EB-5 Approval Using The Follow To Join Method

EB-5 Approval Using the Follow To Join Method To Preserve An F-1 Visa

Full Video Transcript

Should the international student go back to China to get the Immigrant Visa or stay in the U.S to do an adjustment of status? That is the question, right? So, the parents had an EB-5 interview, and the child is supposed to come back and go to the interview with them to get their Green Card. Almost everyone, including us, said yes, that’s the right path. But the concern is, what if she flies back and the interview was not successful or there was administrative processing and there was a delay? The passport is confiscated, the F-1 Visa is denied. Now, the child loses a year of education in the U.S. They’ve already spent so much time and effort to help the daughter go to the U.S. to study, and just because of this little incident, now they might lose a year and worse, might lose three or four years. So, is there another alternative, and what are the pros and cons? That’s the key decision in this case.

We ended up deciding to do the following-to-join method. Let me share with you how we did it. Let’s go.

Hi everyone, my name is Joseph. I’m the managing partner here at Tsang & Associates, where we solve legal problems with creative solutions. So, the legal problem was that the parents were just really worried, like most parents, right? They spent their entire effort to get their daughter into the US to study at a great university, and now it’s time for an interview. If all things go smoothly, the daughter flies back, does the interview one weekend, flies back to school, and continues with her final exams. Things just go on as normal. But what if it doesn’t, right? You just can’t predict what the consulate is going to do, and it was a very difficult case. So, they were just extremely worried and trying to find what is another alternative.

Almost nobody mentioned the possibility of doing a following-to-join. We mentioned it, but we didn’t think that they were going to think about it or do it. But they kept on asking more and more questions, so we said, “Okay, let’s really analyze it.” So, the pro of doing the consulate route is that it’s fast, it’s straightforward, it’s easy. Everything was geared up to do that. But if you choose not to, that means the child stays in the U.S., continues to study, and the parents, both of them, go through the consulate process. If it’s approved, then they fly to the U.S. to activate their green card, and then the daughter in the U.S. does a following-to-join and then files the I-131, the 765, and the 45. Essentially, you’re doing all the complicated work of the consulate process right because it’s already been done; it’s already been packaged; we already did everything. But then after everything gets approved, you’re flying to the U.S., and you’re redoing the whole thing again but in a different method. So, you’re like double dipping, and you’re doing double the work. That’s the downside.

But the upside is if there’s anything that goes wrong with the parents, at least the daughter can still stay in the U.S. using her F1 visa and continue to study with no delay or disruption in her education. Ultimately, the parents prioritized the education of the child, prioritized the education and her continuous residence here, as opposed to flying back and disrupting that status. They would rather double the amount of work but to guarantee that it was smoother, essentially.

The parents went through that process; we secured both of them the Immigrant Visa; they flew to the U.S.; we filed an expedited following-to-join process. And then within a month, the notices started coming in: the Biometrics, the work permits, and then eventually, the Green Card was just directly mailed. They were so happy that all three of them were able to get the green card without a disruption in the trial.

All of this took a lot of planning. This was a super unusual case because most people would just choose to fly together and go through the process, and everybody gets the green card and comes together. Why would you split up, right? But the thing is about this is normally we won’t do that. Most likely you won’t do that. Most people just won’t do that. But some people have other considerations, and when you have another consideration, you will ask, “Is there a different way?” And that’s the thing that we like to hear, right? Because we are here to solve legal problems with creative solutions. And so if you are asking, “Is there another way?” then let’s brainstorm together because we don’t take no for an answer. We just want to calculate the pros and cons. And so the clients found the right way. They were willing to take the risk; they were willing to afford a double process. Well, then let’s get to it.

If you have any questions about this following-to-join process, feel free to reach out. We would love to talk to you about it. Take care. Bye.

In this unusual case, we had a family that had applied for their EB-5 investor visa and had their green card interview scheduled; however, the daughter was already in the US as a student on an F-1 visa. In a normal case, we recommend that the daughter, who was already in the US, fly back for the interview so that the whole family could go to their interview together and then enter the US together with their new EB-5 green cards. However, there were other concerns. Here we’ll go through how we helped this family to secure their EB-5 approval while preserving their daughter’s current F-1 visa status using the follow to join method.

