What happens when an EB-5 investor withdraws a pending I-829 petition?

An EB-5 investor withdrawing a pending I-829 petition is equivalent to abandonment of status. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will terminate the conditional permanent resident statuses of the EB-5 investor and any derivative beneficiaries, and the investor and their dependent family will be required to depart the United States.

What unfolds with USCIS is separate from other relevant facets of the investment, such as the repayment of investment funds and the investment’s exit strategy. Whether the EB-5 investor will be able to re-acquire their investment capital will depend on the particular project’s subscription agreement.

Abandonment of Status

By withdrawing their pending I-829 petition, the EB-5 investor effectively abandons their conditional permanent resident status and subsequently yields all the rights and privileges of lawful permanent residency.

The EB-5 investor and any dependent family members will be required to leave the United States after withdrawing the I-829 petition. While abandoning status at one point does not preclude the EB-5 investor from re-applying for a green card in the future, they will be required to start the process from the very beginning and may face certain challenges in re-applying.

Due Diligence

Every EB-5 project will have its own subscription agreement that outlines its own procedures with regards to termination or withdrawal for EB-5 investors. Similarly, the matter of repayment of investment capital upon withdrawal will be outlined by the project’s offering documents. As such, it is critical for EB-5 investors to conduct due diligence</ before selecting an EB-5 project to invest in. Advisably, this should be done with the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney.

Immigration risk and financial risk are the primary factors that should be thoroughly examined when conducting due diligence on any given EB-5 project. Other important aspects to take into consideration include USCIS I-924 exemplar approval, adequate job creation, a well-structured capital stack, guarantees and protection, and a plausible exit strategy.