EB-5 Visa Process and Timelines

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EB 5 Visa:

I can’t stress enough that an Eb-5 application should be handled by a team of professionals. Professionals who know legal, who know financial, who know investment. There are various stages in this process and there are various, various, things that one needs to take into account when doing an Eb-5. Now, simply put, there’s two sides to an EB-5.

There’s an investment side and there’s an immigration side and both of those sides need to come together to make sure that you have an air-tight application.

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So those two things come together and the investor submits an I-526 application, and these funds that are part of the application can be the investor’s own money and right now, as the law stands, it does allow for a loan or gift funds, the loan has to be a secure loan, it cannot be secured against that EB-5 investment, or it can be a gift, it could be a parent giving gifts to a son or daughter, quite few of our clients are parents in their own country whose children are attending college or universities in the U.S. and they are either graduating soon from their Bachelor’s degree program, or their Master’s degree programs, or they’ve already graduated and are on some sort of temporary work visa and they don’t necessarily wish to go back to their own country, and they want to settle permanently in the U.S., so we’ve got quite a few parents who are basically funding an EB-5 application for their U.S.-based son or daughter.

So, say once the I-526 is approved in say approximately 12-14 months, then the investor is issued a conditional Green Card. A conditional Green Card is pretty much the same thing as a permanent Green Card, it gives you the same rights and privileges, you can work anywhere in the country, you can travel, you can travel back and forth from your home country. So there’s no restrictions per say, it’s just that the conditional Green card, you know the validity of that conditional Green Card is about 2-2.5 years. And also, it’s also conditional upon your investment upon creating those 10 full-time jobs.

Once the conditional green card is issued, then you know, you can enjoy the United States and once you enter the United States you are here for about two years or so because that’s what the conditional green card is valid for and then in those two years you’ve got to get documentation.

Say you’ve made a Regional Center Investment, you’ve got to get documentation from the Regional Center showing how your investment created those 10 full-time jobs. You would file what is called an I-829 application and once you file that application then you’re basically waiting for that application to be decided upon by the USCIS and once it’s approved you will be given your permanent Green Card. Now, in terms of processing time, the I-829 is taking up to 12-14 months or even more in fact that i’ve noticed recently. The good thing is, while your I-829 is pending, your conditional Green Card status gets automatically extended. So, the processing times affects you, it doesn’t necessarily affect your legal status in the country.

But say your I-829 is processed, and it’s decided upon and it’s approved, then you get your permanent Green Card. Now, the entire time period, you can really think about it in terms of a total time period would be 3.5-4 years before you have your permanent Green Card. Because, remember what I said, it could take two or three months to get the investment and the immigration site together and file the I-526 application which could take 12 to 14 months to adjudicate so we’re already at a year and a half and then you’re in conditional Green Card status which could take an additional two years and that’s already three and a half years and when you file your I-829 application, say this only takes six months. So you’re already at the four year mark in terms of before you get your permanent Green Card, moving over to the investment side, you know you make that investment at the time of the I-526 application.

In fact you can’t file that I-526 application unless you’ve made that investment especially if you’re going the Regional Center route because the Regional Center will then issue you a participation certificate which becomes a part of your I-526 application and once the application is filed your investment is made the investment term can be five or six years. Once you get your permanent Green Card, you’re essentially waiting about 1-2 years to really get your money back.

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