Form I-526: Step-by-Step Guide on the Form I-526

Form I-526 - Step-by-Step Guide on the Form I-526

 

If you are interested in getting an EB-5 visa, you should know about the Form I-526. This is the first form that your attorney will file with USCIS to get your EB-5 petition approved.

 

In this guide, I will discuss what you need to know about the Form I-526.

 

If you have any questions about the Form I-526 or if you need help getting an EB-5 visa, email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I would be happy to help you.

 

For quick reference, here is a link to the actual Form I-526: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-526.pdf

 

Overview:

 

1. Introduction to the EB-5 Visa

 

2. What is the Form I-526

 

3. What is the Current Processing Time for the Form I-526

 

4. What Documents Should be Submitted with the Form I-526

 

5. Conclusion

 

6. Sample Form I-526

 

1. Introduction to the EB-5 Visa

 

The EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa that allows someone to get a green card to the United States by making an investment in a US company. To qualify for an EB-5 visa, an investor must invest a minimum of $1 million in a US company. If the company is located in an economically depressed area, the investor may qualify to make a reduced investment of $500,000. In addition to investing money in the US company, to get an EB-5 visa, the US company must create 10 full-time jobs for US  workers  based on the investment.

 

2. What is the Form I-526

 

Getting an EB-5 visa can be broken down into 2 main steps:

 

  • Step 1: Form I-526

 

  • Step 2: Form I-829

 

Step 1: Form I-526

 

The Form I-526 is the first form your immigration attorney will submit on your behalf, to get an EB-5 Visa. The form is titled the “Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.”

 

As an EB-5 investor, before you become an unconditional lawful permanent resident, you must first become a conditional lawful permanent resident for a 2 year period.

 

During the 2 year period of conditional lawful permanent residency, you are required to keep your EB-5 investment at-risk in the business. You are also required to create 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

 

The I-526 is the initial form that your attorney will file for you to become a conditional lawful permanent resident. It is arguably, the most important step in the EB-5 process.

 

Step 2: Form I-829

 

Following 2 years of being a conditional lawful permanent resident, you are eligible to file a Form I-829 to have the condition removed from your green card, and therefore become an unconditional lawful permanent resident.

 

In order to get your Form I-829 approved, you must show that you kept your EB-5 capital invested in the business and that you actually created 10 full-time jobs for US workers.

 

3. What is the Current Processing Time for the Form I-526

 

The current processing time for the I-526 is 18 months, on average. While this is an extremely long time, there is widespread belief that the processing time will improve in the future.

 

4. What Documents Should be Submitted with the Form I-526

 

To get your I-526 approved, you must submit several documents along with your completed Form I-526.

 

You should think of the Form I-526 as a brief explanation of your qualifications for an EB-5 visa. You must back-up all your assertions with concrete evidence.

 

Disclaimer: There are often hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of pages of documentation that are submitted with the Form I-526. The documents that you must submit depend on your particular case. The below list is to give you a general idea of some of the documents you will likely need to include. The list is not intended as an exhaustive list.

 

To quickly overview, there are 6 main requirements to get an EB-5 visa:

 

  • You must invest a New Commercial Enterprise

 

  • You must invest a minimum of $1 million (or $500,000 in some cases)

 

  • Your investment must lead to the creation of 10 full-time jobs for US workers

 

  • Your investment must be at-risk

 

  • Your investment funds must have been obtained lawfully

 

  • AND you must engage in the management of the EB-5 business

 

The documents you submit along with your Form I-526 should prove that you satisfy all of the EB-5 requirements.

 

Generally, the documents submitted along with the Form I-526 fall into 3 basic categories:

 

  • Documents regarding the investor

 

  • Documents regarding the business

 

  • Documents regarding the source of funds and path of funds

 

i. Documents Regarding the Investor

 

  • Passport

 

  • Birth certificate

 

  • Resume

 

ii. Documents Regarding the Business

 

  • EB-5 business plan

 

  • List of employees

 

  • Payroll records

 

  • Articles of incorporation or articles of organization

 

  • Share certificates or membership certificates

 

  • Business license

 

iii. Documents regarding the source of funds and path of funds

 

  • Individual tax returns

 

  • Bank statements from each account the funds traveled to from the time they were earned to the time they were spent for the EB-5 business.

 

  • If the funds were earned through lawful business earnings: business balance sheets, business tax returns, etc.

 

  • If the funds were obtained through a loan: copy of the loan document

 

  • If the funds were obtained through a gift: documentation showing how the funds were lawfully earning by the gifting party, signed statement by the gifting party describing the amount of the gift and the terms of the gift

 

5. Conclusion

 

The I-526 is one of the most important steps for getting your EB-5 visa. You should now have a good understanding of what the Form I-526 is, its current processing time, and some of the documents that should be submitted with it.

 

The EB-5 visa is one of the most complex visa categories in the US immigration system. You should not attempt to file a Form I-526 without the help of a qualified immigration lawyer.

 

If you need help with your EB-5 petition feel free to reach me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I would be happy to help you with your Form I-526.

 

6. Sample Form I-526

 

Now that you have a basic understanding, here’s an actual blank Form I-526.

 

You can also access the Form I-526 here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-526.pdf

 

 

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