How can I stay in the United States for EB-5 if my J-1 visa will expire?
I am in the United States on a J-1 visa which will expire in 10 weeks. I filed my I-526 four months ago for a direct EB-5 investment. What should I do after my J-1 expires - can I remain in the United States? If not, should I change my status to an F-1 visa before my J-1 expires so I can stay here? Or should I return to my home country and apply for an F-1 visa to come back to the United States? Would this option have any negative effect on my EB-5 approval?
Your pending I-526 petition does not allow you to remain int he U.S., nor does it grant any U.S. immigration benefit. In order to remain lawfully in the U.S. in an authorized period of stay, you will need to change your status to another nonimmigrant category. Otherwise, you should return home and wait for the approval of your I-526 petition. This should not affect your I-526 processing. Be prepared to document that you are not subject to the two-year home residence requirement of INA 212(e).
You will have to leave the U.S. unless your I-526 is approved and you file for adjustment (I-485) before your J-1 expires.
You will have to leave upon expiration of J-1 visa, the pending I-526 petition is not a visa. Also, the general rule lately to change from one non-immigrant visa like J-1 to F-1 requires that you have to return to your home country to pick up the F-1 visa. Also, be on notice that the F-1 visa may not be granted if you are required to return to home country for 2 years which is common to most J-1 holders unless you seek and obtain an exemption to the requirement.
Among the choices you cited the most realistic one is for you to go back to your home country and wait for the approval of your I-526 application there. Be careful to demonstrate that you are not subject to the typically two year home residence requirement though.
You need to be transferred to another visa and it also depends on the country of your citizenship. You can come to have a consultation with our law firm ACS, and we can suggest you the solutions.
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