Can the principal EB-5 investor abandon his or hergreen card without affecting the family’s green cards?
Once an EB-5 investor and their immediate family members are granted permanent resident status, the EB-5 investor may abandon their green card without affecting that of their family. However, this can only be done after Form I-829—Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status—has been submitted and approved. If an EB5 investor abandons their green card prior to I-829 approval, any and all dependents will lose their status as well.
The EB-5 visa process allows an EB-5 investor to include their immediate family members in their petition for a U.S. green card. These family members—a spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21—are known as derivative beneficiaries. They are only eligible to apply for a visa based on their relation to the principal applicant who, in this case, is the EB-5 investor. They must fulfill all the same requirements as the applicant, including submitting required documentation and participating in a visa interview if they are residing outside of the United States. They also receive all of the same benefits of U.S. permanent residency as the principal applicant.
Conditional Permanent Residency
Once an EB-5 investor’s Form I-526—Immigrant Petition by an Alien Investor—has been adjudicated, they and their immediate family members are granted U.S. permanent residency. However, this permanent residency is conditional and only granted for a period of two years. During that time, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to monitor the EB-5 investment project. As long as the investment project continues to meet all of the agency’s requirements—including the creation and maintenance of at least 10 U.S. jobs—the investor may submit Form I-829. It is in the investor’s best interest to work with an immigration attorney to ensure that Form I-829 is submitted at the appropriate time. If USCIS does not receive the form within a specified time, it may cause delays in the process or even cause EB-5 investors and their families to be unable to remove the conditions on their permanent resident status.