This guide is for you to understand and familiarise yourself with the EB-5 process. Stick around as we go through the process, breaking it down into four easy steps.
STEP 1: CHOOSE THE RIGHT EB-5 PROJECT
Earlier, big-city real estate projects were preferred EB-5 investments. Still, the new EB-5 program rules for Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) allow you to invest in various projects and locations at half the investment amount. Read more about the EB-5 visa program here.
STEP 2: INVEST AND FILE THE I-526 PETITION
I-526 processing time
The I-526 petition is often adjudicated in 1 ½ to 2 years. However, an expedition petition is usually processed in about six months. With the change in government, experts are expecting better processing efficiency in the future.
What happens if USCIS denies the I-526 petition?
If the I-526 petition is rejected, you can expect a refund. Usually, the New Commercial Enterprise (NCE) offers the I-526 denial refund guarantee. The refund terms are usually included in the offering documents. However, it’s important that you find out who guarantees the refund and whether they are financially strong to repay the invested amount, especially when the project is rejected. All EB-5 investors want a refund in full.
STEP 3: BECOME A CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENT
Filing I-485 if you are living in the US
If your I-526 is approved and you already live in the US, you can immediately file an I-485 petition to change the status to permanent resident (conditional).
DS-260 if you are not living in the US
If your I-526 petition is approved and you are not living in the US, you must file a DS-260 application for conditional permanent residency. Your application will be either processed at a US Consulate or Embassy in your country. It comprises two parts:
- Application: You need to provide information about your background, your previous residences, employment history, educational background, and also information about your family. The Department of State (DOS), on May 31, 2019, updated its requirement for DS-260 form applicants to include a full social media disclosure of the last five years.
- Interview: The interview happens at the US consulate or your country’s embassy. You need to carry documents such as a passport, birth certificate, and marriage certificate (if required).
Obtain your green card
Once your I-485 or DS-260 petition is approved, you obtain a green card, making you a conditional permanent resident in America. You and your family can live and work in the US, and this status is valid for two years. During this two-year conditional residency, you need:
- To meet the physical presence requirement. You cannot reside outside of the United States for more than one year. If you do, then you would need to get a permit to re-enter the US.
- To remove the conditions of permanent residency, three months before your conditional permanent resident status expires.
Step 4: FILE I-829 PETITION FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY
I-829 processing time
After the petition is submitted, the USCIS usually issues a permanent green card within 22 to 45 months.
You, your spouse and your unmarried children under age 21 can permanently live and work in the United States. All of you have an option to become US citizens after five years from the date you receive your first conditional residency.
US Citizenship after five years
After five years, you can apply for citizenship by submitting Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to the USCIS. You will be called for an interview, after which you must pass a US civics and English language test. Lastly, you must attend a citizenship ceremony on a specified date and take the Oath of Allegiance.
If you want to obtain your US citizenship through the EB-5 program, you must familiarise yourself with the process. Filling the application forms and getting the documentation done can be a tricky process, and you might need the help of an immigration consultant. From choosing the best project to filing the USCIS petitions – Nysa Global can help.
The Minimum Investment amount of $500,000 may be increased to $900,000 by the US Govt. from February 18, 2022.
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