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Should an Italian investor apply for an E-2 visa first while his EB-5 application is pending?

I am from Italy and I filed the I-526 in December 2018. I heard the estimated processing time for I-526s keeps getting longer. Given my situation, do you think it is worth the effort to apply for an E2 visa to enter the U.S. while waiting for the approval of EB-5?

Answers

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you need to be in the U.S. to oversee the business and/or if you prefer to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. instead of applying through consular processing, then obtaining an E-2 visa is a good option.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can certainly apply for that if you need to come to the U.S. to look after your investment. However, be aware that the E-2 is a nonimmigrant visa and a pending immigrant visa may make it harder to get an E-2 approved.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your I-526 petition will be discussed, and you will need to be prepared to explain how you plan to leave the U.S. after your status ends. An E-2 is more likely to be considered dual intent through USCIS than at the consulate.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have invested in your own EB-5 direct project and own at least 50% of the entity, then an E-2 might be right for you. An E-2 treaty investor visa will allow you to enter the United States to develop and direct the operations of your U.S. business. Keep in mind, however, that an E-2 is a nonimmigrant visa. If you have submitted an I-526 petition, that is an expression of your intention to immigrate to the United States. An E-2 is not the appropriate visa for an EB-5 intending immigrant to "immigrate early" to the United States. An E-2 visa can be an effective vehicle, however, to run your business temporarily while maintaining your nonimmigrant intent. In the future, you can decide if you wish to immigrate using your pending EB-5 petition (assuming it gets approved of course).

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    Jimena G Cabrera

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It would depend on what do you want to do. If you have the financial means and you want to run a business in the United States, you certainly can apply for an E-2 visa. The processing time for a petition for a nonimmigrant worker E treaty investors is approximately five months.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is an acceptable idea as it allows you to legally enter and stay in the U.S. prior to the approval of your EB-5 petition. However, from the look of things, the waiting period for Italian nationals are not in any way subjected to the long waiting period. Advisably, consult with your EB-5 attorney prior to embarking on E-2 since you have already invested in EB-5.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you qualify for an E-2 visa and want to enter earlier, you can apply. It is faster.

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