This post was updated April 22, 2015
As you may know, the EB-5 immigrant visa category will retrogress beginning May 2015. Below is a guide to the frequently asked questions we have been receiving since the announcement of retrogression.
1. What if I have a child who may age-out but my I-526 Petition has been approved? How can I preserve my child’s age for purposes of immigration?
The DOS has issued guidance that the following can freeze a child’s age for the purposes of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA):
- Submission of the DS-260;
- Payment of the visa fee; OR
- Submission of a DS-230 to the NVC;
It is important to remember each of those activities listed above will freeze a child’s age for CSPA purposes. Thus, the most cost effective and less timely method is payment of the visa fee bill by cashier’s check as soon as an I-526 Petition approval notice is received. As noted immediately below, all applicants who have received approval of their I-526 Petitions before May 1, 2015, will be issued a fee bill (even past the May 1 cut-off date), thereby enabling those applicants with age-out children to freeze their children’s age for purposes of immigration.
2. What do I do if I haven’t received a fee bill from the National Visa Center (NVC) but my I-526 Petition was been approved on or before April 30th?
Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State Charles Oppenheim stated at the IIUSA Conference that fee bills will be sent out for I-526 Petitions approved during the month of April 2015. However, if you have a dependent child who may potentially age-out (those children over the age of 17 at the time of I-526 Petition approval) you should contact us immediately and we will take steps to preserve the dependent child’s age for immigration purposes.
3. What do I do if my I-526 Petition was approved after April 30th?
You will be subject to retrogression. Accordingly, once your I-526 Petition is approved you must continually check the Department of State’s (DOS) visa bulletin each month to find out if your priority date is current. You can learn all about how to check your priority date here.
4. What do I do if I received a fee bill from the NVC but my dependents have not?
We will make payment for you and your dependents by sending a cashier’s check via certified mail to the NVC using the case number of the principal application (the investor).
5. If I have filed my DS-260 and paid my fee bill what action can I expect?
UPDATED (4/22/15) You will likely not be scheduled for an immigrant visa. You will have to continually check the Department of State’s (DOS) visa bulletin each month to find out if your priority date is current. You can learn all about how to check your priority date here.
6. If I reside in the U.S. in lawful status and have not yet filed my adjustment of status based on my approved I-526 Petition, can I file my adjustment of status after May 1, 2015?
No. You will have to continually check the Department of State’s (DOS) visa bulletin each month to find out if your priority date is current. You can learn all about how to check your priority date here.
7. I reside in the U.S. in lawful status and have filed my adjustment of status based on my approved I-526 Petition prior to May 1, 2015, what is my status? Can I remain in the U.S. and work and travel? Do I have to renew my advance parole and employment authorization?
Yes, you can remain in the U.S. and continually renew your advance parole (travel permission) and employment authorization so long as your adjustment of status remains pending. USCIS will hold off on adjudicating the adjustment of status application until your priority date is current. You can learn all about how to check your priority date here.
8. Where can I check my priority date after May 1, 2015?
The DOS announces it in each month’s visa bulletin on this website. You can learn all about how to check your priority date here. Additionally the DOS maintains a “Priority Date Checker” which is an interactive form that will automatically populate the cut-off date applicable for you.
9. What is the estimated wait time due to retrogression?
As of May 1, 2015, the cut-off date established is May 1, 2013. This equates to a wait time of approximately two years assuming an individual received approval of his or her I-526 Petition on May 1, 2015. Based on DOS announcements, we expect the wait time to progressively increase up to three years or more.
10. How long do you expect the wait time due to retrogression to be at the start of the U.S. government’s 2016 fiscal year on October 1, 2015?
We expect it to still be approximately two years. However, it may continue to progressively increase up to three years or more.
11. If I am eligible for cross-chargeability based on my spouse’s non-PRC nationality, are my children also eligible?
Your Greenberg Traurig, LLP attorneys will continue to provide you with updates as we receive further information from the Department of State and USCIS.