The EB-5 investor program is an immigration program that allows foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States by investing in qualifying U.S. business for the purpose of creating jobs. Once the investment is made and the jobs are created, the investor and their family can apply for a “Green Card” and become permanent residents of the United States. Contact us for more information on this popular method to ease your immigration journey.
The focus of this quick-guide – Adjustment of Status
Under the EB-5 program, concurrent filing allows investors who are already in the United States on a valid non-immigrant visa to file their I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, before their I-526 Investor Petition is approved. This has become possible with the reinstated EB-5 program, known as the Reform & Integrity Act.
Concurrent filing can provide significant benefits to investors, including the ability to obtain work and travel authorization while their I-485 application is pending, as well as the ability to maintain lawful status in the United States while their application is being processed. However, it is important to note that the I-485 application can only be approved after the I-526 petition is approved, and that investors must still meet all of the eligibility requirements for the EB-5 program, in order to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
To be eligible for Adjustment of Status, you must meet certain requirements. These include:
- Maintaining lawful status: You must have entered the United States legally and have maintained lawful status since your entry. Typically, this cannot be done earlier than 90 days from entry.
- Eligibility for an immigrant visa: You must be eligible for an immigrant visa and have a pending I526 application or file for a new one.
- Visa availability: There must be visa availability at the time of your application. This means that the visa category for which you are eligible must not have a backlog or waiting list.
- Providing evidence of lawful entry and maintenance of lawful status in the United States.
- Passing a medical examination report by a USCIS-designated physician.
- Paying the required fees including an application fee and a biometric services fee.
Defining the I-485 Application: In the context of the EB-5 programme, the I-485 Application is the application for adjustment of status that allows an EB-5 investor who is already present in the United States to apply for permanent residency, also known as a Green Card. The I-485 Application is filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and requires the investor to provide documentation showing that they have met all of the EB-5 program requirements, including making the required investment and creating at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. If approved, the investor and their family members can become permanent residents of the United States and enjoy the benefits of living and working in the country.
Defining the I-526 petition: In the context of the EB-5 programme, the I-526 petition is the first step in the process for an investor to obtain permanent residency in the United States. The I-526 petition is filed with the USCIS and is used to demonstrate that the investor has made a qualifying investment in a U.S. business and that the investment will create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
We will guide you through all the steps you need to take:
Step 1: Check Eligibility
The first step is to make sure you are eligible to file the I-485. You must be physically present in the US on a valid non-immigrant status. If you have already filed your I-526 petition and it is pending, you can then either stay in the US on a valid non-immigrant visa that allows for dual intent or if not, wait for 90 days before filing the I-485.
You also need to make sure you meet all other eligibility requirements listed above, including medical exams and criminal background checks. Remember a Green Card must be available at the time of your application. In some categories, visas are always available, while in others, there are a limited number. Priority dates are given to immigrants waiting in line to get an immigrant visa and this determines when a visa becomes available.
Step 2: Gather Required Documents
Collect all the necessary documents required for your I-526 and the I-485/I-765/I-131 applications. This includes application forms, passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), employment authorization document (if applicable), and any other supporting documents required for your specific case.
If have already have an application pending for I-526, then you only need supporting documents for the I-485/I-765/I-131 applications. For clarity: the I-765 is an Application for Employment Authorization, to request permission to work in the United States, in this case, while you wait for the outcomes of your related applications.
Similarly, the Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, is also not specifically used for applying for a Green Card, but rather to request permission to travel outside of the United States while a Green Card application is pending.
Step 3: File the Applications
Complete and file the application forms for I-526 and I-485/I-765/I-131, along with all the required documents and fees. If you already have an application pending for I-526, then just file I-485/I-765/I-131.
Your immigration attorney will file these documents for you. Make sure to double-check your application before submitting it to avoid any errors or omissions.
Step 4: Get your Work Authorisation Card, Travel Documents and Social Security Number (SSN)
After applying for these you will wait about three to four months for your Work Authorization Card, Travel Card and SSN. With Work Authorisation, EB-5 investors and their family members can legally work in the United States and earn a living while they are waiting for their Green Card.
A SNN allows you to start paying into the Social Security System, which provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. You will also need an SSN, so your employer can report on your earnings. Travel Cards allow EB-5 visa holders and their families, the ability to travel outside the United States for up to two years, without losing their place in the Green Card queue. If needed, EB-5 investors and their families can also apply for Emergency Parole, this is an extraordinary measure that allows an individual to enter the United States for a limited time for humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons, even if they do not have a valid visa or Green Card. The application for Emergency Parole is the I-131 form and can be filed along with the I-485.
Step 5: Biometrics Appointment
After filing the I-485 application, you will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment. At this appointment, USCIS will take your fingerprints and photograph.
Step 6: Wait for the Interview
After completing the biometrics appointment, you will need to wait for an interview with a USCIS officer. USCIS will notify you of the interview date, time, and location.
Step 7: Attend the Interview
Attend the interview with the USCIS officer. Be sure to bring all the required documents and be prepared to answer questions about your background, family, and investment. The USCIS officer will also review your application and ask for any additional information if needed.
Step 8: Wait for Decision
After the interview, you will need to wait for a decision from USCIS. If your application is approved, you will receive your Green Card in the mail. If your application is denied, you will have the opportunity to appeal the decision or file a motion to reopen or reconsider.
Following these steps should help you successfully file for adjustment of status, as an EB-5 investor. It might seem complex, but American Dream has the experience and the knowledge to help you make sense of the process. Speak to one of our consultants, so that we can guide you along the way, on your journey to a better life.