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What is the EB-5 application process for a current F-1 student?

I am current a F-1 student in the United Sates and I received funds from my family. I am interested in the EB-5 visa. Could you give me more details about how EB-5 would work if I were to apply for it as a student? Would the EB-5 timeline work with my current visa?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The current average processing time for the I-526 petition is about 17 months. I-526 filing will not afford you any lawful immigration status in the United States, so you have to maintain your underlying F-1 status by being in school or in OPT period or through a work visa if possible in order to adjust in the United States to a green card holder upon approval of the I-526 petition, assuming your immigrant visa number will be current at that time. There is a backlog of immigrant visas for mainland-born Chinese nationals currently expected to last for 3-4 years. If this does not apply to you, then the EB-5 timeline should likely work for you.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As someone in an F-1 status you may apply for EB-5 with funds gifted to you by your parent. The timeline depending on your country of nationality is about one year after the initial application before you receive any answer. If your F-1 status is still valid, then there should be no problem.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The current average processing time for an I-526 petition is 16.6 months. If you can maintain your full-time student status until your I-526 is approved and until there is an immigrant visa number available (i.e., your priority date is current), then the timeline should work for you.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an F-1 student, you will have a challenge to maintain your F-1 student status and at the same time file a petition as an EB-5 investor on Form I-526 to ultimately qualify for permanent resident status. Once you file a petition, if you were to depart the United States, it could be more difficult or impossible to renew your F-1 student visa or to be readmitted with a student visa. However, you may be able to stay in the United States as long as your I-526 petition is pending, which could be 12 months or even longer before it is adjudicated. As long as you maintain your F-1 student status in the United States, you should be okay. Once you make the investment decision, there is nothing to prohibit you from filing the I-526 petition in the United States. The length of time before you can file your adjustment of status application will depend upon your nationality. If you are a national of China, there is a significant backlog under the quota of 3-4 years to even much longer before a visa number will be available. If you are not, once the petition is approved, you will be eligible to apply for adjustment of status on Form I-485.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We would have to know how long your current visa is valid for? Generally USCIS takes about 16 months to adjudicate an EB-5 visa petition, so you have to be in status for at least 18 months. Then once approved, you can apply to adjust status, unless you are a Chinese national. At the moment the waiting line for Chinese is getting longer and is likely to reach 3-4 years soon, so if you are mainland China-born, you will need to be able to stay in status much longer, either as a student, or via OPT work permission, or via an H-1B or other work visa.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In many cases, a current F-1 student can apply for EB-5, but because each and every case is unique, please consult with an immigration lawyer to assist you with your specific timelines and goals.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can file your EB-5 application in the United States while holding an F-1 Visa. Currently, USCIS is quoting 17 months for the adjudication of the application. This is a viable option for you and the best first step is to consult with an investment immigration attorney. Generally this consultation will be free.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It works for an F-1 student the same way as for anyone else. You file the visa petition; if it is approved, you adjust status and become a conditional, lawful permanent resident.

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