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How long is my I-526 approval valid?

I am a Brazilian EB-5 investor. I just received my I-526 approval yesterday. But currently my mom is seriously ill and I am the only one in my family who can take care of her. If I schedule a consular interview now and get an EB-5 visa, I have to enter the country within three months of the issuance. And as long as I enter the U.S., I will have to stay compliant with the physical presence requirement of green card holders. This will make it hard for me to go back and forth to take care of my mother. My question is, how much time do I have to act on this I-526 approval? Can I wait for a couple of months then schedule an interview? Or is an interview date automatically assigned to me?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In my experience, you can wait nearly a year to move to the next step of the green card process and be OK, but consult with an attorney to review the specifics of your case. You will not automatically get an interview unless you proceed through all the steps of consular processing first.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally, you can take up to a year to process an interview. Alternatively, assess your day-to-day situation with your attorney to address the following issues: whether you can afford to schedule an interview, enter the U.S. and then seek a permit pursuant to I-131 that will allow you to return to Brazil for up to two years without losing any time on the physical presence requirement for green card holders like yourself.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I-526 approval does not have specific validity period. However, you have one year to work with NVC to do your consular processing case for an immigrant visa. Your attorney may help you delay the timing for a longer period by timely communicating with NVC. It is not advisable overall to delay the NVC case significantly, because potential immigrant visa availability may get backlogged and that would prevent you from immigrating to the U.S. immediately. Best practice would be to process you for an immigrant visa with NVC and enter the U.S., then apply for a re-entry permit once you are admitted to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident. With a re-entry permit, you can depart the U.S. for up to the validity period of your conditional green card or two years, whichever comes first, as long as you continue maintaining ties with the U.S. as a permanent resident. Plan ahead with an experienced immigration attorney.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The National Visa Center (NVC) will keep your case open for approximately a year. So if you need longer than that to file your immigrant visa, you should notify NVC and keep them apprised of your situation.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Since Brazil's visa number is current (open), you will have one year to file the visa application. If that does not work, you should have your attorney write to NVC to keep the case open beyond that.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There should not be any time limit. But there may be a practical limit because the information about the investment will cease to be accurate through the passage of time. If you can afford to spend even a month or so in the U.S., you should be able to file for a re-entry permit.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The process to schedule the interview through NVC takes anywhere from three to six months. Just make sure you contact NVC so you do not abandon the application. Your attorney should guide you through the process.

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    Mitch Wexler

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would not recommend delaying your consular interview. The immigrant visa will be valid for sux months, so you can enter the U.S. anytime during that period of time. Then, after you enter the U.S. as a conditional green card holder, you can apply and obtain a re-entry permit, which will allow you to safely be out of the U.S. for up to two years. That should achieve your objective. You should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to determine the best way to manage this.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can delay the process but communicate at least once a year with NVC. Be aware, though, that priority dates may move backward and then you won't be able to immigrate until current again.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Having received approval of your EB-5 petition Form I-526, given your mother's health, you could interview with a U.S. consul, be admitted as a lawful permanent resident and apply for a U.S. re-entry permit. After you've been admitted as a conditional permanent resident, you have the right to travel abroad and you can then return to Brazil to take care of your mother. Normally, as long as you are not out for more than six continuous months, there will be no problem regarding your re-admission. If for any reason you thought you would be out longer than six months, you should apply for a U.S. re-entry permit while you're still physically in the United States. Depending upon how long you expect your mother to require your presence given her health conditions, you could delay your interview, as there's no time limit for you to have your interview. However, normally I would advise that you go ahead and obtain your conditional permanent residency even if it requires you to travel to the U.S. and then return to Brazil within a short period of time.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    First and foremost, congratulations! The quick answer to your question is that an interview date is not automatically assigned to you. You can generally wait up to one year after approval of your I-526 petition.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    After receiving the I-526 approval you can regulate your case processing time and extend it for a few years by noting the NVC of your plan to delay. Alternatively, you can proceed and get the green card and then file for a re-entry permit, allowing you to be out for up to two years. This is renewable for two years and then in one-year increments. I would recommend a combination of both with an emphasis on processing the green card now.

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