Once the I-526 petition is approved, how long does it take before I can attend the consulate interview? How should I prepare for the EB-5 consulate interview? What type of questions will they ask?
Your attorney who prepared your I-526 petition should be able to prepare you for your consulate interview. On average, consular process takes three to six months. If your consular process case is well-prepared by your attorney, you may be asked very few questions.
The consulate interview depends on each consulate''s visa operations and processing times, and without knowing the consulate you had in mind, it is hard to offer a reliable legal information. On the issues of how to prepare for interview and type of questions to expect, it is advisable that you talk to an EB-5 attorney.
Usually upon approval of the I-526 petition you can immediately apply for conditional permanent residency. This process may take three to four months. However, with Chinese retrogression, the Chinese national investor may have to wait beyond the approval of the I-526 petition before they can apply for conditional permanent residency. The main questions at the U.S. Consulate interview include questions about the investment project, your immigrant intent and plans to work in the United States.
Within a month after I-526 approval, your case will be transferred to the National Visa Center. The NVC will instruct you to fill out an online visa application, pay the visa fee, and submit your and your family members'' biographical documents (birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, etc). After you complete all requirements, NVC will send your case to your local consulate, and an interview will be scheduled based on the consulate''s calendar and availability. At the interview, you will be asked various background, criminal, and medical questions similar to the questions asked on the visa application. You may also be asked to show evidence of your EB-5 investment funds transfer. The entire process is usually approximately 6 months.
Once your I-526 petition is approved, the file is forwarded to the National Visa Center (unless you elected to adjust status in the United States and indicated such on the I-526 petition). The National Visa Center (NVC) collects an immigrant processing fee from you and requests your personal documents. The NVC processing can take several months. Once they complete processing of your file and documents, the NVC will send your petition to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country for scheduling of your immigrant visa interview. The role of the consular interview (immigrant visa interview) is to determine if you and any dependent family members are eligible for immigrant visa issuance. The interview will consistent of document review and questions to determine your admissibility to the United States. While the purpose of the interview is not to "re-adjudicate" your approved I-526 petition, the consular officer may ask you general questions about your EB-5 investment, i.e., how much did you invest, what is the name of the project and where is it located, and how you obtained the funds to invest in the EB-5 project. As long as your answers are truthful and consistent with what is already in the I-526 petition file, and you are otherwise admissible to the United States, your immigrant visa will be granted.
This will depend on which consulate you attend. China will have a backlog, while many in Europe will be much quicker. You will be sent a packet from the consulate instructing you on what documents will be needed.
Typically the waiting time for a consular interview could go for as little as four months in some locations, to as long as 12 months in other busier spots. Here, the consulate will attempt to review your background, identifying red flags that may bar you from entering the United States as an immigrant, such as criminal issues, health issues and security issues.
Each consulate office and different officers ask different questions. However, you should be prepared to answer the basic questions as follows: -What kind of business have you invested in and where is the business/project? -What regional center, if appropriate? -How much was your investment? When? -What is your duty or role within the project/business? -How did you gather your funds to invest - this should be in the source of funds documents that your lawyer prepared for you. Also, you will be asked other immigrant visa questions such as why you wish to immigrate and any questions on your background and police clearance for security check, as well as medical history questions if you had any issues.
It will take several weeks and up to several months to receive the visa invoices from the National Visa Center, prepare and submit the proper forms, and schedule the interview. At the interview you will be asked questions about the investment and your background.
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