What is the average processing time for an Egyptian citizen to change residency status from an E-2 visa to an EB-5 visa? What is the best way to do this?
There is no definitive time for transfering from E-2 to EB-5. It all depends on how soon any investor can assemble her petition and the accompanying documents, properly file the petition and whether the USCIS raises any request for further evidence (RFE) or not during the filing period. With regards to the Egyptian citizens, there is no special requirements for them in transitioning from E-2 to an EB-5. Just work hard for documentation of the EB-5 petition as soon as possible. The best way to pursue an EB-5 is to seek the assistance of an EB-5 professional, particularly an EB-5 attorney who can best assist in putting together a good petition package.
E-2 is non-immigrant. EB-5 is immigrant. The application rules and forms are different for each category. The time it takes to obtain an EB-5 visa depends upon where you are already in the application process.
There is a misconception that visas can be transferred. That is not the case; the individual must qualify separately for each visa. In this case, no matter what your status is in the U.S., with any visa (including the E-2 or even if you are outside the U.S.), it takes about two years to get the green card.
Yes, you can change from E-2 to EB-5. You need not start from scratch and may convert your E-2 investment enterprise into an EB-5 enterprise, provided that all the EB-5 requirements are met by the investment enterprise, including the minimum investment amount (currently $1 Million or $500K if the investment is located in a Targeted Employment Area) and as long as you create at least 10 full-time positions (excluding yourself or your derivative beneficiaries among others). Please be mindful, though, that while the E-2 capital investment may be counted towards EB-5, retained earnings or revenue generated by the E-2 investment may not be counted toward EB-5 unless you have received distributions from the E-2 investment enterprise, declared them as income and paid any applicable income tax on such. Please note filing an I-526 petition will not provide you with any lawful immigration status in the US and you will need to maintain an underlying E-2 status in the US until your I-526 is approved. When/if it is approved, you may file for adjustment of status to a conditional green card holder inside the US or consular process for an immigrant visa abroad. Please consult an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and provide planning insights.
There is no actually transfer from E-2 treaty trader non-immigrant visa to EB-5. If you qualified for an E-2 based upon a substantial investment, you will still file your EB-5 investor immigrant visa petition on Form I-526 like anyone else. The only relationship is that you could use the same investment for E-2 purposes for your EB-5 investor petition purposes. The best way to do this is to verify that you are otherwise eligible based upon the investments you have made to date and file your I-526 petition at the earliest possible date.
You can anticipate the process will take about two to three years at least. The key is to find an attorney qualified who can evaluate your eligibility and then implement a strategic plan to ensure success.
Keep E-2 status until conditional PR status is approved. File I-526 12 to 14 months; after approval, file I-485/I-76/I-131, etc. Once I-485 is approved and conditional PR card is received, then E-2 will end approximately a year currently.
Takes two to three years on average. Same time if no E-2.
The average processing time for an I-526 petition is about two years. The best way to do it is to make sure your E-2 visa and status remain valid throughout the processing of your I-526 petition. That way, you will be able to adjust your status in the United States, which requires a valid non-immigrant status. You also should make sure that your EB-5 case is well-documented so that you can avoid or minimize any USCIS request for evidence (RFE).
It can take as long as 15 to 24 months. Best way is to invest in a safe regional center and have a good EB-5 immigration lawyer!
Currently, the average processing time for I-526 applications is 19.5 to 25 months. After this application is approved, you would then adjust your status from the E-2 visa to the EB-5-based temporary green card by filing Form I-485.
Initial processing of an EB-5 petition is the same everyone: 18 to 24 months. After I-526 approval, an E-2 visa holder is advised to consular process IV, which generally takes about six months.
The big variable is how long your I-526 petition will take to be approved (if approved). We have seen them take from three to 24 months. From that point it should take about six to eight months to have your immigrant visa appointment at the U.S. consulate in Cairo. If you choose to adjust your status in the U.S., it is currently taking 12-plus months due to mandatory interviews. There are pros and cons to both. You should seek experienced counsel to walk you through this.
There is no set time to transfer from E-2 to EB-5. However, you should be aware that E-2 is a non-immigrant visa, in which you are representing to the consulate officer and CBP officer at the airport that you do not have any intention of immigrating (getting a green card). Thus, you need to be careful not to be seen as lying to any officials in the immigration process. My advice is for you to come in as E-2 and run your business for a while (minimum of three to six months) and see if your business opportunities are such that you becoming a permanent resident will help that process before signing up for the EB-5 process.
Same as any EB-5 petition: about 2 years, and then another five to 12 months for adjustment of status, assuming you remain in lawful E-2 status and are eligible to adjust. The best way to do this is contact an experienced business immigration attorney.
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