How to Gain Approval for Form I-829

Filing Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, is the last step of the EB-5 process. This visa petition must be submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If Form I-829 is approved, the EB-5 investor will receive permanent resident status.

Because this step is so crucial, investors are recommended to follow the guidance of their immigration attorneys when preparing Form I-829. Through the I-829 petition, investors must demonstrate that the EB5 investment project proceeded according to the plan set out in Form I-526 and met all the necessary criteria.

Form I-829 must be submitted within the last 90 days of an EB-5 investor’s conditional two-year residency period. Because of this timeframe, it is important for investors to start preparing the evidence well in advance.

Evidence of a Qualifying EB-5 Investment

To demonstrate that their investments qualify for the EB-5 program, foreign nationals must provide documentation about the project and their financial involvement in it.

The first step is to show that the EB-5 investment was made in a new commercial enterprise (NCE). Therefore, Form I-829 should include documents such as the NCE’s legal permits, contracts, and tax returns.

The second step is to provide financial or bank statements proving that an EB-5 investment was made. As of June 2021, the minimum investment threshold for targeted employment area (TEA) projects is $500,000. For non-TEA projects, the minimum is $1,000,000. The EB-5 investment funds must be at risk, with the potential to result in either gains or losses.

Employment Creation

The EB-5 program has job creation as its primary objective. In Form I-829, investors must prove that at least 10 jobs were created as a result of the EB-5 investment. Appropriate evidence can include tax and payroll documents from the NCE.

Job creation calculations are different for direct EB-5 projects and those carried out through the regional center program. For direct projects, only workers employed by the NCE can be counted. Regional center projects can also include indirect and induced jobs, which are calculated by examining the EB-5 project’s broader economic impact.

Personal Information

In addition to the above criteria related to the nature of the EB-5 project, the I-829 petition asks for personal information. For example, if the investor or their qualifying family members have a criminal record, this must be noted on the petition. Similarly, if the investor has passed away and the applicant is a family member, the necessary evidence should be supplied.

The Benefits of the EB-5 Visa

Upon approval of Form I-829 by USCIS, the investor will be able to receive permanent resident status in the United States for themselves, their spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of 21. This means that they can live and work legally in the United States without any restrictions. Following five years of permanent resident status, the EB-5 investor and their family will also be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.

The l-829 petition requires strong evidentiary backing in order to obtain approval from USCIS. Investors are advised to work with an experienced immigration attorney.