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How can I apply for a family-based immigrant visa with an approved I-526?

I got my I-526 approved a few months ago, but I am expecting to wait for years before getting permanent residency due to the visa retrogression. Meanwhile, I got married to a U.S. citizen recently. I am wondering if a family-based immigrant visa application would be processed faster than the EB-5. If so, do I have to withdraw my EB-5 case?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A green card through a U.S. citizen spouse would be much faster if you have immigrant visa retrogression in the EB-5 category. You can file through marriage to a U.S. citizen and when your conditional green card is adjudicated, withdraw the approved I-526.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    First of all, congratulations on your recent marriage! There is absolutely no problem with filing for the green card under your spouse. There is no retrogression with spousal applications. It will most likely process faster and you will have your green card way before you could even file for adjustment of status on your approved I-526, which is not current due to retrogression. Unless the regional center is willing to refund your investment, though, you have no obligation to withdraw your EB-5 application.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can go ahead and file the family-based case now. It will not affect your EB-5 pending application. When it comes time to get your green card, they may withdraw the other case.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, as far as USCIS is concerned, the only thing you would have to withdraw is the adjustment of status or immigrant visa filing if you have progressed to that stage after the I-526 approval. If not, you can just proceed with the marriage-based "one-step" filing of the immigrant petition and adjustment (if you are in the U.S.). Another aspect of this that you may have to consider is recovering funds invested for EB-5 processing. If it was a regional center filing, you may need to withdraw the I-526 and follow the terms for recovering your initial investment.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally speaking, marrying a U.S. citizen and obtaining a green card through marriage will be faster than the EB-5 route, considering the long processing time of I-829. If you are from a country that has visa retrogression for the EB-5 category, the waiting time will be even longer. You have the option to withdraw your EB-5 case, but it is not necessary. It will be safer to withdraw after you obtain the family-based green card.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have an approved EB-5 petition on Form I-526, it qualifies you to apply for an immigrant visa or for an adjustment of status, but only when visa numbers are available. If, in the interim, you are married to a U.S. citizen, you're not subject to a quota and you can immediately apply for adjustment of status if you''re in the United States or outside. You can apply for your immigrant visa based upon your spouse's family petition on Form I-130. You do not have to withdraw your I-526 petition. In fact, you should leave it pending since there's no downside.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no problem with applying based on marriage if it is a good-faith marriage and you do not need to withdraw the EB-5. You can keep it going just in case the marriage should fail.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, it will be considerably faster. You do not need to withdraw the other but just before one of the green cards is approved, USCIS will ask you to pick one.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a spouse of a USC, you are an immediate relative and a visa is immediately available to you. Having your spouse sponsor you would be faster than waiting for an EB-5 visa. You don't have to withdraw the I-526. Simply don't act on it. I recommend you and your attorney discuss the situation with the regional center to see if your investment could be replaced with that of another investor. Otherwise, your investment funds will likely be tied up for the duration of the EB-5 loan.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are a national of any of those countries, such as China and Vietnam with visa retrogression problem, filing for family-based immigrant visa is a faster process.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Marriages to U.S. citizens are "current," so that when the USCIS petition is approved (which does take several months) you can go right ahead and file for an adjustment of status or immigrant visa processing at the consulate. If you're already here in lawful status, you may be able to file for an adjustment of status at the same time. You can have multiple immigrant petitions pending at once, and once.

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