With how long reviewing EB-5 projects and performing due diligence, authenticating your source of funds and preparing the I-526 petition, waiting for I-526 adjudication, (16 months) and how long it takes to get your EB-5 visa interview (6-8 months), you probably could start looking for an investment now and possibly finish school before your interview!
You can file an EB-5 investor petition while you are a student. Once the EB-5 petition is approved, then the petitioner will file an application for the conditional permanent residency visa. You can remain in your home country as a student during this EB-5 process.
The first step is to file the I-526. Currently, the posted processing time for this type of petition is at 16.6 months. It depends on how many years of education you have to finish to obtain your foreign degree. It might be an option for you to transfer to the United States as an F-1 academic student and then apply for the EB-5 visa.
Your situation would likely not present a problem. USCIS and Department of State processing times would likely be long enough to allow you to complete four years of studies if you were to file this summer. Even if adjudicated faster, you can apply for a reentry permit following your immigration. That permit would allow you to remain abroad through the completion of your studies.
Provided you are over the age of 18, you can invest in an EB-5 project while still a student. As the process takes at least 18-24 months and can be extended once the I-526 has been approved, it is highly likely that you will be able to finish your studies before taking up residence.
Yes, you may file an EB-5 I-526 visa petition while in the United States in F-1 student status. As long as you are maintaining your status in the United States, there should be no problem whatsoever. However, the act of filing an I-526 petition demonstrates an immigrant intent. Thus, if you needed to depart the United States to renew your F-1 student visa in your home country, that could be a possible problem. But if you are studying in your home country, there is no problem whatsoever and you could finish your studies in your home country while awaiting the adjudication of your I-526 petition and the scheduling of your final interview for your immigrant visa, which altogether could take approximately two years. If you were born in the People's Republic of China, the waiting period could be even longer.
John J Downey
Yes, you may invest, and depending on what country you are from, the process and waiting time might take as long as 24 months.
Yes, a student may invest in and apply for EB-5. However, we caution that it is advisable to make sure you have a valid nonimmigrant visa stamp in your passport before filing because you may have trouble showing immigrant intent applying for an F-1 visa stamp after you have filed for the EB-5. We also advise applicants to fully disclose their long term intention when applying for a student visa.
Yes. You can apply while studying. When you become a conditional permanent resident, you can finish school in your own country. If you will be out of the United States for more than six months at a time, file Form I-313, permission to return to your U.S. residence.