Can You Adjust Your Status While Your I-526 Is Pending?

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The I-526 application is a critical step for investors seeking permanent residency. This process is filled with legalities that require the services of an experienced immigration attorney. It is a part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program that allows foreign investors to get a Green Card. 

However, can you adjust your status to permanent residency while your I-526 is pending? Keep reading and learn if you are eligible to apply, the details of the form, and the necessary role of legal assistance.

An Immigration Attorney Will Help You Adjust Your Status In The U.S. If You Meet Certain Criteria

How Does An Immigration Attorney Assist You?

An immigration lawyer provides essential guidance for EB-5 investors aiming to adjust their status with a pending petition. They assist with understanding and completing the complex paperwork required for the I-526. These attorneys ensure that every detail meets U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) standards.

Moreover, an attorney can manage concurrent filing if an immigrant Visa is available. They help you correctly file needed forms, streamlining the process and potentially speeding up your path to permanent residency.

Throughout this journey, a skilled immigration attorney provides continuous support and updates, addressing issues and informing you of changes. Their guidance is essential in navigating the complexities of adjusting your status and achieving your goal of becoming a lawful permanent resident.

What Is Form I-526?

Form I-526, the Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor (or I-526E for Regional Center Investors), is the foundation of your EB-5 application. This form establishes your eligibility for the EB-5 program by demonstrating that you meet the stringent investment requirements. It serves several critical purposes:

Lawful Funds

It proves you have the lawful funds to invest the required amount. For standard cases, the investment amount is $1.05 million. Meanwhile, for targeted employment areas (TEAs), the required investment is $800,000. Your attorney will help you document the legal source of these funds, ensuring compliance with USCIS regulations.

Qualifying Investment

It shows that you intend to invest in a qualifying new commercial enterprise in the U.S. This enterprise must be for-profit and engage in lawful business activities. The investment must be at risk, committed to the business, and used to support the business’s operations and growth.

Job Creation

A core requirement of the EB-5 program is producing or preserving at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers. The investor must create these jobs within two years of admission to the United States as a conditional permanent resident. Proper documentation and business plans are crucial to prove the potential for job creation and meet this requirement.

You submit Form I-526 at the start of your EB-5 process. This filing kickstarts the journey, allowing USCIS to evaluate your eligibility and the merits of your investment. Approval grants you conditional permanent residency for two years, during which you must fulfill the job creation requirements.

Understanding Form I-526 is crucial for EB-5 investors. Filing this form correctly and providing comprehensive documentation sets a strong foundation for the entire immigration process. The next step involves filing Form I-485, which moves the investor closer to obtaining permanent residency.

What Is Adjustment Of Status?

Adjustment of status is for applicants already in the U.S. on a valid non-immigrant Visa. It follows the approval of your I-526 Petition. This process involves numerous steps and requires meeting specific eligibility criteria set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

  1. Determine Eligibility: Eligibility varies based on family relationships, employment, and other special categories.
  2. File an Immigrant Petition: After that, you or someone on your behalf should file an immigrant petition.
  3. File Form I-485: Submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The USCIS requires other supporting documents, such as proof of identity and evidence of lawful entry. 
  4. Biometrics Appointment: Attend your appointment to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints, photos, and a signature.
  5. Attend The Interview: If required, go to your interview with USCIS. The interview helps verify the information in your application and allows immigration officials to ask additional questions.
  6. Receive A Decision: After you complete these steps, USCIS will decide on your application. If approved, you will acquire your Green Card.

Timing is crucial. Once your I-526 petition is approved and you hold a valid Visa, you can initiate the adjustment of status process. This action moves you closer to permanent residency, leveraging your EB-5 investment without requiring international travel.

For those outside the U.S., the procedure is different. After I-526 approval, you apply for the EB-5 Visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy using Form DS-260. This approach provides the necessary Visa for entry as a permanent resident.

Can You Adjust Your Status With A Pending I-526?

You can apply for adjustment of status while your I-526 is pending. However, if the initial petition is not approved, there is no basis for the adjustment application. This is why many investors prefer to wait for the initial approval before moving forward with the status change process.

