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What happens between I-526 filing and approval?

It sounds like Form I-526 can take at least nine months to approve. What happens in the meantime, between filing and approval? I want to be able to buy a house in the United States and live in it after filing in order to manage the investment. But if I do not have an immigrant visa, and cannot remain in the United States for more than three months, how can I run the investment?

Answers

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You would need to obtain a nonimmigrant visa to be in the United States prior to obtaining your immigrant visa.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Right now, you have to wait. The I-526 approval allows you to file for conditional permanent residency with the U.S. consulate, which can be prepared in the interim. If you are already in the United States under a valid status (like an E-2), you can continue on and adjust your status to conditional permanent residency. You can also do some tax planning.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Current average processing time for an I-526 petition is 14.7 months. This is a true average, so some petitions are processed more quickly and others take longer. Filing an I-526 does not grant any immigration benefit. Therefore, if you are in the United States, you must maintain a valid, nonimmigrant visa status. Most EB-5 investors do not, and cannot start running their businesses before the I-526 is approved and they either receive interim work authorization as part of an adjustment of status application, or they have immigrated to the United States by obtaining an immigrant investor visa abroad and entering the United States as a conditional lawful permanent resident. Many EB-5 investors who are abroad employ managers to run the U.S. business in their absence until they can complete the immigrant visa processing. Other EB-5 projects structure the investment so that the investor''s funds repose in an escrow account until the I-526 petition is approved, so the business really is not running during the process (note that USICS requires proof of meaningful business activity in order to get the I-526 approved, but it does not require that the business be operating). You should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who can advise you on the details that apply to your particular situation.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your investment is a sole proprietor operation, you really cannot be operating it and receiving a salary, etc. without status.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Until you obtain conditional permanent residency, you cannot live and work in the United States. Please note you may immediately obtain a non immigration visa to live and work in the United States. Once you obtain the conditional permanent residency visa, you will not have to maintain a non immigration regulation compliant business in the United States.

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An investment in a house will not qualify for EB-5 purposes at all. You need to re-focus on your investment strategy. Before the I-526 or the immigrant visa is approved, even if you have invested in the United States, you still have to comply with rules applying to visitors to the United States.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have a B1/B2 visa with multiple years of entry, you could come in for up to six months at a time and then repeat that process as long as you will do the consular process after the I-526 is approved. Also, the B1/B2 could be extended at least once, if not twice. Your obligation to manage your EB-5 investment business does not actually start until the I-526 is approved and you obtain and enter the United States with an immigrant visa. However, depending on the business in which you have invested and how that business is structured and your role in it, this may not be a feasibility. Thus, please consult with your EB-5 lawyer on the timing of your investment and entry, as many details need to be worked out and monitored so that you do not inadvertently jeopardize your immigrant process or investment.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While the I-526 petition is outstanding, you may run into problems when you attempt to enter the United States, as the government may question your intent. If your intent when you visit is to stay temporarily, you may enter and you should bring proof that shows the visit is temporary. You should consult with a lawyer prior to any visit. Buying a property while the petition is outstanding is not a problem.

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