Does an investor need an immigration attorney to submit an I-526 petition?
It is strongly recommended that an investor obtain legal services for their immigration petition submission. The narrative and documentation needed for the petition is extensive and an attorney can assist with the petition, consulate interview and visa processing.
What information and documentation is required to submit a petition?
An investor must apply to the USCIS for EB-5 Visa qualification through the submission of a number of required elements including: USCIS forms, business plans and/or geographical statistics, financial information and other supporting evidence.
What is meant by the requirement that the investor’s assets be “lawfully gained”?
Under USCIS regulations, investors must demonstrate that investment assets were gained in a lawful manner such as income from a bonafide business, salary, investments, sale of a property, inheritance, gift, loan or other lawful means.
How long is the average processing time for the I-526 petition and the conditional green card?
Once the I-526 petition is filed, the approximate length of time for an investor to pass the U.S. Consulate interview and receive a conditional green card is approximately 8-14 months. It is important to note that each investor’s particular situation is different; adjudication processing times are often unpredictable, subject to USCIS adjudication delays, and may take a longer period.
What is the purpose of the Consulate application and interview?
The purpose of the Consulate application is to ensure that the investor and family members undergo medical, police, security and immigration history checks before the conditional permanent resident visas are issued. At the interview, the Consulate Officer may address these issues and information printed on the I-526 petition, including the nature of the immigrant investment. If the investor and family are in the United States, they may apply to adjust their status at the appropriate office of the USCIS.
After the I-526 petition approval, may members of the family have their Consulate interview in different countries?
Family members may interview in different countries. The country of origin or where the family has current ties is the standard interview site. However, a student attending school in the U.S. would not have to return to the country of origin; status can be adjusted in the United States at the district office of the USCIS.
Once an investor receives a conditional green card, when does the application for the permanent green card need to be submitted?
The conditional green card has an expiration date of two years from the date issued. Investors can submit their I-829 petitions as early as three months prior to the expiration date. Ashcroft/Sullivan/Baybridge Regional Center will supply all supporting evidence regarding the new business enterprise, capital investment and newly created jobs to submit with the I-829 petition. Once the I-829 petition is filed with the USCIS, conditional permanent residency is extended for one year. An investor should carry the USCIS I-829 receipt notice, along with the conditional green card, at all times.
If the I-526 petition is denied, does an investor receive a refund?
Yes. Should an investor’s I-526 petition be denied, the full investment amount would be returned to the account from which the funds originated. However, once an investor has passed the I-526 stage, the administrative expense fees are not refundable generally. The investor must remain in the new business enterprise for the remainder of the term to receive repayment of principal.