be your best bet. You need to be cautious when applying for a visa at the U.S. consulate. They will know that you have an application pending for an immigrant visa, so they might strike you down if it is just the B-1/B-2.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The best options are an L or an H-1B, or possibly an E-2 or O-1 if eligible.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Perhaps an E-2 investor visa if you are from a suitable country.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Most of the nonimmigrant visas, such as B-1/B-2, F (student), J (internship), etc., are all based on not having an immigrant intent. If the consulate officer thinks you have an immigrant intent, they will not issue these visas. The nonimmigrant intent also applies if you enter with an already approved multi-year visa. The only dual-intent visas are H-1B (specialty occupation requiring a bachelor's degree) and L-1 (intercompany transfers). Since the H-1B visa cap was reached for 2015 a long time ago, you will need to wait until April 2016 to file if you have a U.S. employer who will sponsor you. You may be able to do an L-1 if you have worked in a company for more than a year, and that company will establish a subsidiary or affiliate company in the United States and wants you to set it up and run it.

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