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How can marrying a U.S. citizen accelerate my green card application compared with EB-5?

My I-526 is approved and my I-485 is still pending. I got married a month ago to a U.S. citizen. Will applying through marriage be better compared to waiting in line? If yes, is it better to file I-130, wait until it gets approved, then file I-485? Or should I submit I-130 and I-485 together? Would USCIS require me to drop the pending I-485 from the EB-5 application when I file the I-485 based on marriage?

Answers

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are married to a U.S. citizen, U.S. rules require you to apply through marriage unless you can show why your spouse will not or cannot sponsor you. You can file a new I-130/I-485 based on marriage, and you should.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Obtaining a green card through marriage is different from the employment-based adjustment case under EB-5 you currently have pending. I would advise not to file for your green card through marriage if you already have a pending I-485 based on approved I-526, since processing times for I-485s based on either category will be relatively the same and you will avoid extra USCIS fees and possible legal fees. Unless you have issues with your pending I-485 because your regional center project is struggling and your future I-289 may not be approved, then you should stay with your pending I-485 case based on approved I-526.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should proceed with the permanent residency case based on marriage to your U.S. citizen spouse. This will be a faster route for you to become an unconditional U.S. permanent resident than your current EB-5 case. You should retain an immigration attorney to represent you and your spouse for the permanent residency case based on the marriage. As a first step, you should have a consultation appointment with an immigration attorney to discuss the permanent residency case based on the marriage and your overall situation, which includes your ongoing EB-5 case. Also, after the marriage case has been filed with USCIS, your EB-5 case and your pending I-485 can continue.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your I-829 is pending, the issue is how long will it take for eventual approval. Typically, concurrent of I-130 and I-485 is preferable when a citizen files for family immigrant visa because the filers then get simultaneous treatment and a shortened processing time. In fact, the processing time for the I-130 and I-485 that are proper tends to be about six to nine months. If you eventually pursue this process, the USCIS may ask the pending EB-5's I-485 be withdrawn. Advisably, you should contact your EB-5 attorney or consult an immigration attorney to discuss about these alternatives and compare their processing times.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I-130 marriage-based immigration is a family immigration process instead of the employment-based immigration that you are currently under in EB-5. Both tracks require an immigration petition approval before your adjustment of status I-485 could be approved. Since you already have I-526 immigrant petition approval and have filed I-485, there is no benefit to you for filing a new immigrant petition of I-130. The I-485 processing times should be similar in both categories. Thus, I would advise you to stay the course and be patient instead of incurring additional attorney fees and filing fees expensed trying the family-based immigration track.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Submit together. You can have both pending and when you go to the marriage interview, indicate you are withdrawing the other I-485.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you already filed I-485 based on the approved I-526, then you should stick with that process. Filing an I-130/I-485 will take approximately 12 months to process.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    That would not be advisable unless there are issues with your I-485 application based on your I-526. To re-file an I-485 (through marriage, even as a "one-step" such as filing I-130 and I-485 simultaneously) would require you to withdraw your pending I-485 (since you cannot have two I-485 applications filed/pending) as well as require you to pay all the fees again, do the medicals again, etc.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Being married to a U.S. citizen simply gives you another option to qualify for lawful permanent residency. Since you have already qualified to apply by virtue of having an approved I-526 petition and you have a pending application for adjustment of status on Form I-485, it would be somewhat redundant to file a new application for adjustment of status based upon your wife's immediate relative petition on Form I-130. It would not likely make your case go any faster. The best thing to say is that if for whatever reason your EB-5 investment were to fail, you would have a backup plan through your U.S. citizen spouse.

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