The EB5 Visa Program usually results in an EB5 green card within 2-3 years, but the last few years have seen longer processing times. New developments, such as the passing of the EB5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA), have improved this timeline for regional center investors investing in rural areas. A regional center can help you navigate processing times and gain permanent residency as quickly as possible.
I-526E Processing Times
To receive your conditional EB5 green card, you must file an I-526E petition. Currently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) organization approves conditional green cards in 12-24 months. Because of the EB5 Reform and Integrity Act, you can move this timeline forward to 4-12 months by investing in a rural area with a regional center. This timeline can change if issues with the application arise. To avoid unnecessary delays on your part, consult with an immigration attorney to make sure your petition has all of the correct information and documentation. Errors or missing documentation can lead to delays that can significantly impact this timeline.
Consular Processing or Concurrent Filing
After submitting your I-526E petition, investors can proceed with either consular processing or a concurrent filing. Investors residing outside of the United States will need to undergo consular processing, which can take about six months. If you currently live in the U.S. with a different visa, such as an F-1 or H1-B, you may be eligible to complete a concurrent filing. This process can take as little as three months.
Conditional Permanent Residency
After your I-526E petition is approved, you and your family will receive conditional residency status. This status is valid for two years. You can live, study, work, and travel to and from the United States without restrictions. You will also receive the same rights as other permanent residents. During this time, you will be required to fulfill the EB5 program’s requirements. This includes meeting the job creation requirements and maintaining your investment. If you invest in a regional center, they will make sure these requirements are met as long as you do not exit the program.
I-829 Petition Processing Times
Three months before your conditional green card expires, your attorney can file form I-829, a petition to remove conditions. To determine approval, the USCIS conducts a review of the project’s compliance and job creation. Your regional center will provide proof of the project’s legitimacy and proof that your investment created or preserved 10 full-time jobs in the United States. The approval time should take less than 12 months but may take longer, depending on fluctuations in wait times.
While you wait for approval, your conditional green card may expire. The green card conditions should be extended while the petition is pending. If your I-829 petition is approved, you and your family’s conditional green cards will become permanent green cards. You can then apply for full citizenship after five years if you don’t violate the terms of your permanent green card.
Invest in a Regional Center To Get an EB5 Green Card
The EB5 process involves several application stages and can take years to complete, but it is a great opportunity for investors who want permanent residency in the United States. 2023 applicants investing in rural areas can expect to get through the process quicker because of the EB5 Reform and Integrity Act. Understanding the approval timelines and other influencing factors can help you plan your immigration journey effectively. By working with an experienced regional center and other immigration professionals, you can successfully navigate the process and get an EB5 green card. Contact a regional center today to learn more about the EB5 Visa Program timeline.