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How could the shutdown of a school impact our EB-5 process?

My wife and I are in the U.S. under F-1 and F-2 visas. I have applied for EB-5 and our I-526 is still pending. The problem is that the school that my wife attends has been involved in some kind of trouble, and there have been rumors of a possible shutdown. Some F-1 students in her class were asked to transfer to another school. We are worried that the possible closing of the school might impact her ability to adjust our status once our I-526 is approved. Can she wait without risking the EB-5 process? What kinds of risks can we get into if she stays in the current school and then it closes?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A principal EB-5 investor and any derivative dependent must be in lawful immigration status to be able to adjust status in the U.S. if and when I-526 is approved. Consider transferring out to a different accredited school to continue your underlying F-1/F-2 status without any possible issues.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you fall out of status and you leave the U.S. immediately, you may still be able to get the conditional green card at a consulate.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the school closes, then your wife and you will not have F-1 status. If the school closes, then you should depart the U.S. and apply for immigrant visas at the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To adjust status one must not have been out of status for one day, so if there is a chance the F-1 status may be terminated, maybe you need to apply to transfer to a good school as soon as possible.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To be on the safe side, if the school is advising students to transfer, she should start looking for schools to transfer to since if the school closes and she has no other option to maintain status, after the grace period she will be out of status, which has immigration consequences for when it is time to adjust status to lawful permanent residency in the U.S. (but does not affect the I-526 petition process).

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It could get your wife out of status and ineligible to adjust. She may need to consular process.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need her to transfer schools as soon as she can to stay in status. If she does that, it should have no effect on your EB-5 case. Even if she doesn't change schools and you both become out of status, they should approve your EB-5 case, but you will have to go home to get the visas in your home country. Do not stay longer than six months if she does not change schools after she stops her current school, lest you become subject to a three-year bar.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you wish to adjust status in the U.S., you must maintain lawful status. If the school shuts down, your wife will lose her status. If the school is shutting down due to F-1 fraud, you want to be sure there was no wrongdoing on your wife's part and transfer out of this school ASAP. Note that rules on unlawful presence and F-1 status have changed; be sure to change schools before your wife goes out of status. If you fall out of status, you still may qualify for an immigrant visa once your I-526 has been approved through consular process. This assumes you do not accumulate 180 or more days of ULP or engage in unauthorized employment.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If it looks the school is going to be closed down, then find another school quickly, get another I-20 and transfer schools or she will be out of status.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, if she is not attending school, her F-1 status ends and she will start to accrue unlawful presence. If the unlawful presence is more than 180 days, she will be barred from entry or adjustment for three years or 10 years if the unlawful presence is more than one year. She should change her status to F-2 immediately under your F-1 or enroll into another legitimate school to get I-20 and maintain her F-2. Given her school is in trouble for possible immigration status issuance type of school, please note that she may have many difficult questions and suspicion of immigration fraud to overcome at the adjustment of status if she continues. I would strongly suggest that you consult with an immigration lawyer to prepare and receive guidance for avoiding the worst-case scenario.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While the closure of the school may create an inconvenience, there is nothing unusual about the closing. It should not impact your I-526 petition that is in progress.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the school in question shuts down and as a result your wife loses her F-1 status and thus your F-2 status, you could become ineligible to adjust status within the U.S. once your EB-5 petition on Form I-526 is approved. You should consult with your student advisor to make sure that your wife maintains her valid F-1 status by transferring to another school. If your wife were to lose status you both would begin to accrue unauthorized presence in the U.S. and, after six months, would be subject to a three-year bar or prohibition from re-entering the U.S. Furthermore, you would have to apply for your immigrant visa outside of the U.S. at the appropriate American consulate, thus making it critical that you maintain your U.S. lawful status.

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