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What impact could an I-526 petition have on my valid ESTA with Global Entry?

I currently travel in and out of the U.S. on ESTA with Global Entry. I am considering applying for EB-5. After starting an I-526 petition, will I still be able to enter the country with the Global Entry approval, which will still be valid for several years? What about the conditional permanent residency stage? Will becoming a conditional green card holder invalidate the Global Entry?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Global entry should not be affected if there are no misrepresentation issues since you have to disclose a pending I-526 immigrant petition when you renew ESTA. To increase the chances you are allowed entry on ESTA for temporary purposes, you should indicate consular processing for an immigrant visa abroad in your I-526 petition and have evidence of strong home times when you enter on ESTA (employment, real estate, family, etc.). However, there are no 100 percent guarantees with CBP at the border. When you become admitted as a conditional permanent resident on an immigrant visa after an I-526 petition is approved and your consular processing is done, ESTA will not longer be valid. This should not affect global entry.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    ESTA will be invalid when you get your 2-year green card. Global Entry should not be affected by the EB-5 process in any way. As now every ESTA entry must show the intent to return so I suggest you set up the I-526 for consular processing.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your ability to be processed under global entry should not be affected by having an I-526, but your ability to enter under ESTA (non-immigrant visitor status) may be impacted when it's time for you to renew it with a pending immigrant petition (I-526).

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Considering that global entry allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States, it is my opinion that filing an I-526 or having conditional permanent residency will not impact your global entry in any way.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    First and foremost, once you become a conditional green card holder you have no more worries. You do not need ESTA anymore. The issue is once you apply for an immigrant visa under EB-5 by filing I-526 could you still get in and out of the U.S. under your non-immigrant ESTA with global entry. That is the only question. While you have an immigrant intent visa application pending, trying to enter into the U.S. with a non-immigrant intent visa could, theoretically speaking, be problematic. In practice, though, if you have a return ticket, can clearly explain to the CBP officer at the gate the purpose of your "short term" visit this time. Your pending I-526 application should not be a cause for no admittance into the U.S. There are no guarantees, of course. Be prepared for some questioning at the border and have ready some rehearsed answers and evidence to prove that your visit is temporary and you have intention to return back, notwithstanding your pending I-526 application.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Most of our EB-5 clients are able to travel in and out of the U.S. while their EB-5 cases are pending. But one cannot guarantee that some mean CBP officer at an airport or port of entry won't deny entry. We tell our clients to be sure to have round-trip air tickets and proof they will return to their home country (e.g., a letter from their employer, bank statements, deed to their house).

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    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Global entry will not be impacted during the pendency of the I-526 petition and also when you are a conditional permanent resident.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you file an EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, it will take a year or longer for it to be adjudicated by USCIS. That information is entered almost immediately into a database and is available to U.S. Customs & Border Protection inspectors. When you seek to enter under the ESTA or visa waiver program, as a visitor you must demonstrate an intent of returning to your home country and not immigrating to the United States. The significance of filing your I-526 petition is that you might be subject to additional screening and a secondary inspection to determine whether or not you are a bona fide visitor. You'd have to explain that you have dual-intent, meaning a short-term intent to visit the U.S. and a long-term intent to immigrate. Becoming a conditional lawful permanent resident will not invalidate your global entry.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    ESTA has to be renewed every two years and you must disclose the truth when you renew it. There is some chance they may cancel your global entry, but it is not automatic and I would speculate that it is more likely than not that they will not cancel it.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    From observation, it seems that travel on an non-immigrant visa or with ESTA may still be possible with an I-526 by itself pending. Once you get conditional residency, that is your permission to re-enter the U.S., not the ESTA.

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