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Which visas can I apply for at the same time as an EB-5 visa?

I am in the United States with L-1 visa status, which will expire in April 2017. I want to apply for an EB-5 visa, but approval takes between 12 to 16 months. Can I use my EB-5 investment to also apply for an E-2 visa, and then I can adjust status from L-1/E-2? Are there other visas I can apply for at the same time as EB-5 to remain in the United States?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not clear whether your total seven year permissible period of stay in the United States is expiring from the facts. Have you considered filing an I-140 under the EB-1C category so that you can later file an adjustment of status to be a permanent green card holder upon approval of the I-140? This may be the best option for you. You may consider applying for the E-2 visa; however, even though it allows renewing your status indefinitely, it requires a showing of nonimmigrant intent and does not lead to a green card directly. You may have issues renewing your E-2 if you file an immigrant petition such as the I-526 under the EB-5 category. You should also determine if you are eligible for E-2 (it is available to nationals of countries with which the United States has trade and commerce treaties). You may also consider switching to F-1 status and file the I-526. You should schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney to review all possible options and choose the best and fastest route.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is possible to apply for the E-2 visa then eventually use the funds as part of your EB-5 investment. If your L-1 ends you could always apply as a student under F-1 and maintain status during the EB-5 process.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 is not really a visa; it is a category for immigrant investors who wish to obtain U.S. lawful permanent residence (green card). The 16-month process you refer to is the current average processing time for an I-526 petition, which is just the first step to obtaining an EB-5 green card. The second step is either adjustment of status in the United States or immigrant visa processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. This will take additional time (several months, if not longer) depending upon your country of birth and depending upon how quickly you can obtain the required documents to support your application. If you are a citizen/national of a country that has an E-2 treaty with the United States, you could potentially qualify for E-2 and EB-5 with the same investment. You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney on this matter. If you are in valid nonimmigrant status in the United States when your I-526 petition is approved, you may apply for adjustment of status only if there is an available immigrant visa number (i.e., your priority date is current).

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    At the same time you prepare and file your EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526, in theory you can apply for any other visa for which you are qualified. Yes, you could possibly use the direct EB-5 investment to also qualify for an E-2 visa if you are otherwise eligible. If you are in the United States in L-1 visa status as a manager or executive, you could possibly also qualify under the EB-1 classification for lawful permanent residency.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    One can apply for other immigrant (green card) processes while a first immigrant process is pending with USCIS. Please consult with an immigration attorney before making decisions on multiple filings to ensure each petition you file is approvable on its own.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unlike L-1, which is a dual intent visa, E-2 is purely a nonimmigrant visa for which you promise to go back to your home country after the investment period is over. This is an inconsistent requirement that does not seem to promote smaller trade or investment for those who seek to do business under E-2. However, that is how things are until it is changed. What this means is that if you prefer an ease of travel after the I-526 is filed and reduced scrutiny about whether you had violated or misrepresented the nonimmigrant intent, it would be best if you could extend the L-1 rather than changing to E-2.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, this should work, but technically the E-2 is not a dual intent category like the L-1 or H-1.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You might be eligible for an E-2 if you have the correct nationality, but that is hard to do if you are applying through a regional center project as you must have majority control. If you are on a managerial or executive L-1, you may want to look at the EB-1C, or managerial/executive green card option. You need to consult with an expert as you appear to have numerous options. Generally you can apply for a green card via numerous options and choose the best or fastest option. Do not forget to apply for the green card lottery if eligible. That opens for a month on October 4, 2016 and they giving away 50,000 green cards, not merely 10,000 as with EB-5.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The nice thing about L-1 is that it allows dual intent. You can extend that, if eligible, or you can try for an E-2 if your country has a treaty with the United States, or any other visa for which you may qualify. Or you may wish to wait abroad.

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