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How can I initiate an EB-5 application in the U.S. on a visitor visa?

I plan to travel to the U.S. next month to do some on-site research on an EB-5 project and initiate my EB-5 application. I will be on a visitor visa. Will there be any issues if I submit an EB-5 application as a B1/B2 visa holder? If so, what should I do to avoid such issues?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Processing of I-526 petitions currently takes about 24 months. Your tourist visa stay in the U.S. is generally authorized up to six months. Look at your I-94 record/passport visa stamp. It is fine to initiate I-526 petition in the U.S. You will need to either depart after your authorized stay and wait for approval of I-526 petition and then consular process for an immigrant visa or change status in the U.S. for another type of visa to allow you to stay in the U.S., such as changing status to F-1 or possibly E-2. Consult an immigration attorney for further guidance.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, not a problem. The EB-5 petition currently is taking approximately two years upon filing to receive a decision, so you should plan on waiting abroad for the EB-5 processing to be adjudicate unless you find another status under which you can remain in the U.S. for longer period of time.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While you are in the United States in B-1 or B-2 status, you could file an I-526 petition. However, you should depart the U.S. before your B-1 or B-2 status expires.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Since you can only file an I-526 (you cannot file for a green card at the same time), there would probably be no issue, provided that you always be mindful of and comply with your B-1/B-2 status deadlines.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There should be no problem if you file for an EB-5 petition on Form I-526 while in the U.S. on either a B-1 or B-2 non-immigrant status. In fact, one may enter appropriately in B-1 non-immigrant to consider an investment. However, filing such a petition will not give you any right to remain in the U.S. In fact, it may make it harder for you to file for an extension of your visitor visa or to be re-admitted as a visitor. This is because the act of filing an EB-5 petition on Form I-526 indicates that you have an intent, if not an immediate intent, a long-term intent, to immigrate to the U.S. This is inconsistent with obtaining a B-1/B-2 visitor visa or being admitted into the U.S. on same, or extending your status. It will not necessarily prevent you from doing so, but it would be a negative factor.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The regional center will likely ask you to sign all sub docs while abroad. Otherwise, no issues.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    No problem at all. Many investors do just that. B-1/B-2 is a tourist visa, and it is in the non-immigrant intent category. EB-5 is an immigrant-intent visa. There is no issue with filing an immigrant intent visa while holding a non-immigrant visa. The reverse would have been problematic, though. If you had declared your immigrant intent already by filing for the EB-5, you would have had a hard time obtaining a non-immigrant intent visa such as B-1/B-2 unless you were able to convince the counselor issuing you the visa that while you have a long-term intent of immigrating to the U.S., your current intent is a non-immigrant intent and you have plenty of proof to back that claim and at the termination of your permitted stay period, you will return to your home country and wait for the EB-5 approval. Generally speaking, counselors have a hard time being convinced when that sort of fact pattern is presented to them. Anyway, in your particular case you are safe. You will need to hire an experienced immigration attorney and pick a suitable investment as a project. Due to the imminent increase in the required minimum investment amount, I strongly advise you to start the process right away, as the process does take way more time than investors estimate it will take. We will be happy to assist you and guide you through this process.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No issues as long as you return home before your visitor status time is up.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can initiate an EB-5 petition while in the U.S. on a visitor visa. There should not be any issue. However, make sure you have all the information you need to file the petition.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can file your EB-5 visa application while you are in the U.S. if you are within your authorized period of stay.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The application does not give you permission to stay in the United States. So you will be returning to your country and there should be no issue.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no problem initiating it while in the U.S. on an EB-5, but the filing does not give you the right to stay, so you may need to seek another legal temporary visa category if you want to wait in the U.S.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no reason why you can't submit the application while you are in the USA. In fact, you should, as the minimum investment is going up from $500,000 to $900,000 in November. That doesn't give you much time to gather and submit everything. Investments in non-rural or high-unemployment areas are going up from $1,000,000 to nearly $2 million! I would suggest that you look at a safe regional center investment.

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    Sally Amirghahari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can absolutely initiate your EB-5 application while you are here on visitor visa with no problem as long as you do not overstay your visitor visa. Also, I encourage you to file your application as soon as you can since the investment amount for EB-5 visa is increasing from $500,000 to $900,000, effective Nov. 21, 2019. However, if your application is filed prior to that date then your petition will not be impacted by the new investment amount.

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