What steps (stages) are involved in the EB-5 Visa Processing Time?
Getting a EB5 Green Card involves the following steps. Average EB5 processing times for each of the steps are given below.
- Funding and Investing in an EB-5 project (2 months)
- Filing Form I-526 or I-526E (6 to 24 months)
- Adjustment of Status in the US with Form I-485 OR Consular processing with Form DS-260 (6-12 months)
- Conditional Green Card (2 Years)
- Approval of Form I-829 (22 to 48.5 months)
As with any visa category, EB 5 Visa Processing Times fluctuate depending on the number of pending applications and new applicants filing each year. EB5 BRICS consistently monitors EB-5 Visa updates to ensure the latest processing timeline available to you. In the following section, we will take you through the details of current average processing times for each stage of the EB5 process.
What is EB 5 Visa Processing Time?
Total time for processing of EB 5 visa ranges from 1 to 3 years. This timespan starts from filing of EB-5 application I-526E form and end at the approval of Form I-829 (permanent Green Card).
Processing times for EB 5 Visa varies for each stage of many applications/ forms involved.
EB-5 Timeline is influenced by your location at the time of application. Below are the 5 key steps of the EB-5 Visa process and explanation of the associated average processing times.
1. Funding and Investing in an EB-5 project (2 months)
The average timeline for organizing your source of funds documentation and investing in an EB5 Project is 2 months. Your capital investment must come from lawful sources so you need to present enough evidence to prove the legitimacy of your EB 5 investment. We work with immigration attorneys specializing in the EB 5 Visa to help you write a comprehensive source of funds report.
Once you’ve prepared the documentation for your capital investment, we will assist you in choosing the right EB-5 Project that suits your needs. We perform due diligence on EB-5 Visa Projects to ensure that you invest in a project that meets USCIS standards.
After selecting an investment project, your capital is then deposited into the project’s EB 5 escrow account. You then proceed to the next step which is filing your EB5 immigrant petition.
2. Filing Form I-526 or I-526E (6 to 24 months)
Processing of Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor)/Form I-526E (Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor) is between 6 to 24 months. Your I-526/I-526E petition is filed by your immigration attorney on your behalf showing that you have invested or are in the process of investing the required minimum capital. Obtaining approval for your I-526 means that you are eligible to apply for an EB-5 Green Card.
3. Adjustment of Status in the US with Form I-485 OR Consular processing with Form DS-260 (6 to 12 months)
The EB5 Timeline for investors adjusting their status in the United States is between 6 to 12 months. You must submit Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) to USCIS to apply for a Green Card in the United States.
Concurrent Filing of I-485 and I-526E petitions
Immigrant investors from non-backlogged countries holding a valid nonimmigrant status in the US are able to file their I-485 and I-526E petitions concurrently for shorter EB 5 Visa Processing Times. Additionally, you are qualified for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and travel document so you can work and travel freely while your adjustment of status for a US investor visa is being adjudicated.
Consular processing for an EB5 Visa for investors outside the U.S. takes between 6 to 12 months. Your I-526E needs to be approved before you submit your Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application) online via the U.S. Department of State (DOS) website. Your application is then processed by the National Visa Center (NVC) before being forwarded to the U.S. embassy or consulate of your country. Your EB5 Visa interview will be scheduled within 60 to 90 days if your priority date is current.
4. Conditional Green Card (2 Years)
You become a Conditional Permanent Resident for 2 years after getting your EB 5 Visa application approval. Within this period, you must fulfill the investment and job creation requirements of the EB 5 Program. Your capital investment needs to generate at least 10 full-time positions for qualified U.S. workers. As Conditional Green Card holders, you, your spouse, and unmarried children under 21 get to live, work, and study in the USA without restrictions.
5. Approval of Form I-829 (22 to 48.5 months)
Processing time for Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status) is between 22 to 48.5 months on average. Your I-829 petition must be filed 90 days before your Conditional Green Card expires. Your status as a Conditional Permanent Resident is automatically extended for 2 years once you file your I-829 form.
Approval of your I-829 removes the conditions on your EB 5 Green Card and makes you a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the USA which is valid for 10 years and renewable unlimitedly. You have the option to apply for U.S. citizenship after 5 years as a Green Card holder.
Now that you know the timeline for getting an EB-5 Visa, let’s further discuss the concepts related to the application process such as wait times, priority dates, and the country of chargeability.
How to reduce Processing Times for EB5 Visa?
Two ways to significantly reduce processing times for EB-5 Visa are:
- Investing into a rural area project reduces processing times. An EB-5 project in a rural area are categorized as “Set Aside” visas for expedited processing. In our experience, some investors with rural area projects, have gotten Form I-526E approval within 6-12 months instead of 29 months. Read more about Reserved EB-5 Visas.
- Immigrant investors from non-backlogged countries holding a valid nonimmigrant status in the US are able to file their I-485 and I-526E petitions concurrently for shorter EB 5 Visa Processing Times. This could reduce 12 to 24 months from your total timeline.