What is the I-526 Petition Process?
A potential investor is required to file a form I-526 for Alien Entrepreneur in conjunction with the documents supporting the EB-5 Investor Visa program requirements. Upon approval of this application, the investor and immediate family (spouse and single children under 21 years of age) may apply for an Immigrant Visa at the US Consulate or if the investor is already located in the United States, apply for an Adjustment of Status at any regional USCIS office.
The entire application process may take nine to fifteen months to be fully completed. The USCIS evaluates and judges I-526 applications based on, (but not limited to) the following criteria:
- New Commercial Enterprise: evidence must indicate that the business is new and authorized to transact business.
- Investment Capital: The application must be supported by documentation which shows that the investor has invested or is in the process of investing the minimum amount of required capital. USCIS will expect that these funds to be classified as “as risk”, indicating an irrevocable commitment to the business investment.
- Source of Capital: Documentation must be provided which supports the legal acquisition of funds. If assets are not deemed to be lawfully acquired, the USCIS will deny the I-526 petition.
- Managerial Role: If the investor is investing in the Basic EB-5 Program, he/she is expected to actively participate in the management of the business venture through policy development and holding a management position.
NOTE: If the goal is to obtain a green card and play a more passive role in the investment, participating in the EB-5 Regional Center (Pilot) program is the specific and appropriate category to make an investment.
- Amount of the Investment: The I-526 application must show evidence that the required minimum investment of USD$1,000,000 or USD$500,000 for designated Regional Centers located in a TEA has been made.
- Employment Creation: The EB-5 Investor Visa program requires that 10 jobs for U.S. Citizens be created on account of EACH investment that is made. Please refer to the EB-5 Job Creation Guidelines section for further details.
The USCIS will approve the I-526 application for Alien Entrepreneur only if the above listed criteria has been met. It is at the sole discretion of the USCIS to determine if this criteria has in fact been met accordingly and the USCIS may request further information.