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What is an I-829 Petition?

The I-829 Petition, officially known as the “Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status”, is the final step for an EB-5 investor to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States without any conditions.

Key aspects of the I-829 Petition include:

  1. Purpose: The I-829 Petition is filed by EB-5 investors to remove the conditional status of their residency. Initially, EB-5 investors and their eligible family members are granted Conditional Permanent Residency (CPR) for two years. The I-829 is used to convert this conditional status to permanent residency.
  2. Timing: Their I-829 Petition must be filed during the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of the investor’s admission to the United States as a conditional permanent resident. This timing is critical as it aligns with the expiration of the conditional residency period. Failure to submit the I-829 Petition during that 90-day period will disqualify the EB-5 investor and their family from getting Permanent Residency status.
  3. Requirements: The petition requires the investor to demonstrate that they have fulfilled all the requirements of the EB-5 program. This includes proving that the investment has been maintained during the “Sustainment Period” and that the required jobs were created or will be created within a reasonable period.
  4. Evidence of Job Creation: The investor needs to provide evidence that their investment led to the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers. This is a key requirement for the success of the I-829 petition.
  5. Sustained Investment: On October 11, 2023, USCIS issued awaited guidance regarding the EB-5 investment timeframe under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), to satisfy the ‘at risk’ requirement for the EB-5 visa. The guidance differentiates between investors who joined the program before (pre-RIA) and after (post-RIA) the enactment of the RIA. For pre-RIA investors, the sustainment period is defined as the two years of their Conditional Residence. For post-RIA investors, it’s stated as “two years from investing.” However, there’s ambiguity surrounding when this two-year period begins, which calls for additional clarification. Also, their interpretation is non-binding, is not yet in the USCIS Policy Manual and is likely to be challenged in courts.
  6. Result of Approval: Once the I-829 Petition is approved, the investor and their dependents are granted full permanent resident status in the United States.

Filing and approval of the I-829 Petition is a critical step in the EB-5 process, which marks the successful completion of the investment and immigration requirements set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).