Regional Center I-526 Application Process
Once the EB-5 investor decides on a regional center (RC), the EB-5 investor will be counseled by an Immigration Law Group attorney to follow these steps:
Step 1: Register and review investment offering materials of the selected RC
Step 2: Wire investment funds to the RC’s escrow account and file the I-526 petition
· I-526 petition processing typically takes about 6 to 8 months (premium processing is anticipated to be available later this year to bring processing time down significantly at an additional cost).
· Upon I-526 approval, overseas investors must be interviewed at their local U.S. Consulate or Embassy, while investors in the U.S. must file an I-485 petition to adjust their status to permanent residency. In either case, this step, which will result in the issuance of the conditional visa (green card), typically takes 3 to 5 months.
· Upon receiving the conditional visa (conditional green card), the principal investor and family member(s) must enter the U.S. within 180 days. The two-year conditional period starts the day the investor enters the U.S.
Step 3: File the I-829 petition and receive permanent green card.
· The final step of the immigration process is the filing of the I-829 petition to remove conditions to receive unconditional green card status. The I-829 is filed between 21 and 24 months after U.S. entry. I-829 processing typically takes about 6 months.
· Upon approval, the immigrant investor will be issued a new unconditional green card and may permanently live and work in the U.S.
In short, it generally takes 9 to 12 months to receive conditional green card status (Step 2), and another 2 years to receive permanent green card status (Step 3).
The investor can apply for U.S. citizenship after 5 years of green card status (2 years of conditional green card status plus 3 years of permanent green card status).