After filing an I-829 petition, at what point are the dependents of an EB-5 investor given an extension of their status?

After the primary EB-5 investor has filed Form I-829, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue a receipt notice (Form I-797, Notice of Action) to communicate USCIS’ receipt of the investor’s I-829 petition. The receipt notice simultaneously acts as “evidence of USCIS’ extension of the validity of the conditional permanent resident’s status for the time period specified in the notice”, according to the online Policy Manual.

Essentially, as soon as the EB-5 investor has received a receipt notice confirming the filing of Form I-829, all derivative beneficiaries are automatically granted an extension of their conditional PR statuses. After temporary foreign travel, the expiring or expired Conditional Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) combined with the receipt notice may be used by the EB-5 investor and any attached dependents to reenter the United States and may also be utilized as work authorization.

As of September 4, 2021, USCIS has extended the amount of time that receipt notices can be used as proof of conditional permanent resident status from 18 months to 24 months. This is to accommodate the lengthy processing times of Form I-829, which have increased over the years. As a result, the extension of conditional permanent residency after an EB-5 investor has filed Form I-829 now has a 24 month duration. In addition, USCIS will issue new receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents who correctly filed Form I-829 before September 4 and whose petitions are still being processed.

In some cases, the extra time allotted for the extension of status is still not enough and expires before the EB-5 investor’s I-829 petition has been adjudicated. In this situation, a conditional permanent resident whose PR card and period of extension have both expired may contact the USCIS Contact Center to request documentation of status for work authorization, foreign travel or other purposes. By scheduling an appointment, the EB-5 investor will be able to obtain an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp, or I-551 stamp, that will serve as a temporary form of continued status validity. The stamp must be placed on a valid unexpired passport or Form I-94 with a photo.