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EB-5 step-by-step process

EB5 States > EB5 Immigrant Investor Program > Process

Table of Contents

How to File for an EB-5 Visa?

EB-5 Visa Process – Step by Step

  1. Choose an investment advisor and immigration attorney.
  2. Find an EB-5 project that meets the requirements of the EB-5 program.
  3. Make the investment and file the I-526 application with USCIS.
  4. Apply for adjustment of status (I-485 application) and complete the DS-260 form.
  5. Obtain a 2-year conditional Green Card.
  6. Attain permanent residency and file the I-829 petition.

Detailed Steps:

Begin by completing preliminary steps, such as finalizing your choice of investment advisor and immigration attorney, identifying the appropriate investment vehicle, and initiating the investment process.

The investor submits an I-526 application prepared by an experienced immigration attorney, accompanied by five years of tax returns, to substantiate the source of investment funds. The funds can be the investor’s own money or a loan not secured by the EB-5 investment, or a gift, allowing a parent to give the funds to a son or daughter. If gift taxes are required in the investor’s home country, they must be paid. The investor must also provide evidence, such as bank transfers and other financial documentation, to demonstrate that the invested capital came directly from the investor to our EB-5 office. The I-526 will accompany all the other documentation required to fulfill the petition’s requirements.

The investment is made after the investor completes their due diligence on the EB-5 project or business, and an investor I-526 Petition is filed with USCIS. This petition requires USCIS to certify that the applicant and the investment are eligible for EB-5 status. The approval of the I-526 petition takes approximately 16-18 months. Once USCIS approves the investor’s Green Card, it is conditional for 24 months (two years). Conditional Green Card status confers the same rights as the permanent unconditional Green Card.

Once the condition has been removed, an unconditional EB-5 Green Card is granted for permanent resident status in the United States. The timeframe from the application for the conditional Green Card until the approval of the Removal of Conditions is approximately five years. After that, in approved EB-5 Regional Center programs, depending on the terms of the agreement, the investment may be sold, and the investor will maintain the permanent Green Card. U.S. Citizenship is possible approximately two and a half years later (five years after the approval of the conditional Green Card by investment) upon satisfaction with U.S. residency and other requirements.

EB-5 Visa Process FAQ

What happens after an I-526 application is approved?

After the I-526 petition is approved, the file is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) so they can collect certain supporting documents from the investor applicant. Once the file is complete, the next step is to receive an interview appointment. Learn more about the next steps with I-485.

What is the processing time for I-485?

If the investor applicant is in proper legal status in the U.S. when their I-526 is approved, they will file Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status and related forms. The processing time can vary from 9 to 24 months, depending on the service center where the application is filed. Contact us for more information.

Can you travel while I-485 is pending?

Yes, as long as the individual is either in lawful L-1, L-2, H1B, H-4, K-3, K-4, or V status and remains eligible for that status upon returning to the U.S. or has an Advance Parole Travel document that remains valid through their date of return to the U.S. Meet our team for further assistance.

Can I stay in the U.S. while I-485 is pending?

Yes, you have the right to remain in the United States while the Adjustment of Status application is pending.

How long does it take to have a visa interview after the I-526 application is approved and the priority date is current?

Once an I-526 is approved, if the applicant is outside the U.S., the National Visa Center coordinates the collection of certain documents from the investor. It sends the file to the local consulate, which then schedules the interview. This entire process can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months.