EB-5 Process: From Investment to Approval and Everything In Between

EB-5 Process: From Investment to Approval and Everything In Between

EB-5 Process From Investment to Approval and Everything In Between

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An EB-5 visa program allows investors to obtain green cards for themselves and their families in exchange for a capital investment made in an American commercial business. The EB-5 green card process is elaborate, involving preparing documentation, filing petitions, and following timelines. This can easily overwhelm you if you are not prepared for what’s coming and what needs to be done.

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.


Find a suitable project that meets the program requirements. When deciding on the EB-5 eligible investment, consider the two desired outcomes: Green cards and ROI.

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.


After you’ve selected the investment, file your EB-5 petition (Form I-526) with USCIS. This petition proves that you have made the investment or are in the process and that you meet all the program requirements. Find out about the EB-5 visa program requirements here.

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.


There are two ways to obtain a conditional permanent residency, which is valid for two years:

  1. Filing I-485 if you are living in the US

  2. 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).

  3. DS-260 if you are not living in the US

  4. 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.


In this final step, you become an unconditional permanent resident by removing the two-year conditional status. You need to submit the I-829 petition to USCIS, 3months (90 days)before the second anniversary of the date you first received your two-year conditional status. This application is evidence that you’ve met all the requirements of the EB-5 program, as per the USCIS. However, after the I-829 petition is processed, the USCIS might invite you for an interview.

I-829 processing time

After the petition is submitted, the USCIS usually issues a permanent green card within 22 to 45 months.

I-829 approval

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.

Don't wait! Grab this opportunity and Immigrate to US with Nysa Global

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