How might a denied F-1 visa application affect a pending I-526 petition?

On its own, a denied F-1 visa application should not negatively impact a pending I-526 petition. However, if the petitioner is living in the United States at the time of the denial, they risk the loss of their status. In such an event, the petitioner would need to comply with immigration laws to avoid spending time in the United States without legal status. This may entail departing the U.S. and returning to their home country.

If an EB-5 investor with a pending I-526 petition wishes to be granted authorization to study in the United States, they may apply for an F-1 visa but it is highly improbable they will actually be approved for one. Because the F-1 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa for prospective students, the applicant must prove they have no intention of immigrating permanently to the United States. An EB5 investor with a pending I-526 petition will have already demonstrated conspicuous immigrant intent through their pursuance of a U.S. green card.

F-1 Visa: Reasons for Denial

An EB-5 investor who has already filed Form I-526 will most likely not be able to acquire an F-1 visa due to their expression of intent to immigrate. Apart from this, there can be a number of reasons why an F-1 visa application would be denied. Some of the most common reasons include the following: lack of proof of sufficient financial means to fund the applicant’s studies; lack of evidence that the applicant intends to return home; missing or incorrect documentation; inadmissibility to the United States; and submitting the application too late (past the start of the academic term).

Pending I-526 Petition

After filing Form I-526, the EB-5 investor must wait for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to complete processing and adjudication. During this time, the EB5 investor can reside in the United States under a valid nonimmigrant visa or wait for a decision while living in their home country. After approval is granted, the EB-5 investor will need to either adjust status or undergo consular processing.