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How can I maintain my status until applying for an EB-5 visa?

I graduated with a bachelor's degree in a non-STEM major this May. My OPT is expiring in a couple of months. I am thinking about applying for EB-5, but need to figure it out with my family. I wonder if I would be able to maintain my status if I am enrolled in a STEM program at a community college? Is there any advantage to applying to EB-5 immediately in this situation?

Answers

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    Answered on

    Since I-526 processing time averages over 14 months, it is almost always advantageous to apply sooner rather than later. The timing of the I-526 filing and other aspects of your immigration case should be discussed in detail with your attorney before filing. You certainly can maintain your status if you are in OPT and working in an approved employment setting or if you are in F-1 status with a valid Form I-20 and attending classes full-time.

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    Answered on

    There are a variety of ways to maintain your U.S. status prior to the expiration of your OPT (Optional Practical Training), one of which is to re-enroll in another degree plan at an appropriate college. The primary advantage of filing an EB-5 petition on Form I-526 soon is that the sooner you start, the sooner you finish. This is particularly true for Chinese nationals given the fact that there is a growing backlog under the quota. Thus, the sooner you file your I-526 petition, the sooner you establish a priority date or place in line. However, once you file an I-526 petition, it would make it far more difficult to impossible to renew an F-1 student visa at the American Consulate abroad or to be readmitted to the United States as a student. As a practical matter, it would be better to obtain your student status or extend your student status or if necessary, to renew an F-1 student visa abroad prior to filing your I-526 investor petition.

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    Answered on

    If you are Chinese-born and seeking a green card via EB-5, you need to file as soon as possible to get your place in the waiting line. There are several options while waiting, from going back to school, applying for the limited H-1B if you have an employer, or looking at the variety of other nonimmigrant visa that depend on your qualifications.

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    Answered on

    Any nonimmigrant status will work - going back to school, applying for an H-1B, etc.

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