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How is the current situation in Hong Kong impacting the process for Hong Kong-born investors to get an EB-5 visa?

I was born in Hong Kong. Because of the current situation in Hong Kong, I want to relocate as soon as possible. I am considering applying for an EB-5 visa. Given the circumstances in this area, is there any way to speed up the process? How long will it take me to get a visa? Could Hong Kong-born investors face the visa backlog as mainland China-born investors do? I am worried that USCIS might decide to start counting mainland China-born investors and Hong Kong investors in the same group.

Answers

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There isn't any action that we are aware of being taken to count Hong Kong-born investors as mainland China-born investors for EB-5 purposes.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no option to speed up the process. It will be an extended period of time before you can obtain an immigrant visa from an EB-5 case.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should file as soon as possible. The biggest impact would be more petitions will be filed and the minimum investment amount for many projects will be increased to $1.8 million as of Nov. 21, 2019. There is no way to effectively expedite.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As of now, the USCIS is not counting Hong Kong residents together with China. Thus, it is advisable that Hong Kong investors apply now. While there may be an increase in petitions from Hong Kong as a result of both the impending increases in the required investment funds and the current crisis in Hong Kong, the fact is that investors from Hong Kong will not face the same retrogression like China investors.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Hong Kong-born investors are not counted in the same group. The earlier you apply, the sooner you get a decision on EB-5 case. There are certain limited expedited criteria for petitions or applications that can be reviewed by USCIS in its discretion on a case-by-case basis, but mostly for compelling situations. If you have a compelling case, it is possible to get an expedited outcome, but it is not guaranteed. Work with an experienced immigration attorney to represent you.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, you cannot speed up the process.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS will consider expediting an application in the following circumstances: severe financial loss to company or person; an emergency situation; humanitarian reasons; a nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States; Department of Defense or national interest situation originating from an official U.S. government entity; a USCIS error; or compelling interest of USCIS. You may ask your attorney to prepare this expedited service request. USCIS reviews all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis, and requests are granted at the discretion of the reviewing officer. So far there is no visa retrogression for applicants born in Hong Kong. Applicants born in China and Hong Kong will not be counted together in a foreseeable future.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    I hear your concern, but we have not heard anything to that effect. Right now, Hong Kong-born investors are processing current. Should USCIS start lumping mainland China-born investors with Hong Kong-born investors, they would most likely grandfather investors who have already applied before such change.

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