Prepare the Source of Funds
After you consult with the AAEB5 team and make the decision to invest in our project, AAEB5’s legal team or your attorney will work closely with you to properly document the source of the funds you are using to invest. Depending on each individual investor’s circumstances, this can take up to two months.
Make Investment & File I-526
After the source of funds have been cleared, the funds will be wired and the investor will file the I-526 petition. Then you wait. And wait. Current I-526 wait times can be found here. (link: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “IPO Processing Dates” next to where it says “Immigrant Investor Program Office (also known as EB-5)”. As of May 31, 2014, average processing wait time for I-526s is 13.2 months.
Apply for Conditional Greencard
After the I-526 is approved, you can now apply for the EB-5 visa, which is the greencard. (Technically, the I-526 is not the visa application – but the petition that verifies the basis of the visa.) If you are overseas, your EB-5 visa will be processed by National Visa Center and sent to a US Consulate near you. This is called Consulate Processing. Then the US Consulate will call you in for an interview, after which you will receive your visa stamp. This whole process will take 3 to 6 months depending on the backlog of the US Consulate near you.
If you are already in the United States on a valid non-immigrant visa such as a F-1 student visa or H-1B work visa, for example, you will be eligible to file an Adjustment of Status application on Form I-485. This whole process will also take 3 to 6 months but generally there is no interview. Upon completion of this step, you will receive a “conditional” greencard valid for two years. While the greencard has an expiration date, as a conditional greencard holder, you have the same rights, benefits and duties of a regular greencard holder. So your children can go to school in the United States and you and your spouse can legally work as well.
However, beginning May 1, 2015, the EB-5 visa numbers for people born in China (regardless of what country’s passport you hold) are now backlogged. As a result Chinese investors will need to wait approximately one year before they can apply for a conditional greencard. Therefore, investors born in China should read our articles on the Chinese visa backlog (a/k/a retrogression – although this is technically not correct) and the age-out issue of children born in China.
File Form I-829 to Remove Conditions
Your greencard is “conditional” because it is conditioned on your investment contributing to the creation of 10 U.S. jobs. During the last 90 days of your two year conditional greencard period, you will need to file the I-829 petition to remove the conditions. This is where AAEB5 steps up and provides you with all the date required to evidence the creation of jobs. Once the I-829 is approved, you will be a permanent greencard holder.