I invested in an EB-5 project and have already submitted my I-829 to remove conditions. However, the program has some problems and other investors in the same project keep getting denials on their I-829 applications. I work for an international company. I was told that I might be qualify for an L-1 visa that could later be transferred to permanent residency. Is this a good strategy for me? Please advise.
This is a very complicated question. What you now have is a conditional green card. You have already disclosed your immigrant intent to immigrate. If I were you, before complicating the case further, I would first thoroughly investigate why others are getting denials on their I-829 petitions and potentially as a result decide to wait instead. You might be lucky and get your I-829 approved. If you are sure that you will also be denied or you wait and are then denied you could investigate other routes. Have you worked in the international company that would sponsor you for the L-1 abroad at least one of the last three years? If not, L-1 route might not work out for you at this juncture any way. If you have, there is still the danger that your L-1 might be denied on the basis that L-1 is a non-immigrant intent visa. Depending on potential retrogression issues, you might want to look into EB-1C which is an immigrant intent route. At any rate, you definitely need serious immigration attorney advice on your status before you take any further steps.
You will need to have a comprehensive consultation with an immigration attorney to determine if you qualify for L-1A and subsequently for an EB-1C green card. You would also need to abandon your CPR status. You should also determine why I-829s in the project are being denied to consider all options.
You would have to withdraw from permanent residence before you file for an L-1 status. If you wanted to take this path you should thoroughly review your investment exit strategy (recovery of funds, etc.) before proceeding. It is doable, but timing is important.
If you are filing an I-829, you already had permanent residency (even if it was conditional, it's still permanent residency). So since the L-1 requires that you do not have immigrant intent (that is, intent to remain in the U.S. permanently), no, the L-1 would not work. However, you may be able to go right to EB-1C (the L-1's green card cousin) with the right setup.
I would need a detailed consultation to advise. You can't be on an L-1 unless you give up the green card.
In order to qualify for an EB-1C, you must have been working abroad for one year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition. It would seem hard to do this if you have already filed the I-829. Presumably you have been living in the U.S. for the past two years. Find out what the problem is with other denied I-829s. You may want to explore other avenues toward a the green card, so it is correct to look at other options, but they must fit within the framework of your existing visa category.
You can either wait to receive a decision on the pending I-829 or be proactive and start the L-1A process now. Worse-case scenario, you will lose the filing and the legal fees for the L-1A.
Yes, a U.S. employer of the international company, for which you work, can file an L-1A immigrant visa petition on your behalf and seek a favorable adjudication. Once the petition is approved, it would be inconsistent for you to actually apply for an L-1A visa, as long as you are still a conditional permanent resident. However, if the L-1A petition is approved and should you lose your conditional permanent residency, you would then be able to apply for an L-1A visa based upon the prior petition approval.
If you do know why the other applicants have been denied, and that the same denial reasons would apply to you, then if I were you I would apply for the L-1. Remember also that there is no guaranteed approval on the L-1 either.
You'd have to give up your CPR status first.
Yes. Before you start to apply for L-1 visa, you should consult with an attorney that you are qualified for L-1 since L-1 applicants needs to work for a foreign parent company for at least one year during the past three years. Since you have a green card and maybe you did not work for an affiliated foreign company, you may not qualify for L-1. If you are truly qualified for L-1, then you have to withdraw your I-829, then you can apply for L-1.
Provided you qualify as an L-1 executive/manager, depends on what the value of a hedge/second option for permanent residency is to you. You already have an I-829 pending, but if you are absolutely sure that it'll get denied (unclear whether you are exposed to the same problems as the other I-829 investors who keep getting denied), then you can possibly pursue the L-1 to EB-1C option for permanent residency. Keep in mind that the L-1/EB-1C has its own requirements that you'll have to meet and at a minimum, you'll have to show that you will be employed in a high-level executive/managerial role in the U.S. and that the company has grown large enough to support your I-140 petition. At a minimum, it will require you to stomach more investment funds as well as additional business risk. Best to seek a consultation before moving forward.
This is a very fact-specific question. Assuming you do qualify for an L-1 visa (which requires working abroad (and not in the U.S.) for a foreign company for one out of the last three years (which you may not have done if you have a conditional green card and pending I-829), you would need to abandon your green card before obtaining an L-1 visa. It is a complicated process, but if you qualify, it is certainly possible. However, there is a risk that you could abandon your green card and not be approved for an L-1, which could leave you stuck out of the country. You need to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before going down this path.
You certainly need to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. There are a number of moving parts to your scenario that cannot be answered in this forum.
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