First, the EB-5 visa or investor visa applicant needs to meet the investment requirements. This should happen before you determine the type of business to invest in.
Your business must create a minimum of 10 new jobs. Investors starting with $500,000 in capital must invest in designated low employment communities. Those investing the full $1,000,000 can select any U.S. location they desire.
Often the investment funds are placed into an escrow account to allow an immigration attorney to file an I-526 Petition. This is a proof of investment form filed with the USCIS. An important part of the initial process, this can take from 12 to 18 months.
Upon I-526 approval to the EB-5 Investor Visa Program
The applicant will become a two-year “conditional” U.S. resident after approval of the I-526 petition. This is for the purpose of implementing the funded project. The EB-5 visa or investor visa applicant at this stage in the process becomes a US citizen by filing another form.
Whether or not the EB-5 investor has a lawful status within the U.S. determines which form is needed. If you have lawful status in the United States after approval, Form I-485 is necessary to adopt the status to what is referred to as a “conditional permanent citizen.”
However, an investor not having lawful status in the U.S. needs to submit for DS-230 for an immigrant visa. This can be achieved
through either the U.S. consulate or the home nation embassy.
Either way, an immigrant visa is generally issued within a six to twelve month period. During the two-year conditional residency, the applicant shouldn’t stay outside of the United States for more than one year.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for your two-year or “conditional residency” period in order to continue your EB-5 or investor visa program at its final level.
An I-829 petition can be presented to USCIS as shortly as 90 days before what would be the two-year anniversary date of this residency. The petition is to provide evidence that all conditions of the EB-5 visa program have been met by the investor.
USCIS can issue a permanent green card within six to eight months after the accomodation of I-829. Enabling investors, spouses and unmarried children under 21 to relocate into the country after three more years.