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How can I apply for EB-5 if my country of birth is Somalia?

I was born in Somalia. When I was 1 year old, my family escaped to Kenya and started a new life. We have never returned to Somalia. I am a Kenyan citizen now. I want to immigrate to the U.S. through the EB-5 program. The only issue is that Somalia is subject to the Trump travel ban. However, I have very little connection with this country. Is there any way to work around this issue?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can review your specific situation. You may be exempt from the travel ban or you may be eligible for a waiver of the travel ban under certain circumstances.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your citizenship (Kenyan) governs for EB-5 purposes, so you would not be subject to the travel ban as long as you utilize the Kenyan passport and also would not be restricted from the EB-5 processing. Since you have never traveled to or have any connections in Somalia, that should also not be an issue in the processing.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As of now, there is no discernible way to get around the ban, which is likely to affect you.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for EB-5 as a citizen of Kenya. Being born in Somalia should not affect you if you have never been back there since you were 1 year old. First, your I-526 petition must be approved by USCIS. Hire an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney in the U.S. to help you with the process. Then the second step is to complete consular processing in Kenya to get your immigrant visa in your passport and arrive in the U.S. as a conditional green card holder.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    You should have no problem at all. Unlike China and Vietnam there is no visa backlog with Somalia, your country of birth. You would apply for the I-526 and once approved, you would ask for consular processing, most likely in Kenya where you are now a citizen. Once your permanent residency petition is approved, you would travel to the U.S. with your passport from Kenya. The travel ban for Somalia, your country of birth, should not affect you at all especially if you have never been there since you left when you were 1 year old.

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    Sally Amirghahari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You still can apply for an EB-5 investor visa even if your country is on the list of travel ban. The EB-5 immigrant visa has two phases to it. The first phase is the submission of the I-526 petition with all supporting documents to the USCIS. Once you get an approval then your file is sent to an appropriate U.S. embassy for consular processing. The travel ban could impact the consular processing, but if you qualify for a waiver then you should be able to get your EB-5 visa. Furthermore, if you have dual citizenship then you may be able to apply under that vs. your birth county, Somalia.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for a waiver or see if you can acquire the passport of another country.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your visa will be charged to Kenya, your country of citizenship.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have a Kenyan passport as well, then this technically makes you exempt from the travel ban. However, they will research your travel history, especially if it includes trips to Somalia. So yes, the EB-5 is possible.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For EB-5, it doesn't matter what country you are from, as long as it isn't a country that has a waiting list for EB-5 cases (e.g., China). No wait from Kenya or Somalia. You will have to prove that the money your are investing was legally obtained.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Given the fact that citizens of Somalia are subject to President Trump's travel ban, the key question is whether or not you're a citizen of another country. Given the fact that you're a Kenyan citizen now, you would be exempt from the travel ban. Thus, not only can you file an EB-5 on Form I-526, but more importantly, since you're not subject to the travel ban, you can fly for your immigrant visa at the American consular section of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi.

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