At what point in the process do EB-5 applicants have access to resident tuition rates?

Once the EB-5 investor and their derivative beneficiaries have been granted conditional permanent resident status, they become eligible for all the rights and privileges of lawful permanent residence. This includes the right to live, work and study anywhere in the United States.

However, the right to study in the United States does not automatically translate to being able to access resident tuition rates. The specific criteria to qualify for in-state tuition varies by state. Thus, a lawful permanent resident who wishes to benefit from reduced cost in-state tuition should look into the particular requirements of the state and school they wish to study in.

Conditional Permanent Resident Status

After successfully adjusting status or completing consular processing, the EB-5 investor and their derivative beneficiaries will be granted conditional permanent resident status and be issued green cards by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

As mentioned, the conditional green card confers all the same rights and privileges as permanent resident status. Note, however, that conditional residency only lasts two years; before the conditional green card expires, the EB-5 investor must file Form I-829 to remove the conditions from their status. Without filing Form I-829, an EB-5 investor whose conditional permanent residency has expired may face deportation.

To be granted approval of Form I-829, the EB-5 investor must prove that a qualifying investment was made and that this investment generated the required number of jobs.

In-State Tuition

Every U.S. state has its own set of requirements for in-state tuition qualification, which prospective students, particularly foreign nationals or participants of the EB-5 program, should look into before applying for certain schools.

For many states, to qualify for reduced cost in-state tuition, the prospective student must be a lawful permanent resident of the United States or a legal U.S. citizen and have spent a minimum of one year before the start of the school term as a physical resident of the specific U.S. state. Some states will have further specifications; for example, the state of California also requires the prospective student to plan to live as a legal resident in California for a minimum of one year after graduation in order to qualify for in-state tuition.