How long is the processing time for the I-526 petition and the conditional green card?

The length of processing time from submitting the I-526 petition to granting of the conditional green card is approximately 16 to 20 months depending on the individual. It is a two-step approval process. First, acting as a visa clearing house, the USCIS reviews and approves the investor’s EB-5 application. After the I-526 petition is approved, it is forwarded to the overseas U.S. consulate, where the investor needs to file a consulate application and then follow up with an interview before the immigrant visa is granted. If the EB-5 investor is already in the U.S., an adjustment of status will be filed with the USCIS instead.

Once I receive my conditional green card, when do I apply for my permanent green card?

The conditional green card will expire two years from the date issued. Investors may submit their I-829 petition as early as three months prior to the expiration date. If you invest in the projects under regional centers, regional centers will supply all supporting evidence regarding the limited partnership, capital investment, and indirect employment. Once the I-829 petition is filed with the USCIS, your conditional permanent residency is extended for one more year while you wait for your official approval from USCIS. If you invest in the stand-alone projects, you need to supply all supporting evidence.

What type information and documents are required for EB-5 petition?

As an EB-5 investor, you must prepare complete biographical information for each applicant, and the principal applicant must provide proof of the source of the investment funds. To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires five years of tax returns, five years of bank records, proof of ownership of any businesses, financial statements for each business and business licenses. The goal is to present a track record of an honest course of dealing. If your capital came from a specific transaction, such as sale of a house, inheritance, or gift, you must prove that the transaction occurred by providing an official document, such as a closing statement, contract, or other official documents. This is not an exhaustive list. Other documents may be required and vary on a case-by-case basis.

Must I have previous business experience or education?

No, an EB-5 investor is not required to have any prior business experience or a minimum level of education. The only requirement regarding the investor is that he or she has the required net worth and capital to invest $500,000 and additional fees. He or she must be able to prove that the investment funds come from lawful sources, such as profits from sales of property, stocks or bonds, businesses, business transactions, gifts, and inheritances.

How many visas are allocated each year for the EB-5 category?

The EB-5 investment program allocates 10,000 visas per year for aliens and family members whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least ten (10) full-time jobs for U.S. workers. There can be no fewer than 3,000 reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 more are set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395. Since the program started in 1990, the EB-5 visa category has never seen a backlog.

Is my investment return guaranteed?

No. U.S. law requires an at-risk investment without guarantees or redemption rights. The USCIS mandates that all EB-5 investments carry financial risks.

What is the minimum investment amount?

The minimum investment amount for our real estate investment projects is generally $500,000, plus administrative fees. Administrative fees may vary between projects.

Must the investment result in the creation of employment for U.S. workers?

The investment must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. citizens or immigrants (permanent resident aliens and other specified immigrant categories). The required 10 positions cannot include the investor or the investor’s spouse or children. The 10 jobs must be for employees of the enterprise in which the investment is made and cannot include independent contractors.

When must the employment be created?

The required 10 jobs must be created within the two- year period immediately following the investor becoming a permanent resident.

What is a regional center?

USCIS has approved a number of regional centers. If an investor invests in one of these approved regional  centers, the $500,000 investment amount will be sufficient. In addition, the investor will not need to prove the creation of jobs for 10 U.S. workers