If you are interested in coming to the United States permanently through the EB 5 investor visa opportunity, then you need to know about the various paperwork steps that you need go through to qualify for the program. These essential steps include the completion of various forms that each mark a phase in the application approval process. The full process can take three to five years because the initial approval takes at least twelve to fourteen months. In addition to that, a two-year conditional residency must be completed before a final permanent residency is granted, and if the applicant spends more than a year outside the U.S., the process may need to be restarted.
The I-526 Petition
The very first form you will need to complete will be the I-526 petition. This form documents that your investment has been made or that it is in the process of being made. It also documents the job creation that will accompany your investment. Evidence of these things will need to be submitted with the petition, and may include:
- Bank statements
- Letters of incorporation
- Partnership agreements
- Business plans
- Tax records
There is a $1,500 filing fee for this petition.
The I-485 Application
Next up on the list of EB 5 forms, the I-485 application is needed when you are already a resident of the U.S. before starting the EB 5 process. This application allows you to adjust your status from a legal non-permanent resident to permanent status. It should be filed at the end of the process, after the approval of the I-526 petition. It also requires a security background check, and it costs $985 to apply.
EB 5 documents for people who do not currently have legal status in the United States also exist, and they are incredibly necessary when you consider the number of immigrants coming to the U.S. after establishing investments here. The costs are similar to the I-485 application, and there is a required security check with this form as well.
Last but definitely not least, the I-829 petition is filled out and filed 90 days before the 2 year anniversary of your conditional residency. Once approved, it converts your status to that of a permanent legal resident. This form requires the applicant to show that the conditions of the original I-526 petition have been fulfilled and that the jobs created through the investment have persisted throughout the conditional period.
Putting It All Together
If you are currently planning on an EB 5 investment in the U.S., it’s important to understand how the timeline for paperwork processing can affect your application. It’s also important to know that having the investment in place before you apply is the easiest way to make sure you meet all the requirements and get the approval you need.
There are a variety of ways to approach this process, but no matter how you do it, you will need the help of an immigration attorney at a couple different points. You will also need to make connections that allow you to find the right investment opportunities for the program. When it all comes together, though, your investment should work out smoothly.