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Which country must I list as my home on my EB-5 application?

I am a mainland born Chinese who is currently working in Hong Kong and I expect to obtain a Hong Kong passport next year. To do this, I have to renounce my PRC passport. If I invest in the EB-5 program with the "updated" identity of a Hong Kong citizen, will I still be subject to the ongoing delay in review/approval placed on mainland China applicants?

Answers

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    Xiaosheng Huang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, do you have any child who was born in a place other than mainland China, like Hong Kong?

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes. The country of chargeability for immigrant visa number purposes is the country of birth, not citizenship/nationality.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You would probably be counted as a Hong King citizen if you wait. Hong Kong is not currently subjected to the delays in visa availability.

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    Steffanie J Lewis

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You must list the country of which you are a citizen and national at the time you file your I-526 petition. I would also attach a separate sheet. Type or print your name at the top of the sheet of paper. Indicate the page number, part number and item number to which your answer refers. Then explain that next year you expect to obtain a Hong Kong passport, thus changing the country of charge from PRC to Hong Kong from PRC. Currently, USCIS practice considers material changes during the Form I-526 adjudication period to be impermissible. An amendment would not be considered a material change where facts related to the petitioner's Form I-526 eligibility would not change. A material change in your I-526 would require the filing of a new I-526 petition. If, at the time of your I-526 petition adjudication, you assert eligibility under a materially different set of facts that did not exist and/or was not planned upon when the petition was filed, you must file a new Form I-526. Thus, if you plan to be a national of Hong Kong before or during adjudication, you need to make that fact known and part of your plan.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 chargeability is based only on your country of birth, or that of your spouse if not the same as yours.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your country of changeability for immigrant visa issuance purposes will still be mainland China because it is determined by country of birth. Your future Hong Kong citizenship may allow you to be interviewed for an immigrant visa in Hong Kong rather than Guangzhou, but the Hong Kong passport will not help you otherwise. If you were married to someone with a place of birth in Hong Kong, then it would be possible to avoid the immigrant visa backlog.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I believe once you have a Hong Kong passport, that would allow you to circumvent the mainland waiting list. However, Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR), so I would double check with the U.S. State Department for clarification.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Although you may become a Hong Kong Citizen with a Hong Kong passport, you will still be considered as a mainland China applicant for the visa number availability based on the country of origin (birth). The Hong Kong citizenship will allow you to be interviewed at the consulate in Hong Kong rather than in Guangzhou.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, the waiting line is based on your place of birth. If you were married to someone who was born in Hong Kong, then the Hong Kong quota applies.

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    Rebecca Singh

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Chargeability (the country where the visa will be charged) is determined by your country of birth, not nationality or citizenship. Your country of chargeability will be mainland China. However, you can also use your spouse's country of birth (cross-chargeability), if other than mainland China, and if your spouse applies with you.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you must show your place of birth being in the People's Republic of China and the specific city in the PRC, although of course, when appropriate, you can show that you have obtained your status in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, no matter what, you will always be subject to the quota for the PRC and thus, subject not to any delay in the review/approval process, but subject to the annual quota which is backlogged for at least 2+ years and probably much longer. The backlog is the result of significant increased visa demand by Chinese applicants during the last few years. It is possible that Congress will address this issue and increase the quota before the end of the year, but there is no certainty about this matter.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you will still be subject to the delays. The country of birth determines "chargeability" for green card/immigration purposes. Obtaining a different citizenship and abandoning Chinese citizenship still would not impact this chargeability.

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    Peter Zhang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you would still be subject to the delays. The retrogression is based on the country of "chargeability" - which would be the country you were born in.

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