How can I apply for a re-entry permit with an immigrant visa?
My husband and I are EB-5 investors. We just completed our interview at the U.S. consulate and got our EB-5 visas. However, I found out that I am pregnant. My doctor suggested that I should not travel long distance until I give birth to the baby. My plan is to stay in my home country, give birth to the baby and wait for her to become one year old, then relocate to the U.S. I wanted to know if we can apply for a re-entry permit at this stage. It is possible to get a re-entry permit with an immigrant visa? If not, what other options do I have?
You have to enter the U.S. and be present at the time you file the re-entry permit. Your husband should enter if he is the principal applicant and you need proof you are unable to enter. Since the immigrant visa is only valid for six months, you will need to prove extraordinary circumstances to get the green card reissued.
You need to first enter the U.S. on your immigrant visa before you can apply for a re-entry permit. But by the information you provided, it seems you won't even need a re-entry permit. The immigrant visa issued to you should be valid for a year. As long as you enter the U.S. before the expiration of that visa, you are fine. If that is not possible, you may request an extension of the immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate.
If you want to apply for a re-entry permit, you must be in the U.S. first and go through the biometrics process. Keeping immigration in perspective, if possible, I'd rather give birth to the baby so you don't have to go through another immigration process for your child.
Immigrant visas have a specific validity period and expire after that. You must enter the U.S. during the visa validity period to be admitted as a conditional permanent resident in the U.S. first. You do not become a conditional permanent resident until you get admitted and inspected at the U.S. border. Then you can apply for a re-entry permit as a conditional permanent resident. You must be physically in the U.S. to apply for a re-entry permit and also complete a biometrics appointment for fingerprints. Then you can depart and have the permit picked up at the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, or have it couriered to you by someone in the U.S. who can receive it for you from USCIS. Currently, it takes four to six months to get a permit processed by USCIS. You may want to ask the U.S. embassy to delay issuance of your immigrant visa in your scenario. Otherwise, you risk the immigrant visa expiring and you will not be able to enter the U.S.
Technically speaking, you have six months from the time you are granted the EB-5 visa to enter the U.S. Once you are on U.S. soil you can apply for the re-entry permit, which will let you to freely travel. Your situation is, of course, unique. You have all the right intentions such as relocating to the U.S., which permanent residency is all about. For reasons beyond your control, it appears like it is best that you don't travel for now until the birth of your baby and beyond. You should make an appointment in the country you are in with the U.S. consulate and explain your situation. Hopefully, you will speak to a listening ear and they will grant you as much extension as you need for it to be safe for you and your baby to travel to the U.S.
Once you've completed your interview and your immigrant visa has been issued, you have 180 days to enter the United States in order to become a conditional lawful permanent resident. Given the fact that you should not travel, you should work out your travel schedule consistently with your delivery date. Upon entry into the United States, your baby can also be admitted as a lawful permanent resident on your initial entry. If you wait for her to become 1 year old for your travel to the U.S., at the very least, you complicate your ability to enter as an immigrant and you may have to re-qualify as an immigrant at the American consulate. The best option would be for you to travel to the U.S. within the first 180 days, following the birth of your baby unless you are able to travel sooner.
You must be in the U.S. to make the re-entry permit application and remain a couple of weeks or so to complete the biometrics. The immigrant visa will be valid for six months. Depending on how far along you are, you will need to enter the U.S. either right away, before delivery, to take care of this or toward the end of the six-month validity, after delivery, to do it.
You must first enter the U.S. to be considered a permanent resident within the time period indicated on the immigrant visa. Once on U.S. soil you can file for a re-entry permit, wait to be fingerprinted and return. Alternatively you can talk to the consulate about delaying the issuance of your immigrant visa until next year.
You cannot get a re-entry permit until you arrive in the USA and have your green card status. But you have six months to come here after the consulate gives you the EB-5 visa. You can ask the consulate to give you an extension of that time.