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What are the contents of an I-526E Petition?

Form I-526E, known as the “Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor,” is the first step in your EB-5 immigration process. This form was introduced as part of the changes in the EB-5 program following the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA).

The I-526E petition serves three fundamental purposes in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: verifying that a qualifying investment has been made in a New Commercial Enterprise (NCE), establishing that the investment was sourced from lawful means, and demonstrating the NCE’s credible business plan and job creation potential. The preparation of this form usually requires an immigration attorney’s expertise.

To evidence the investment in an NCE, investors may provide various documents such as bank statements, loan certificates, and escrow account records. If the investment qualifies for a reduced amount due to being in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), appropriate documentation for TEA designation must be included.

The lawful source of funds is a critical part of the petition, requiring comprehensive documentation to trace the origin of the capital. This may include salary payments, real estate sales, loan documents, or proof of gifted capital. The assistance of an immigration attorney is crucial to meet the high standards of USCIS for source-of-funds documentation.

The petition must also illustrate the potential for job creation, with a requirement to create at least 10 qualifying jobs within two years of the investor’s conditional residency.

The NCE’s business plan should detail the operational plan, financial projections, and management background. Direct investments necessitate the creation of full-time, W-2 positions, while regional center-sponsored NCEs can include indirect and induced jobs, though these can’t exceed 90% of total job creation.

The investor’s managerial role and the regional center’s information, including the I-956F form receipt number and administrative costs, are also integral to the petition. Additionally, investors need to provide personal background information, such as employment history and compliance with U.S. laws.

The filing fee for the I-526E petition, as of August 2022, is $3,675, and the decision from USCIS may result in approval, denial, or a request for additional evidence.