The EB-5 Investment Visa application in the United States is generally handled by a team of expert professionals from different fields like legal, financial and business. You have lawyers, financial experts and advisors as well as investment counselors who will help the investors with getting their application certified.
The entire process undergoes various stages and there are a couple of things that applicants must need to consider when applying for the EB-5 Visa.
The EB-5 Investment Visa has two sides: the Investment and the Immigration. The applicant must be able to pass all the requirements under these two in order to get approved. Once these are all cleared, the investor must then submit an I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.
In the EB-5 Visa investor program, the applicant is expected to invest in a new business or business project and the funds that will be used can come from the investor’s own assets or from a secure loan or even gifts, which is a new rule that was just currently authorized by the law. For example, investors can use the money they received from their parents. In fact, a lot of these investors are parents who’re living in foreign countries whose children are currently attending in different universities or colleges in the United States. These children have an F-1 Visa and they’re usually graduating students who’re taking up either a Bachelor’s Degree or a Master’s Degree. They can also be those who have already graduated but are working temporarily in the U.S through an Optional Practical Training (OPT) or H-1B and they’re no longer thinking of going back to their home country to live there but rather migrate to the United States permanently. Basically, it is the parents who are funding the EB-Visa investor application of these children.
The normal processing time for an I-526 application takes around 16 to 18 months. If certified, the investor can either change their status to ‘conditional green card’, especially if they are legally and physically staying in the United States or they will undergo a consular processing in their home country and then is issued a conditional Green Card upon their entry to the U.S.
A conditional Green Card is almost the same as the permanent Green Card as it also provides the applicant/investor with the same rights and privileges of permanent U.S. residents as well as almost all the rights and privileges of a U.S citizen. The approved EB-5 immigrant can now live and work anywhere within the country. They can also travel back to their home country visa-free! Furthermore, if they have a family, their children can attend schools and universities in the U.S. They are also allowed to put up a business and settle down in the country. This conditional or temporary Green Card is valid for 2 years.
But as soon as the 2-year validity is over, the EB-5 Visa investor should secure documentation from the Regional Center, which shows how their investment was able to generate the 10 full-time jobs required by the program. Then the investor’s lawyer will file an I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Status and once ratified, the investor, together with his or her family, will get a permanent or unconditional Green Card.
When it comes to processing time, the I-829 normally takes around 18 to 20 months. While waiting for the petition to be approved, the investor’s conditional Green Card automatically gets extended. Technically, the processing time doesn’t affect an investor’s legal status in the U.S. As long as your lawyer was able to file an I-829 immediately, then there’s nothing to worry about.
As for non-Chinese investors, the total time to process the I-526 application to an I-829 permanent green card would take around 5 to 6 years. As a matter of fact, investors can’t file for their I-526 application without getting an EB-5 investment, especially if they plan on going through the Regional Center route because the Regional Center will only issue the I-526 packet upon the applicant’s investment. This will be a part of the entire I-526 application.
Nevertheless, once you’ve gotten your permanent Green Card, you can now expect to get your return or ROI within the next 1 to 2 years.