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Can an OPT student travel outside U.S. with a pending I-130 application?

My brother received his green card through the EB-5 program. He filed an I-130 petition for me earlier this year. I am currently an international student working on OPT. I need to travel outside the U.S. for a month. Will this impact my I-130 application?

Answers

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The filing of an I-130 does not affect your travel outside the U.S.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    Your brother must be a U.S. citizen. Otherwise, he would not have been able to file an I-130 petition for you. As long as you have a valid F-1 visa, your brother's filing of I-130 should not create a problem for you traveling abroad. Bear in mind that the waiting time for sibling petition is 14 to 15 years now. So, this filing should not create an immigrant intent for you. Make sure that the job through OPT is still waiting for you upon your return, though. Upon your return if you get questioned at the border, tell the officer that you clearly intend to return once your OPT work is completed.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can still travel.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your brother is not a U.S. citizen, he would not be eligible to file an I-130 petition on your behalf as a sibling because there is no such category for green card holders. A pending I-130 petition may create challenges for travel on F-1 OPT. Consult an immigration attorney to evaluate your specific situation in a comprehensive consultation.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Traveling outside the U.S. will not have any impact on the I-130 your brother filed for you.

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    Mitch Wexler

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A green card holder cannot file an I-130 for a sibling. He/she must be a U.S. citizen. You need to consult with an experienced lawyer.

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    Michael A Harris, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your brother is only a permanent resident, then he was not eligible to file an I-130 for you. More information will be needed to clarify, as only U.S. citizens are eligible to petition for their siblings. If this is the case, then you should speak with a qualified immigration lawyer to discuss whether your I-130 will signal immigrant intent to CBP upon traveling back in as a non-immigrant.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    International travel will have no impact on your brother's I-130 petition (note, it is the brother's petition, and not your application). You need to ensure you have a valid F-1 visa with which to return to the U.S. You also need to have a valid non-immigrant intent at entry.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I assume your brother is now a U.S. citizen. Traveling on OPT is always challenging. First, you need proof you are employed and of course you need a valid and endorsed I-20. The filing of the I-130 alone should not bar either visa issuance or readmission, especially since the sibling waiting line is at least 15 years long.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, there is no impact on the I-130 petition by traveling or maintaining OPT/F-1 status. Sibling-based petitions can take 10 to 15 years before you would be eligible for filing for an immigrant visa.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Because you have a pending I-130, you have an immigrant intent. Student visa and OPT is non-immigrant intent. Mindful that your visa availability is very long, about 15 years, if you leave you risk of cancellation of your F-1 and OPT status.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Travelling outside of the U.S. and then seeking to re-enter as an F-1 student with OPT can be complicated, given the fact that your brother filed an I-130 petition on your behalf. I'm assuming if your brother received his lawful permanent residency or so-called "green card" through the EB-5 program, he's already a U.S. citizen. If not, he could not file a petition for you. Even as a citizen, there would be a 14-year backlog. It would probably be best for you not to travel, but if you do, you're likely to be questioned when you apply for re-admission by the immigration (CBP) inspector about the fact that your brother filed a petition for you. Your best answer is that while you have a long-term intent to immigrate, you have a short-term intent to finish your OPT. The long-term, in fact, could be 14 years or longer, given the backlog currently for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens under the family-based fourth preference.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It may impact your ability to re-enter on F-1 status.

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