Immigaration Law

USCIS EB-5 Teleconference Invitation

To discuss the EB-5 immigrant investor program, the Office of Public Engagement and the Service Center Operations Directorate has invited the public to participate in upcoming stakeholder engagements. The next program will take place through teleconferencing on Monday, January 23, 2012, at 1:00 PM (Eastern Time). The main attention of this program will be on state government partners. It also creates an opportunity to address issues raised by state and local governments related to the EB-5 program. Interested EB-5 stakeholders can participate and it is also proposed to have an open forum for additional questions.

There is a session scheduled for January 23. To participate in this session, get in touch with the Office of Public Engagement by emailing to public.engagement@ by January 20, 2012, and mention “EB-5 Teleconference” in the subject line of your email. Remember to mention your full name and the organization you represent in the email. Should you need to submit agenda items and questions you must RSVP via email and attach a Word document or PDF with suggested items. Make sure such submissions are received by the Office of Public Engagement by the end of the business hours on Tuesday, December 27, 2012.

USCIS has also scheduled a list of EB-5 stakeholder engagements in 2012. Some meetings will be in person and through teleconference, while others will be only through teleconferencing. In each session, the USCIS will share information about the EB-5 program and address topics of stakeholder interest. There will be an open forum for questions and answers at each of these engagements. However, USCIS will not address case-specific inquiries.

On 1/23/2012, 1:00PM – 4:00PM (ET), the session will be about EB-5 Discussion with State Governments and this is only through teleconferencing. The deadline to submit agenda items is 12/27/2011. The next session is scheduled to be held on 5/1/2012, 1:00PM – 4:00PM (ET) and the focus will be on General EB-5 Discussion. It will be held in-Person, Teleconference & Live Web Streaming at USCIS California Service Center,24000 Avila Road,Laguna Niguel, CA 92677. The deadline to submit agenda items is 4/1/2012.

The next session will be on 7/26/2012, 1:00PM – 4:00PM (ET) focusing on Regional Center Discussion

and this will be through teleconference only and the deadline is 6/25/2012. The next session focusing on General EB-5 Discussion will be held on 10/18/2012, 1:00PM – 4:00PM (ET) and will be in-Person, Teleconference & Live Web Streaming at Tomich Center,111 Massachusetts Avenue,Washington, DC 20529.

There was another update regarding the change in filing locations for Form I-130 on January 1, 2012. Applicants will have to mail their stand-alone I-130 applications to either the Chicago Lockbox or the Phoenix Lockbox, depending on their residence in the US. This change is aimed at balancing workloads between the two locations and for more efficient and effective processing of Form I-130.

However, when submitting Form I-130 along with Form I-485, there is no change in filing locations. Such petitioners can continue to mailing them to the Chicago Lockbox facility. If you are filing from an overseas addresses where there is no USCIS office, you can continue to file at the Chicago Lockbox facility.

If your country has a USCIS office, you can send your I-130 forms to the Chicago Lockbox, or file Forms I-130 at the international USCIS office having jurisdiction over the place where you live.

Lost Your Green Card

If your green card is lost or stolen, you have to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident card with the USCIS.

If you are eligible to apply for Naturalization but lost your green card, you must apply for a replacement for the lost green card before applying for citizenship as you are required to submit your green card while getting naturalized. But, you do not have to wait to receive the new card for filing for naturalization. Once you receive the I-797 Receipt Notice for having filed Form I-90, you can start filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

After you submit the I-90 application package with the appropriate fee and supporting documents (if any) to USCIS, they will send an application receipt notice with a receipt number. As mentioned earlier, you can start the Naturalization process as soon as you receive the Receipt Notice for the Form I-90. You are required to include a copy of the Receipt Notice with the N-400 application.

The application process :-

Expired green card :

Even if your green card expired, you have to get it renewed by filing Form I-90. Always make sure you apply for your new green card well before you travel and bring with you on any trip the temporary documentation that you received from the USCIS. If you are abroad and try to reenter the US with an expired green card, you may face problems causing unnecessary delay during the inspection process at the port-of-entry in the US. So it is always recommended you travel after you file the I-90 application to get a replacement.

Even US employers will not accept an expired Green Card while verifying employment authorization for new hires. In such cases, you can use other documents listed on the Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form) such as a social security card and driver’s license, or show temporary evidence of status (such as an I-551 stamp, or even the receipt notice for your Form I-90), Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

Another factor is that per the USCIS, if your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) will expire within six months, you have to renew your green card before filing the application for naturalization (Form N-400). You are required to submit a copy your green card when you apply to become a citizen.

Applying For a Return Visa

If you are a US Legal permanent resident or a Conditional resident, you are allowed to travel abroad and stay there for a short period of time. However, if you were absent from the US for more than a year, or stayed more than the time allowed on your Re-entry Permit, you have to get a new immigrant visa to enter the US to continue your permanent residence status. If you are carrying a green card and had to stay abroad because of compelling and unavoidable circumstances beyond your control, you can get a Returning resident special immigrant visa that will allow you to get back to the US. If you cannot return to the US within the two-year validity of a Re-entry Permit, you can still get a return visa. Applications for a returning resident (SB-1) visa has to be filed with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

Once your return visa application is approved, it is not necessary for an immigrant visa petition to be filed for you. You have to attend interviews and should be able to establish eligibility for an immigrant visa. Not to forget having a medical examination. There is a fee for both visa processing and for medical test. If you are serving the US Armed Forces or a civilian employee of the US Government staying overseas on official purposes, your spouse and child/ren can use their green card to enter the US even if it has expired. It is not necessary for them to apply for a return visa (SB-1) as long as they have not abandoned their permanent resident status.

You should prove that you were in lawful permanent resident status when you left the US and came out with the intention of returning and have no intention of abandoning your status. You should also have strong evidence that your visit was a temporary one and if the stay abroad was extended, it was only because of inevitable situations not under your control for which you were not responsible.

File a completed Form DS-117 (Application to establish Returning Resident Status) at the US Embassy or Consulate. You will be required to submit your Permanent Resident Card and Re-entry Permit (if available) and other supporting documents. After reviewing your application and supporting documents, the Consular Officer will verify if you meet the criteria reserved for SB-1 status and if he approves, you must qualify for an immigrant visa in all other aspects to get a SB-1 visa.

The US Consulate will give you all details regarding further processing of your SB-1 visa and processing differs from each Embassy or Consulate. If the consular officer finds you have abandoned your residence in the US, it may or may not be possible for you to get a non immigrant visa depending on whether you have established a residence in a foreign country.

Qualifying for a return visa is a bit complicated. If you cannot show convincing evidence of compelling ties abroad, you will be left with the only option of applying for an immigrant visa on the same basis and under the same category through which you entered the US earlier.