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Why would obtaining a B1/B2 visa in Mexico affect my chances of securing my EB-5 visa?

I am currently living in the United States under the visa waiver program and am developing a company here. My visa waiver expires soon and I will have to leave the United States. If I fly to Mexico and obtain a B1/B2 visa from the consulate so that I may return to the United States, how will that affect my application in the EB-5 process afterwards?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Under VWP, or tourist visa, you are not generally authorized to work in the United States, including active management of your own business (self-employment). Applying for a tourist visa and its subsequent approval or denial should not affect your I-626 process unless there is fraud or misrepresentation in your prior visa application to the United States.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as you do not make any false statements about your pending I-526 then there should not be a problem.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Based on these facts I see no difficulty, as long as you depart on schedule.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Entering the United States on the temporary visa waiver visitor program or on a temporary visitor B-1/B-2 visa, you will have to have the intent to return to your home country after a short temporary visit to the United States. If you are entering the United States on a temporary visitor’s visa you cannot have the intent to stay in the United States and adjust to permanent residency in the United States. If the I-526 petition is approved while you are in the United States then you will have to leave the United States and obtain your conditional permanent residency through U.S. consulate processing.

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    Gregory Romanovsky

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Thank you for your inquiry. A B1/B2 visa application (assuming all of the information provided to the consulate is truthful) should not affect your chances of securing permanent residence through the EB-5 program down the road.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, as a visa waiver entrant, you are not authorized to live in the United States. Also, since you are not a Mexican citizen, it is unlikely that any U.S. consulate in Mexico would issue a B-1/B-2 visitor’s visa to you. You must return to your home country and apply for the visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate there. In order to be eligible for a visitor’s visa, you must demonstrate that you are not currently an intending immigrant, that you have sufficient ties to your home country, and that the purpose and duration of your trip to the United States is for a temporary visit for business or pleasure. Assuming there is no fraud/misrepresentation in your visa application, the approval or denial of the B-1/B-2 visa application will not have any effect on a subsequent EB-5 application process. You should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney to advise you on the specifics of these matters.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, the Visa Waiver Program allows for very limited business activities, so be careful with your company’s development. Second, obtaining any non-immigrant visa requires non-immigrant intent. That is, you have the intent to return to your home country at the end of the visa period. If, after you arrive, you then develop the desire to remain in the United States and apply for an immigrant visa (like the EB-5), then you could remain in compliance with the law. Third, it can take a very long time to obtain an approval of the I-526 petition, so much so that your B1 or B2 will likely have expired and you would not be able to adjust status in the United States. You would need to extend your visitor visa. Finally, as you can see, retaining experienced U.S. Immigration counsel that has experience with EB-5 is essential.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have a visa waiver, but then seek to apply for a B-1/B-2 at a consulate, questions may be raised as to your intentions for seeking an actual visa. As well, unless you have been issued a B-1/B-2 in the past or reside in Mexico you may not be able to apply for a tourist visa in Mexico. Aside from these issues, you need to have a confidential consultation with an experienced immigration counsel. Any tourist non-immigrant stay that you have in the United States is not likely to last as long as the duration of time it will take to process and approve you EB-5 petition. If you are in a working status (such as being under the H-1B or L-1 visa) then pursuing residence while you are in the country may be more feasible.

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