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How do I deal with the I-485 policy change enacted under the Trump Administration?

I applied to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program through a Chinese immigration agency. At the time of filing my I-526, I was residing in China. Just 2 weeks ago, my I-526 was approved. I am currently studying in the U.S. with an F-1 visa, so I think I am supposed to file an I-485 at this point. The immigration agency, however, told me there was a policy change under President Trump and, in my case, I could not file an I-485 and had to have my case processed at the National Visa Center. After looking up I-485 on the USCIS website and other online resources, I doubt what the immigration agency told me is truthful. Could someone please me some advice for my situation?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no change in policy, and it is not the policy but the law as it is currently enacted. If you are not a mainland China national and are currently in valid F-1 status in the U.S., then you should be able to file I-485/I-131/I-765 packet immediately after approval of your I-526 petition. If you are a mainland China national, then you will have to wait until your immigrant visa number becomes current (determined by your priority date, which is the date USCIS received your I-526 petition) to file for adjustment of status in the U.S. You will need to continue maintaining your underlying nonimmigrant status, such as F-1, to remain eligible to adjust in the U.S. when your immigrant visa becomes current. A Visa Bulletin is published each month by the Department of State and you can check it regularly. However, you should note mainland China national are currently backed up to June 2014.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is probably not that I-485 policy was changed, but that your Priority Date for adjusting your status is not current for you to file I-485. As Consulate processing cases could be filed 6 months before the PD is actually current, your case could be filed earlier that way. Your immigration attorney could advise you about this further.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The Trump Administration has not changed the I-485 policy. Further, based on the fact pattern you presented, the position of the immigration agency is not true. As long as you remain on a valid F-1 visa in the U.S. and that visa is current, you should be able to adjust your status by filing I-485. However, visa must be current before you can file your I-485. Advisably, assemble all your documents and related file(s), then consult an EB-5 immigration attorney for appropriate review to determine your eligibility and action.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no policy change. This has always been the law. You cannot file an AOS case unless your quota number is current. Since the numbers from China are behind, you can only file your I-485 if and when your number is current. This is not new.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are in a valid nonimmigrant status such as F-1, your I-526 is approved and your Priority Date is current (China is backed up several years); then you may file to adjust status in the U.S. with the I-485/I-765/I-131 etc.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There has been no change in policy by the Trump Administration. It is very good news that your EB-5 Petition on Form I-526 has been approved. Most likely the reason you cannot file an Application for Adjustment of Status within the U.S. is that you are ineligible to do so unless a visa number is available. As a result, you only have two options: (1) you can try to maintain your temporary nonimmigrant status by extending your F-1 student status or obtaining an H-1B work visa status while waiting for visa availability or (2), as suggested, you go through the National Visa Center, complete the necessary documentation and they will then notify the American Consulate in Guangzhou and you will be scheduled for your final interviewbut only when a visa number is available under the quota for Chinese nationals. Right now, there is a growing backlog of visa numbers and, depending on when you filed your original I-526 petition, it could take a number of years before visa numbers become available.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are under a valid F-1 status, you can file I-485 to adjust your status. However, if you were born in China, you cannot file your I-485 (which is processed at USCIS) or DS-260 (which is processed at NVC) because Mainland China-born applicants face a significant visa backlog. You need to wait until your priority date becomes current to file your I-485. You need to stay in a valid non-immigrant status such as F-1, H-1B etc. while you become eligible to file for the I-485 application.

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    Karen Weinstock

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I do not believe the agent is telling you the truth. You should contact a good U.S. immigration attorney instead of relying on the advice of someone who is unqualified to give you it in the first place.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are physically present in the United States in valid nonimmigrant status and you have an approved I-526 petition with a current priority date (according to Chart A (Final Action Dates) on the latest Visa Bulletin), then you should be able to file your I-485 if you are otherwise eligible to adjust status in the United States. There has been no policy change or change in the law or regulations on this point.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Without further detail about what policy change you are referring to, we cannot provide any specific guidance; however, based on the info you provided, there should not be any restrictions on being able to adjust status in the U.S. (ie., I-485 processing), if your priority date is current as a Chinese national.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are born in mainland China, you are likely subject to the current waiting line or cutoff date of June 2014. Your case must be filed in June 2014 in order to file an adjustment. If you are not subject to the mainland China EB-5 quota and you are in valid status, then you should be able to file an adjustment application in the U.S.

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