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How can my wife change from F-1 to F-2 during the EB-5 visa waiting period?

My wife and I got married in 2014 and we are planning to apply for EB-5 in 2015. I am an F-1 student with up to 36 months of program time (on my I-20). My wife is in her OPT extension period with another school and the expiration date is October 2015. My concern is that if we file the EB-5 application before October, such as in February or March 2015, can she still successfully change her status from F-1 to F-2 as my spouse? How can we avoid dual intent being an issue?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are the principal EB-5 investor, only you will demonstrate immigrant intent by filing I-526, not your wife. However, you should discuss the specifics of your case with your immigration attorney.

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Between you and your wife, only one of you will become the principal EB-5 investor. Assuming you are the principal, your name will be listed as the investor on Form I-526, not your wife. That is to say, when your I-526 is pending, your wife does not have to file her own I-526. Therefore, there is no impediment for her to change into F-2 dependent status.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Without knowing more about it, I would say that she could possibly change to F-2 if she is not the principal, but a derivative. However I would seek an interview with competent counsel before proceeding.

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    Denyse Sabagh

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your wife can change from an F-1 to an F-2 as long as you are in a valid F-1 status, even if you have an I-526 pending.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No guarantee that you can avoid the issue, but perhaps set up the EB-5 for consular processing (you can always elect easily to adjust status later).

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are the investor and file I-526 petition under your name, she has not shown her immigrant intent with that filing. It is best to contact an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney to guide you so that you do not inadvertently get yourselves into a situation that may complicate matters.

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