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What will happen if I apply for the EB-5 visa and am called onto active duty in my home country?

I reside in South Korea and want to immigrate to the United States through the EB-5 visa. However, my country has military conscription. What will happen if I apply for the EB-5 visa and must serve in my home country? What would my residency status be if my I-526 application is approved? Would I still be subject to my home country’s citizenship requirements?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The processing time of the I-526 petition and obtaining conditional permanent residency status may take 16 months more or less. Until you obtain conditional permanent residency you may still reside in your home country of citizenship and pursue your military requirements. Once you obtain your conditional permanent residency status, then you should be spending most of your time in the United States.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I-526 petition approval does not give you Lawful Permanent Resident status. It is only after you have been approved for the Immigrant Visa or Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Residence, that you would be considered a Permanent Resident of the United States. If the South Korean military requirement allows for exemption of service if the person is a permanent resident of another country, then you would only be exempt in this case after the Immigrant Visa/Adjustment of Status is approved.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I-526 approval does not provide you with conditional permanent residence automatically. You will need to consular process in your home country to apply for the immigrant visa to be admitted for a conditional permanent residence in the United States at a U.S. embassy. Please consult a South Korean lawyer on military service requirements. After you have been admitted in the United States as a conditional permanent resident, you will need to obtain a reentry permit in the United States, in order to depart the United States for military service service and avoid abandoning your U.S. permanent resident status.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    South Korea has stringent requirements regarding permanent residency in other countries. Better check with an attorney in South Korea.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is a question of Korean law on military service obligation and an U.S. immigration law question. However, obtaining the U.S. permanent residency status does not relieve you of any of the citizenship requirements as you are still a Korean citizen. If you must serve in the military after you receive the conditional green card, you should obtain a reentry permit before going back to Korea to serve in the military so that you do not inadvertently give up your green card status by staying out longer than a year.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An I-526 approval is only the first step which basically only gives you the opportunity to apply for your conditional permanent residency. There are more steps and a number of years to wait before even being eligible for U.S. citizenship. I am not clear on South Korean military rules, however, but legal counsel would research consequences to your U.S. immigration goals.

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