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How will previously living illegally in the United States affect my EB-5 visa eligibility?

I am a Mexican citizen and I currently live in Mexico. However, I lived in the United States illegally with my family when I was younger, from about 3 to 13 years old. Would this previous illegal residence disqualify me from applying for an EB-5 visa? Will I have to document my time spent in the United States anywhere on the EB-5 application?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may not have any issues, such as unlawful presence would not accrue before you turned 18. You should consult an experienced immigration attorney to review all facts. Generally, in the immigrant visa application (during the consulate process step when and if your I-526 is approved), you are to provide information on residence since age 16 to present.

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    Steffanie J Lewis

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Answer: Unlawful presence is defined as presence after the expiration of the period of stay authorized or any presence without being admitted or paroled. The consequence of unlawful presence are a 3-year or 10-year bar upon requesting re-entry. However, a minor under the age of 18 does not accrue unlawful presence for purposes of the 3-year and 10-year bars until the day after his or her 18th birthday. Therefore, this would not disqualify you to apply for EB-5.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As you were a minor, you should not have an issue as the unlawful presence will not count against you, when you apply for an EB-5 visa. If you were over 18, you would have been subject to a bar.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have been outside of the United States for a certain period of time you may be OK. That information would be provided when applying for conditional permanent residency, which takes place after the form I-526 filed with USCIS is approved.

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    David Sheen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unlawful presence will normally be a problem for the applicant. However, in your particular case, it will not affect your eligibility because you were under 18 years old. Minors for immigration law purposes can not accrue unlawful presence. herefore, it will not disqualify you from applying as an EB-5 investor. It is recommended that you consult with an experienced counsel to have a full review of your situation before moving forward with your case.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as you were a minor when you lived without documentation, then it will not be a factor.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Legally, your previous periods of unlawful presence (which is what the time you described technically was) does not count against you for the time before you turned 18 years old. So, with competent immigration counsel the U.S. Department of State would not have grounds to bar you or categorize you as inadmissible from the country.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Certain immigration violations (entry without inspection and unlawful presence) can cause issues. If the overstay was before 1997 and/or you were under the age of 18 when you left the United States to return to Mexico, it is unlikely that you accrued any unlawful presence. Therefore, your illegal presence in the United States as a minor might not affect an application for EB-5 immigration benefits. You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise you on the specifics of your case.

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    Gregory Romanovsky

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Thank you for your inquiry. The EB-5 petition does not address your admissibility to the United States, which will be determined during your consular processing or adjustment of status phase. But regardless, any unlawful presence prior to your 18th birthday should not affect your chances of becoming a permanent resident.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No. Because you were younger than 14 years old when you were illegally residing, there is no unlawful presence attached to you for triggering the 3 or 10 year bar to admission. Also, since you are now in Mexico and if you have been out of the United States for 10 years by the time the immigrant visa processing is done, then you should not have any difficulties.

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    Dawn M Lurie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Fortunately time spent in the United States, even after the harsh changes to the law in 1996, while under the age of 18 will not serve as a bar to admissibility. You will need to only document your countries of residence only after the age of 16.

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    Ting Geng

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The fact that you lived in the United States illegally for ten years in the past would not affect your immigration petition and obtaining an immigration visa because a minor under the age of 18 does not accrue unlawful presence for purposes of the three and ten year bars until the day after his/her 18th birthday. The I-526 form does not question your legal status and past history. Only when you apply for an immigration visa, the form DS-260 will ask: "Have you ever been unlawfully present, overstayed the amount of time granted by an immigration official or otherwise violated the terms of a U.S. visa?" You shall answer the question truthfully. Because you were only a minor at that time, you did not accumulate any unlawful presence, therefore shall not be subject to any punishment. If your I-526 is approved, you should be able to obtain an immigrant visa at American consulate.]

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Although the immigration law imposes a three to ten year reentry bar for substantial period of unlawful presence in the United States, you are exempted. This is because, as a minor who had yet to reach 18 years of age, you were not subject to such restriction. Therefore, you are not barred from the EB-5 application. However, if you also received a deportation or removal order while in the United States illegally, that could change the entire picture. It may serve your interest better to have an immigration attorney to first check your past immigration history.

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    Louis M Piscopo

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unlawful presence in the United States from the ages of 3 to 13 will not disqualify you from immigrating based on an EB-5 petition. However, if during that period, you left and returned to the United States, it may be a problem since the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez could find you inadmissible under INA Section 212(a)(9)(C).

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, previous unlawful presence could affect your petition for EB-5. You need the advice of competent immigration counsel to perhaps prepare a waiver for you.

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    Charles H Kuck

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This will not disqualify you from the EB-5 visa.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, unlawful presence in the United States prior to age 18 does not bar a person from being admitted to the United States. You will not be asked to document the dates you lived in the United States. You may be asked to document the dates you lived outside of the United States.

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    Sufen Hilf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You do need to disclose you lived in the United States when you were 3 to 13 years old. That should not affect your ability to apply for EB-5 visa since you are not subject to the 10 years unlawful presence bar. That bar only applies to someone who lived in the United States for over one year and above age of 18. I hope you do not have other factors which may bar you from applying for the visa. Also, you should document your living in Mexico since the age of 13 to prove you have been outside the United States since that time. You should hire a lawyer to process your EB-5 and at the same time address this issue.

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