Can an EB-5 investor with conditional permanent resident status apply for citizenship?

Yes, an EB-5 investor with conditional permanent resident status and a pending I-829 petition is permitted to apply for U.S. citizenship provided they meet all the eligibility requirements for naturalization. Note, however, that the application for naturalization cannot be approved until the EB-5 investor’s I-829 petition has been approved.

The EB-5 investor’s act of applying for naturalization will force United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjudicate the pending I-829 petition. It is highly advisable to seek guidance from an immigration attorney before applying for naturalization since a pending I-829 petition may complicate the process. Moreover, depending on the reasons for delay, forcing USCIS to adjudicate an I-829 petition may result in denial.

Naturalization: Eligibility and Application

To be eligible for naturalization, the EB-5 investor meet the following criteria:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of filing Form N-400;
  • Be a lawful permanent resident of the United States for a minimum of five years prior to application;
  • Meet continuous residence and physical presence requirements;
  • Be able to read, write and speak English;
  • Be of good moral character, which involves the disclosure of any criminal history;
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the U.S. government and history;
  • Be loyal to the principles of the U.S. constitution; and
  • Be ready to take the Oath of Allegiance.

To apply for naturalization, the EB-5 investor must file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and append the required supporting documents and filing fee to their application. Required documentation as part of the application will include proof of the applicant’s lawful permanent resident status, photographs of the applicant, marital certificates (if applicable), and legal name change documents (if applicable).

The next portion of the application process will involve an interview at the applicant’s nearest U.S. consulate office. Following the interview, the applicant must pass an English and civics test. If successful, the applicant will be required to attend a ceremony, where they will return their green card and take the Oath of Allegiance. The completion of this process will confer U.S. citizenship to the applicant.