The EB5 visa is a powerful option for investors and entrepreneurs. With an EB5 visa, you can get a green card for yourself, your spouse, and your children under 21 years old.
In this guide, I will discuss what you need to know about the EB5 processing time.
If you have any questions, please email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I would be happy to help you with your EB5 visa.
- Introduction to EB5 Visa
- EB5 Visa Process
- I-526 Overview and Processing Time
- Consular Processing and Adjustment of Status Overview and Processing Time
- I-829 Overview and Processing Time
1. Introduction to EB5 Visa
The EB5 visa is an immigrant visa for investors. The basic idea of an EB5 visa is that it allows you to qualify for a green card based on making an investment of $500,000 or $1 million in a U.S. business and creating 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
Here’s a quick overview of the requirements to get an EB5 Visa:
- You must invest in a New Commercial Enterprise. A new commercial enterprise is a for-profit business, formed after November 29, 1990, that conducts lawful activities.
- You must invest a minimum of $500,000 or $1 million in the business. If the business is located in a “Targeted Employment Area” you are eligible to invest the reduced amount of $500,000.
- Your investment funds must have been obtained lawfully.
- Your investment must lead to the creation of 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
- Your investment must be “at-risk.” This means that your funds must actually be committed to the business, they cannot just sit in the business bank account.
2. EB5 Visa Process
The process of getting a green card through the EB5 visa has multiple steps. To properly understand the EB5 processing time, it is important to understand each of these steps.
EB5 Process Overview:
- Filing the Form I-526
- Consular Processing/ Adjustment of Status
- Filing the Form I-829
3. I-526 Overview
(2 Year Average Processing Time)
The first step in getting an EB5 visa is filing the Form I-526. The Form I-526 is also called the “Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.”
Through the EB5 process, before you can become an unconditional permanent resident, you first must become a conditional permanent resident for 2 years.
To become a conditional permanent resident, you must file the Form I-526. Currently the I-526 processing time takes about 2 years on average.
Once the I-526 is approved, you are eligible to either adjust status or apply for you EB5 visa.
4. Consular Processing and Adjustment of Status Overview
(6 to 8 Month Average Processing Time)
Once the Form I-526 is approved, there are 2 options for how you can proceed; you can either do an adjustment of status or you can apply for an EB5 visa at a consulate or embassy abroad.
Adjustment of Status
An adjustment of status is when you adjust from a non-immigrant status in the U.S. to an immigrant status. In order to do an adjustment of status you must be lawfully present in the United States in some valid non-immigrant status. To process the adjustment of status you must file a Form I-485. The Form I-485 takes about 6 to 8 months to process.
Consular processing is the processing of applying for your EB5 visa from a foreign consulate or embassy. If you are not already lawfully present in the U.S., then you will likely be doing consular processing. To begin this process, you will need to file a Form DS-260 online. The appropriate consulate or embassy will then review the documentation submitted and schedule a visa interview. Upon successful completion of the EB5 visa interview, you should be granted an EB5 visa within about a week. This process takes about 6 to 8 months.
Once your adjustment of status is approved or you enter the country on a valid EB5 visa, you are officially a conditional permanent resident for 2 years.
Important Note for EB5 Investors who were Born in Mainland China:
Currently, there is visa retrogression for EB5 investors who were born in Mainland China. What this means is that there is such high demand for EB5 visas from investors born in Mainland China that there is an additional waiting period after the Form I-526 is approved, before an investor can apply for an EB5 visa or apply to adjust status. Currently there is an additional wait of about 3 and a half years for investors born in Mainland China.
5. I-829 Overview
(2 Year Average Processing Time)
The last stage in the EB5 process is to file the Form I-829. As an EB5 investor, you first become a conditional permanent resident for 2 years. During that 2-year period, you are required to keep your funds invested in the EB5 business. You are also required to create the 10 full-time jobs during this period.
About 3 months before your conditional residency expires, you are eligible to file your Form I-829. The I-829 is also called the “Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.” Once the Form I-829 is approved, you are officially an unconditional permanent resident. The Form I-829 takes about 2 years to process.
The EB5 visa is a powerful option for investors and entrepreneurs. To understand the EB5 processing time, it is important to understand the steps to getting a green card through the EB5 visa. There are 3 main steps: 1. I-526 Filing; 2. Adjustment of status/Consular Processing; and 3. I-829 Filing.
Here is an overview of the EB5 processing time for each of these steps:
- I-526 (2-year average processing time)
- Consular Processing/Adjustment of Status (6 to 8-month average processing time)
- I-829 (2-year average processing time)
If you have any questions about the EB5 processing time, or if you need help with you EB5 visa, please feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and would be happy to help you.