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When is the best time to use cross-changeability to avoid backlog?

My boyfriend was born in China and he received his I-526 approval letter for his EB-5 regional center application in March, 2017. Due to his place or birth, he has to wait a long time before he can get a conditional green card. I was not born in mainland China, and I heard that if we get married, we can use cross chargeability to shorten the wait. Given that his I-526 has been approved, is it now too late to get married and go through the process? If not, when is a reasonable timeline for getting married and what documentations are needed to submit in order to let USCIS know that we want to use cross chargeability?

Answers

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Chargeability (cross chargeability) can be assigned (or reassigned) at any time prior to receiving lawful permanent residency. Therefore, as long as you marry before he receives his immigrant visa and immigrates to the United States, it will work. In fact, the National Visa Center will not even process his immigrant visa application unless and until his priority date is current. So once you marry, you should notify the NVC of the marriage by emailing the agency a copy of your marriage certificate and passport. You should request to be added as his dependent, and most importantly, you should request that the country of chargeability be updated to reflect your country of birth, not his.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While cross-chargeability is acceptable practice in EB-5 , in your situation it appears to be too late to try to replace your boyfriend.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are significant advantages to cross-chargeability to avoid the backlog for individuals born in China. Should you enter into a bona fide marriage for normal marital purposes in the near future, it is not too late to do so for purposes of both of you qualifying for conditional permanent residency with your fiance or new husband as the primary EB-5 I-526 petitioner and you as the dependent spouse. You have to remember that your future spouse will not be scheduled until a visa number is available and that could take a number of years if he happened to be born in China. It is only when you marry that he would have the basis of informing the National Visa Center so through cross-chargeability he could be scheduled for his interview sooner.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, not too late. After you are married, you can indicate when filing for I-485/Immigrant Visa processing that you are eligible to file based on cross-changeability of the nationality of your spouse.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you marry you will be able to use cross-chargeability.

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    Mitch Wexler

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The term is called "cross chargeability", not cross changeability. It allows an immigrant visa (or adjustment of status) applicant to use the country of birth of a spouse when determining whether or not their priority date is current. The relationship does not have to be in existence when the I-526 is filed as long as it is in existence when the benefit is applied for. In most cases, an applicant seeking cross chargeability benefits would have to file an I-824 which will serve to notify the US Consulate of the new relationship or if seeking adjustment of status in the US, simply attaching the marriage certificate to an adjustment of status application with an explanation.

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