How do I become a citizen if I already have a green card?

Providing you meet the other character requirements, if you have been a permanent resident for at least five years, or three years if you obtained permanent residence through marriage, then you may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. In order to determine whether you can file an application for U.S. citizenship, whether you qualify on the basis of residence, whether you qualify on the basis of character, whether you have any other bars or problems in any application that you may file, you should discuss your case with an experienced immigration attorney.

My child was born overseas. Can they become a United States citizen?

Assuming that at least one of the child’s parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth, then that child is also regarded as a U.S. citizen. There is a process by which the birth of the child abroad may be reported to the U.S. embassy in that country and a certificate of birth abroad will be issued.

E-2 Visa

Can I bring dependents on an E-2 visa?

The E2 visa category will permit an E-2 investor to bring his or her spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21. However, the children, once they obtain the age of 21, will have to leave the United States, unless they are able to qualify for their own visa category under a separate visa.

What are the limitations of an E-2 visa?

The E2-B’s allows the E-2 investor to live and work in the United States. However, there are limitations. He must only or she must only work in the E-2 treaty business. The investor spouse may accompany the investor but is not automatically entitled to work either in that business or indeed anywhere else without separate employment authorization. The investor’s children, when they obtain the age of 21 must leave the United States unless they qualify separately for their own visa category.

What is an E-2 treaty investor visa?

The E-2 treaty investor visa permits nationals of E-2 treaty countries to invest in businesses in the United States. The E-2 visa permits the investor to come and live and work in the United States, in that business. The E-2 spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 may also accompany the treaty investor.


Can I qualify for an EB-5 visa if I do not speak English?

Although immigrants are always encouraged to learn to speak English before coming to the United States, there is no English language requirement as far as the EB-5 visa is concerned. If you don’t speak English, you will still be able to apply for and qualify for the EB-5 visa, provided you satisfy the other requirements.

May I apply for an EB-5 visa if I was previously denied a visa to the U.S.?

Prior visa denial will not necessarily preclude an investor from applying for an EB-5 visa. However, the grounds for that denial will be relevant. If for instance, the grounds for the denial were because of background issues, criminal record, immigration violations, misrepresentation or fraud, then that could impact the future of any visa application. To discuss the specifics of your case you should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney.

What are the benefits of investing in regional center projects?

The EB-5 regulations require that an EB-5 investor must create 10 new jobs with his or her investment. It is often difficult to create that number of jobs with a minimum amount of 500,000 or even a million dollars. The regional center permits those jobs to be indirect or induce, and this means that it can often be easier to satisfy the requirement when investing in an EB-5 regional center project.

What documents must be filed with the EB-5 petition?

Documents that must be filed with an EB-5 Petition will include biographic documents such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates if appropriate, etc. together with source of funds documentation. Source of funds documentation will vary depending on the source of funds. In order to determine the specifics of your case, you should discuss your case with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney.

What is the most common reason for denial of an EB-5 visa application?

The most common denial for an EB-5 visa application will be based on the investor’s source of funds. If the investor is unable to prove on a preponderance of the evidence that his or her source of funds is legitimate, i.e. comes from a lawful source, then USCIS will issue a request for further evidence. If, ultimately, the investor is unable to satisfy that request, USCIS will deny the petition.

What is the procedure for an investor to qualify as an immigrant based upon an EB-5 investment?

In order to qualify as an immigrant based upon EB-5 investment, the investor must first file an I-526 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Once this has been approved the investor moves on to the second stage. If the investor resides abroad, then he would apply for a visa at the embassy abroad. If the investor is present lawfully in the States at the time that the I-526 petition is approved, then he or she may apply to adjust status in the United States and need not return to the embassy abroad.

Who may obtain an EB-5 visa?

The EB-5 visa program is open to nationals of all countries. Although there may be certain security, terrorist or other reasons to exclude individuals, no nationality is excluded per se.

General Visa

Is dual citizenship possible?

The United States permits dual citizenship, and so if you are a national of a country that also permits dual citizenship by applying for U.S. citizenship you will not need to renounce your own citizenship. However, not all countries permit this. Whether or not you are able to be a dual citizen will depend on your citizenship, and for further specifics about your case you should discuss it with an experienced immigration attorney.

What does immigrant intent mean?

Immigrant intent is when you come to the United States intending to immigrate. There are non-immigrant Visas such as B-1, B-2 Visas, E-2 Visas, L-1, H1-B. These non-immigrant Visas require a non-immigrant intent. If you come to the United States on a non-immigrant Visa with immigrant intent, it can disqualify you from further Visa applications and you may find that you are either denied entry or denied a Visa when you subsequently try to enter the United States.

What is the form AR-11?

If you are in the United States as a permanent resident or under a visa category, you are under a duty to keep USCIS informed of your address. If you move, change your address, then the AR-11 process is a procedure by which you can inform USCIS of your change of address.

L-1 Manager Visas

How does the EB-5 visa differ from an L-1 visa?

The main difference is that the EB5 visa is an immigrant visa, whereas the L-1 is a non-immigrant visa. If you qualify for the EB5 visa then you will become a permanent resident and ultimately may, if you wish, apply for citizenship. The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which is valid for a maximum of seven years, thereafter no immigrant benefit is bestowed and you are not able to apply for citizenship unless you qualify for another visa category you would have to leave the US at then end of that seven year period.

What is an L-1 visa?

The L-1 is an intra company transfer visa. This permits managers and executives and also specialized employees to transfer from a foreign entity to a related entity in the United States provided they satisfy a number of conditions, notably that they have worked for at least one year out of the preceding three years in the foreign entity that the job into which they are coming satisfies the definition of manager or executive or specialized employee within the meaning of the regulations and that the other regulations have also been satisfied. For further information about the specifics of your case, you should discuss it with an experienced immigration attorney.

What is the processing time for an L-1 visa?

The current processing time for an L-1 visa is 5 months. However, it is possible to apply for a faster processing time if you use the premium processing process for an additional fee. For an additional fee of $1,225, USCIS will initially consider your application within 15 days.

Permanent Residence

For how long is the green card valid?

If you’ve achieved your permanent resident status as a result of an EB-5 investment, it will be initially awarded for two years. At the end of that two year period, the investor must file for removal of conditions. Once that is approved, the permanent resident status will be confirmed, and will be the subject of permanent resident cards that will each be issued in 10-year increments. Permanent residence is effectively permanent, unless it is either given up, or lost, or is taken away as a result of an application for US citizenship.

Under what circumstance will a foreign spouse’s permanent resident status in the United States be conditional?

A U.S. citizen may petition for permanent residence for a foreign spouse. Once approved whether or not the residence period is conditional will depend on the length of the marriage at the time of filing. If the parties have been married for more than two years at the time of filing then the residence period will be unconditional. If, however, they have been married for less than two years at the time of filing then a two-year conditional residence period will be approved at the end of which the foreign national and the petitioner will have to petition for the removal of conditions. For further information you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Who is eligible to apply for removal of conditions on permanent residence?

If you are a conditional permanent resident, you are more likely to be a spouse of a U.S. citizen who has been married for less than two years at the time that permanent residence was approved, or you may be the beneficiary of an I-526 EB-5 petition. In either case, at the end of the two year conditional residence period, you and your dependents may file for removal of conditions, and once that is approved you will become permanent residents without condition.