The EB-5 process for investment visa application is has multiple stages. After you file your I-526 petition and it is approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the next stage is consular processing if you are not already in the U.S. Approval of your I-526 petition indicates that you have qualified as an alien entrepreneur. Consular processing is a separate stage providing for your visa and actual admission to the U.S. as a legal permanent resident.
Consular Processing for EB-5 Visa
Consular processing begins when the USCIS sends your approved I-526 petition to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will then provide you with instructions, an appointment package, and request the necessary documents and information. Typically, such documentation includes birth and marriage certificates, biographic data, police records and an affidavit of support. There will be a complete checklist of all the documents that you must provide and the applicable immigrant visa fees. You will also be instructed to have your fingerprints taken, submit to a medical examination and to report for a consular interview
The consular interview typically takes place at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s country of citizenship. The purpose of the interview is to make sure the applicant is not subject to any grounds of inadmissibility. Therefore, the consular officer will concentrate on the remaining basic admissibility issues of the applicant.
Preparing for the EB-5 Green Card Consulate Interview
If you have gotten this far, you have overcome the most difficult portion of the process, the I-526 petition. Nevertheless, it is vital that you prepare for your interview. You should begin by reviewing all of your paperwork prior to the interview. Consider the questions, as well as your responses on the forms and documents that you have submitted and be prepared to answer similar questions at your interview. You should also be familiar with the dates of your travel, the financial figures and the nature of your EB-5 investment, and your immigration history.
During the EB-5 Interview
Plan to arrive early for your EB-5 consulate interview. There are often long lines at the place of interview, and you may experience a long wait prior to your interview. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait beyond your scheduled appointment time.
Once in the embassy or consulate, a clerk will likely verify that you have brought the required documents. When you are called for your appointment, a consular officer will meet with you, place you under oath, and review the contents of your application.
After the officer has reviewed your forms and documents, you can expect the officer to ask questions similar or identical to those on the forms and documents you have already submitted. The officer may also ask questions pertaining to the results of your medical exam, any past criminal activities including drug violations, and any connections you may have to subversive organizations or communist parties.
The interview process itself is generally quick and simple. While the officer is free to ask as many questions as necessary, don’t be surprised if you are only asked a few questions. Answering all questions honestly is very important.
The entire interview can be as short as 20 minutes. If everything is in order, the officer may ask you to return on another day to pick up your visa. It is a rare case that an application is denied on the spot. If you have problems with your application that can be corrected, the officer will usually ask you to provide additional materials to rectify the problems. The same is true if you are inadmissible, but eligible for a waiver.
After the EB-5 Interview
When you receive your visa, it is important that you do not open it. You will need to present your unopened visa envelope to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer upon your arrival in the U.S.
At Jatoi & de Kirby, APC, we know how important it is for you and your family to have the most up-to-date information on the green card process. Our San Francisco immigration attorneys can advise you the process. Call us today at 415-221-2345 for more information.