Steffanie Lewis's blog

EB-5 Q&A: What immigration application should I file after I-526 approval?

Question Detail: I am a senior at a university graduating in May 2015. My F-1 visa expires on May 15 and I have work starting on August 3. I filed for EB-5 and was notified last week that my I-526 petition was approved. My immigration consulting company in China suggests that I apply for OPT for now and apply for the I-485 afterwards, so I can secure work authorization by early August. But a U.S. immigration lawyer I consulted recommends that I apply for the I-485 immediately and that the OPT application will likely be rejected due to immigration intent. Between OPT and I-485 EAD, which one should I apply for now? My main priority is to get work authorization without any delay to work; the next priority is to get a green card; and the last priority is to go home and visit family in China during the summer.

EB-5 Q&A: How can an admin fee for aggregating EB-5 investors be accepted?

Question Detail: My friend owns a large firm in China that aggregates EB-5 investors. However, he can only accept an annual percentage from the regional center and not the admin fee. He offered me, a U.S. citizen, the admin fee in exchange for helping out with emails, arranging calls, etc. If I set up an LLC to accept this admin fee, do I need to be a registered broker-dealer? I am thinking I do not because I am not the regional center or the person aggregating the EB-5 investors. Also, if the EB-5 investor creates two escrow accounts, one for the EB-5 investment and one for the admin fee, can the admin fee be released from escrow directly to the LLC I set up? Or does it have to pass through the regional center first and then is passed to the LLC?


EB-5 Q&A: How can we expedite our passport approval at Guangzhou Consulate?

Question Detail: My family and I were approved at our EB-5 immigrant visa interview in Guangzhou, but the consulate has been processing our passports for over 1.5 months. I have checked with my attorney and every time he makes an inquiry, the consulate simply says they are still processing our passports. This had caused hardship financially for us, and academically for my child who was attending school in the United States. Is this consulate processing time normal? How can we find out what is causing the delay? Is there any way to expedite our documents?

EB-5 Q&A: How can I apply for EB-5 if I am out of status in another country?

Question Detail: I live in Brazil, but am currently visiting Canada on a temporary resident visa, which just expired. I do not want to go back to Brazil. After speaking with family, I am more interested in applying for EB-5 and moving permanently to the United States. How can I apply for EB-5 if I am out of status in another country? Will I have to go back to Brazil to apply?