TIME FRAME

Once the parents had been approved and arrived in the US, we filed an expedited follow to join, and within a month, the notices started coming in. The biometrics were completed, the work permits arrived and then the green card was directly mailed to the clients.

BACKGROUND

In this unique case, we had a family that was in the process of getting their EB-5 immigrant investor green cards. However, unlike other families, the daughter in the family was already in the United States studying on an F-1 student visa. The parents had spent a lot of time and effort to enable their daughter to study in the US and were highly concerned with her education.

Normally when an EB-5 application interview is scheduled we recommend the entire family attend the interview. In this case, it meant the daughter, studying in the US, would fly back to attend the application interview with her parents in their home country. After the interview, she would return to the US to continue studying. In the ideal scenario, this would be a quick trip back and there would be minimal disruption to the daughter’s studies.

CHALLENGES IN THIS EB-5 CASE

Because the EB-5 application process had been complicated, the family was concerned that the interview might not have the positive result they wanted. If that happened, their daughter might not be able to return to the US right away. This would severely impact her studies, potentially delaying them for a year, or worse, several years while the EB-5 case continued. 

After all of the time and effort that the family had dedicated to helping their daughter to study in the US, this was not an acceptable result. This led them to question “Is there another way?” Could their daughter continue her studies in the US on her F-1 student visa and not attend the EB-5 interview with the family? Would it be possible for her to get her green card in another way? 

Why did we opt for the EB-5 Approval Using the Follow To Join Method?

Although attending the interview would be the most straightforward approach, we understood the family’s concerns and desire to prioritize their daughter’s education. So we presented the pros and cons of the EB-5 approval using the follow to join method. This had the potential to achieve the result the family was looking for, to eliminate the risk of their daughter not being able to continue her studies, while allowing the family to continue their EB-5 visa application and, eventually, allow the entire family to obtain their EB-5 green cards.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

Reviewing the Pros & Cons

After presenting the option to secure EB-5 approval using the follow to join method for their daughter, we did a thorough review of the pros and cons.

The biggest pro of going the standard consulate route is that it’s fast, it’s straightforward, and it’s easy. Everything is set up to do it this way, but this way left the parents concerned about disruption to their daughters’ education. With the EB-5 approval using the follow to join method the parents would go through this standard consulate process and then later once the parents are in the U.S. and activate their green card, their daughter, already in the US studying under the F-1 visa, does a follow-to-join and then files the I-131, the 765, the 45 to obtain her green card.

Cons

It’s more work. Because you need to go through the entire process first with the parents, you have to go through the entire process again with the follow to join. This means the process is more complicated and requires more work than the standard process.

Pros

The upside is if there’s anything that goes wrong with the standard process for the parents, their daughter can still stay in the U.S. using her F-1 visa and continue to study with no delay or disruption to her education. 

For these clients, the pros outweighed the cons and ultimately, the parents prioritized the education of their child. They decided they would rather go through the process twice to ensure their daughter could continue her studies in the United States without the potential set back if something didn’t go according to plan.

Planning

Another key to the success of this case was the planning process. This was an unusual case that most people would’ve chosen to simply go through the usual process and everyone in the family would come to the US together and get their green card together as well. 

But with careful planning, we were able to outline how this different process would look, how it could be successful, and then execute the plan. We found a creative path for these clients to go through the immigration process in a way that worked for the whole family, even though it wasn’t the usual way.

EB-5 APPROVAL USING THE FOLLOW TO JOIN METHOD CASE RESULT

In the end, the parents went through the standard application process and we secured the immigrant visa for them both. They flew to the US and we proceeded to file an expedited follow to join for their daughter.

Within a month, the notices started coming in: the biometrics, the work permits, and then eventually, the green card was directly mailed. The entire family was so happy that all three of them were able to get their green cards without disruption during the process. It was a great success!

EB-5 LAWYER COMMENTS ON THE CASE

This involved a non-standard solution to help clients who were asking “Is there another way?” At Tsang & Associates, that’s the thing that we like to hear. We are here to solve legal problems with creative solutions. If you are asking, “Is there another way?” to solve your legal challenge, let’s brainstorm together because we don’t take no for an answer. We want to help you calculate the pros and cons and find a solution that works for you.

If you need assistance with an EB-5 green card, you can learn more about our EB-5 legal services or contact us with any questions. We’d love to talk with you to find a creative solution for your situation. 

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