EB-5 Filing Tips

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Top three general questions

How do I…

Request expedited processing?
Visit Expedite Criteria.

Give USCIS my new address?
See the USCIS Change of Address page for information.

Get a duplicate approval notice?
Submit Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition.

Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

If you…

Have an approved Form I-526 and want to change your processing from adjustment of status in the United States to consular processing overseas, submit Form I-824.

File a new Form I-526 petition based on a different new commercial enterprise, you cannot retain your priority date. Your priority date for the new Form I-526 petition will be the date on which that new Form I-516 is properly filed with USCIS.

Would like a copy of a receipt notice associated with the filing of Form I-526, write to the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) mailbox at USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov.

If USCIS…

Has sent you a notice requesting additional evidence in support of your Form I-526 petition, please follow the instructions in that notice about where to submit it.

Has not requested additional evidence, but you want to submit additional evidence while your Form I-526 petition is pending, mail it to:

USCIS Immigrant Investor Program
131 M Street NE
Mailstop 2235
Washington, DC 20529

In your mailing, include a copy of the receipt notice for the petition. If the receipt notice is unavailable, include the petitioner’s name and the receipt number.

Other Form I-526 tips

Can I file an appeal or motion if I disagree with a decision about my Form I-526?
The decision notice will indicate whether you may file an appeal and/or a motion. For information about filing requirements for appeals and motions, see 8 CFR 103.3 and 103.5 and uscis.gov/i-290b.

If someone contacts me about investing in an EB-5 project, how can I find out if the project is legitimate?
You should always do your own research and consult with a financial professional before making any investment decision. (For informational purposes only, all approved and terminated regional centers are listed at uscis.gov/eb-5.)

If I am pursuing consular processing, can I come to the United States as soon as my Form I-526 petition is approved?
No. For more information, see Consular Processing.

Does approval of Form I-526 guarantee I will be granted a visa or admitted to the United States?
No. An approved Form I-526 petition does not guarantee that the U.S. Department of State will issue you an EB-5 visa or that USCIS will grant adjustment of status if you are in the United States. Also, the issuance of a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.

As an investor, do I have to live in the same city where the project is located?
No. You are not required to live in the same city or state as the new commercial enterprise or the project.

Do I have to physically visit a regional center through which I want to invest?
No. USCIS does not require an on-site visit of the regional center, but investors should always do their own research and consult with a financial professional before making any investment decision.

Can I pursue other ways to immigrate to the United States while USCIS processes my Form I-526 petition?
Yes. You may pursue other ways to immigrate to the United States while USCIS processes your Form I-526 petition. However, you must be able to demonstrate eligibility for any benefit sought.

How long does USCIS take to process a Form I-526 petition?
For current estimates, see USCIS Processing Time Information. However, processing times can vary depending on the circumstances of each case. These include factors such as the time it takes to complete a background check and whether we need to request additional evidence.

Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status

What if my child turns 21 while my Form I-829 petition is pending?
Children who turn 21 while your Form I-829 is pending can still have the conditions on their permanent resident status removed, assuming USCIS approves the petition.

When must I file Form I-829?
You must file your Form I-829 petition within the 90 calendar day period before the second anniversary of obtaining conditional permanent resident status. For more information, refer to the Form I-829 instructions (PDF, 233 KB).

Why can’t I view my Form I-829 case status online?
Form I-829 is not available in Case Status Online.

Why do I have two receipt numbers?
When you properly file form I-829, you are provided with a receipt notice which extends your conditional permanent resident status by one year and, along with your Permanent Resident Card, also provides you with work and travel authorization. Once you have been scheduled for a biometrics appointment, you are then given another receipt number related to your biometrics appointment.

Are copies of Schedule K-1 sufficient to establish sustainment of investment?
Every petition is adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. Please see the Form I-829 instructions and 8 CFR 216.6 for information about the evidence you must submit with your petition. If you use copies of Schedule K-1, you must show that your investment was sustained throughout your conditional residency period.

What happens if I do not file Form I-829 or I miss the filing deadline?
If you fail to file your Form I-829 petition within the 90 days preceding the second anniversary of obtaining conditional permanent resident status, USCIS will terminate your conditional permanent resident status and you will become removable from the United States. However, if your failure to file within that 90-day period was for good cause and due to extenuating circumstances, you may file your petition late with a written explanation and request that USCIS, in its discretion, excuse your late filing. If you can show good cause and extenuating circumstances, USCIS may accept a late petition. USCIS decides such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Should I be in the United States when my I-829 petition is filed?
You may file your I-829 petition whether or not you are in the United States. However, if you are outside the United States you must return for your biometrics appointment or, if necessary, to comply with USCIS interview requirements.

Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program

Are regional centers affiliated with USCIS?
No. “Regional centers” are designated as such by USCIS for purposes of participating in the EB-5 program, are not affiliated with USCIS or the Department of Homeland Security.

Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center

For filing tips, go to Annual Reporting Information / Filing Tips: Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center.

What are general tips for submitting evidence? When submitting evidence, keep in mind:

  • Inconsistencies in documents: There may be legitimate reasons for inconsistencies. For example, the dimensions listed on pre-construction contracts for house purchases may vary from the actual dimensions shown on other documents. When submitting documents, providing explanations and evidence to reconcile inconsistencies reduces the chances of a Request for Evidence (RFE).
  • Unavailability of documents: Explaining and providing evidence of the reason why a particular document is not available reduces the chances of an RFE. For example, if claiming that proof of prior employment is unavailable because a company no longer exists, you may wish to submit evidence that the company has been dissolved.
  • Probative value of evidence: “Probative value” refers to whether a document proves or supports a claim/eligibility requirement. Submitting evidence with greater probative value and credibility reduces the chances of an RFE.
  • Incomplete translations: USCIS requires complete English translations of all foreign language documents submitted as evidence. Ensuring that foreign language documents are translated in their entirety before submitting them reduces the chances of an RFE or Request for Clarification.

For more information about the Immigrant Investor Program

Visit uscis.gov/eb-5 or write to USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov. This address is not for:

  • Policy and legal questions about adjudicative procedures or decisions;
  • Questions about the interpretation, implementation or administration of EB-5 laws and regulations, or about official agency guidance related to the adjudication of EB-5 applications or petitions;
  • Responses to case-specific requests for evidence, notices or decisions; or
  • Any matters unrelated to the EB-5 program.

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