There are standard steps that investors must complete to become U.S. permanent residents with an EB-5 Visa. Once these steps have been completed, EB-5 investors, their spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of 21 become U.S. permanent residents. They will even have the option to become full U.S. citizens after USCIS requirements are met.
Step 1: Locating an EB-5 Project
The preliminary step is for the EB-5 applicant to find a suitable business project to receive their investment. EB-5 business projects generally take the form of either an individual commercial enterprise or Regional Center projects. Overseas migration agents often help potential EB-5 investors locate the project that best suits their needs. Applicants must also ensure that they meet accredited investor income requirements in order to move forward with the EB-5 process.
Step 2: Capital Investment and I-526 Petition
The second step of the EB-5 visa process is for the applicant to make the required capital investment amount in the project that they have chosen and verify the source of funds. This typically involves the assistance of an attorney to ensure that the $500,000 or $1,000,000 amount has either been invested or is in the process of being invested in an EB-5 project. These investments are often made into an investor holdings account or escrow account. Then, an immigration attorney provides proof of this investment by filing an I-526 petition with the USCIS.
Step 3: Two-year conditional permanent residency
The third step of the EB-5 application process is for the applicant to become a two year conditional lawful permanent resident of the United States, so they can put their EB-5 project investment to work. EB-5 investors are eligible to become U.S. conditional lawful permanent residents once their I-526 petition has been approved by the USCIS. Residency can be attained in one of two ways. If the EB-5 investor already has lawful status in the United States, then they must file Form I-485 to adjust their status to conditional lawful permanent resident. If the investor does not already have valid immigration status within the United States, then they must file for an immigrant visa by submitting form DS-260 to the National Visa Center and must process through the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country (or another convenient embassy if one is not available in their home country).
Step 4: Unconditional permanent residency and the I-829 Petition
The last step in the EB-5 visa process is for applicants to become unconditional lawful permanent residents by removing his/her two year conditional status. The I-829 petition is submitted to USCIS during the 90 days period prior to the second anniversary of the date that the applicant first received their conditional residency status. This application proves that the investor has met all requirements of the EB-5 visa program. The investor, their spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can then permanently live and work in the United States and have the option to become U.S. citizens after USCIS requirements are met.
EB-5 Flow Chart