The initial petition is the cornerstone of the EB-5 process, proving your eligibility as an investor. Both steps play crucial roles in the EB-5 process. The 1-526 petition establishes your eligibility, while the  I-485 form changes your residency status.

Consulting with an attorney helps determine the right timing and sequence for these steps. Through their assistance, you can ensure a smooth transition through each phase of your journey toward permanent residency.

Why Seek the Help Of An Experienced Immigration Attorney

As an investor, you likely have many responsibilities and demands on your time. Navigating the EB-5 process adds another layer of complexity to your already busy schedule. An experienced attorney can alleviate some of this burden, providing guidance and support throughout your journey to lawful permanent residency.

Navigating Complex Requirements

Immigration law is intricate and constantly changing. An attorney helps you understand and comply with the complex requirements of the EB-5 program.

They assist in preparing and filing essential forms, such as I-526 and I-485, ensuring accuracy and completeness. This prevents mistakes leading to delays or rejections, ensuring your application meets all necessary criteria initially.

Maintaining Lawful Status

Staying in the U.S. while adjusting your status requires maintaining lawful status. An attorney provides strategies to ensure you remain compliant with all Visa regulations.

They help you understand the requirements for renewing or extending your Visa and advise you on the best course of action. This guidance is crucial for avoiding violations that could jeopardize your application for permanent residency.

Handling Challenges

Unexpected challenges can arise during the EB-5 process. An attorney can address these issues promptly and effectively. Whether dealing with requests for additional evidence, preparing for interviews, or resolving discrepancies, they can make a significant difference. Having a professional to navigate these hurdles ensures preparedness for any situation that may arise.

Maximizing Benefits

Lawful permanent residency offers numerous benefits, such as employment opportunities, educational advantages, and the potential path to U.S. citizenship. An attorney ensures you understand and maximize these benefits.

They also help you navigate the family sponsorship process, allowing you to bring eligible family members to the U.S. Understanding these benefits fully helps you make informed decisions about your future.

Providing Peace Of Mind

Navigating immigration procedures alone can be stressful and confusing. Having a knowledgeable attorney by your side provides peace of mind. They offer ongoing support, answer your questions, and keep you informed. This reassurance allows you to focus on your investment and personal life while they handle the legal complexities.

Seeking help from an experienced lawyer is essential for a smooth and successful EB-5 journey. A reputable immigration law firm can be crucial, offering dependable support to streamline the process and address unique challenges.

Lozano Law Firm Supports Foreign InvestorsWith The Legal Help Of Lozano Law Firm's Immigration Attorneys You Won't Have To Worry About Your Immigration Case

Lozano Law Firm is your trusted guide in navigating the complex U.S. immigration process. We understand your unique challenges, and you can benefit from personalized strategies tailored to your situation.

From filing Form I-526 to adjusting status, we guide you through every step, ensuring your documentation is accurate and timely. We assist you in maintaining lawful status, preparing the necessary paperwork, and addressing any issues arising during the application process. Our attorneys inform you about Visa availability and help you with concurrent filing, streamlining your path to permanent residency.

By choosing Lozano Law Firm, you partner with a team dedicated to your future on American soil. Our commitment and hands-on approach can provide you peace of mind as you work towards achieving your immigration goals.

Adjusting status with a pending I-526 petition is possible, but you need to consider several important factors. Filing for 1-485 allows you to enjoy the benefits of permanent residency while avoiding the complications of traveling back and forth. Each step plays a crucial role in the EB-5 process.

Staying proactive and seeking an immigration attorney is vital for a successful immigration journey. Lozano Law Firm offers comprehensive support throughout this process, from preparing and filing Form I-526 to obtaining a Green Card. They inform you about Visa availability and assist with concurrent filing to streamline your path to permanent residency.

About Alfredo Lozano

alfredo lozano of lozano law firm inAlfredo Lozano is the founder and principal attorney at Lozano Law Firm, an immigration law firm serving the communities of San Antonio, Eagle Pass, Laredo and San Angelo in business and family-based immigration law. Mr. Lozano is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the San Antonio Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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