Invest Now to Adjust Status (H-1B/F-1/E-2/TN) and Receive Work Permit (EAD) and Travel Permit in as Fast as 90 Days

What are the steps for processing an EB-5 visa application?

In order to complete the EB-5 process and become a permanent U.S. resident, foreign investors must work through the following steps:

Step 1, USCIS Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor. This is your first official step in the EB-5 process after completing your Accredited Investor Questionnaire, choosing a project, signing all of the documents to subscribe to a Regional Center project, and placing your funds in escrow with the project. The I-526E petition is submitted to the USCIS by your immigration attorney along with supporting documentation that clearly demonstrates that your investment and the project meets all EB-5 requirements.

If you already residing in the U.S. under certain visas (H1-B, L-1, E-2, F-1, etc.), you may expedite receiving your EB-5 benefits with a “Concurrent Filing”, as explained below.

Note: If you are doing your own direct investment and will manage your own business, you will need to file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor instead of an I-526E Form.

Step 2A, Adjustment of Status (Form I-485). After receiving approval of the I-526E petition, investors already residing in the U.S. may submit a completed application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) to the USCIS.  

Under the new EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), EB-5 investors with legal presence in the US may file a Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status either at the same time as filing the initial EB-5 petition (Form I-526E) or any time thereafter.

You may also file for a work permit (Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization) and get your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in as little as 3 months to 6 months. Likewise, you may also file your application to travel (Form I-131, Advance Parole) while your I-526E is being processed.

To be eligible for concurrent filing, the petitioner and their dependent family members must reside in the United States with a legal visa that allows for Adjustment of Status (AOS). While most non-immigrant visa holders can apply for AOS, come exceptions include visitors on a visa waiver and those from countries facing visa retrogression.

Applicants holding “dual intent” visas like H1-B or L-1 may file the Form I-485 at the same time as their I-526E petition. However, those on visas without immigrant intent should first consult their immigration attorneys to learn if they’re eligible to submit a Form I-485.

Once the applicant receives approval for their I-526E Form., the form I-485 will be reviewed and approved in 6-12 months. The applicant then receives the Conditional Cards, valid for two years.

Step 2B, Consular Processing: When an EB-5 investor who is outside the U.S. or is unable to adjust status in the U.S. receives their I-526E Petition approval, they  then need to undertake consular processing to receive their immigrant visa. After the I-526 approval, the National Visa Center (NVC) sends a fee invoice (currently $445 USD). The investor must then provide civil documentation for themselves and immediate family members and complete Form DS-260. Once the fees are paid and documents submitted, the NVC schedules a U.S. Consulate interview, dependent on visa availability based on the investor’s (or their spouse’s) nationality.

The Consulate’s role in this process is to evaluate the investor’s admissibility to the U.S., reviewing criminal history, past visa records, health status, etc. The consular interview doesn’t re-evaluate the I-526E petition, but the officer may ask about the EB-5 investment and project specifics. It’s crucial for the investor to be well-prepared for the interview, often with assistance from an immigration attorney.

This consular processing generally takes between 3 to 12 months, depending on the specific consulate. After receiving the immigrant visa, the investor must enter the U.S. within six months to begin their two-year conditional residency period. Once they enter the U.S., they will receive their Conditional Cards.

Step 3, USCIS Form I-829 – Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions. Within the last 90 days of the  2-year Conditional Residency period, investors must file an I-829 Petition with the USCIS to have conditions removed from their Green Card and establish permanent residency. With this petition, the investor must demonstrate that the investment was sustained throughout the two-year conditional period and that job creation requirements were achieved by the project. During this process, the investor is aided by their chosen Regional Center in providing the requested documentation. Upon approval of the I-829 application, full permanent resident status is given to the investor, his or her spouse, and any  unmarried children under the age of 21 included in their I-526E petition.

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