How might an EB-5 applicant visit the United States before receiving his or her conditional green card?

It is possible for an EB-5 applicant (and any dependent family members) to visit the United States under valid B-1/B-2 visas prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status. Entry approval should be granted provided the EB-5 applicant discloses their pending immigration petition and demonstrates a clear intent to return to their home country for consular processing.

Because the B-1/B-2 visas do not hold dual intent, it is critical for the EB-5 applicant to provide documentation that confirms their visit will be for a limited period of time, such as an itinerary that includes a departure date from the United States.

B-1/B-2 Visas

The B-1 visa may be used by a foreign national who is seeking to enter the United States temporarily for business of a commercial or professional nature. Such purposes may include settling an estate, negotiating a contract, attending a professional, business, scientific or educational conference, consulting with business associates, participating in short-term training, transiting through the United States or deadheading.

To be eligible for a B-1 visa, the applicant must prove the legitimate and professional nature of their trip, their intention to depart the U.S. after a specified limited period of time, adequate funding to cover the expenses of the trip, the existence of a residence outside of the U.S. that the applicant has no intention of abandoning, and admissibility to the United States.

The typical period of initial stay is up to six months; the maximum amount of time permitted on any B-1 visa is up to one year. If the B-1 visa holder wishes to stay past the date specified on their Form I-94 without leaving the U.S., they may attempt to extend the stay by filing Form I-539.

If the applicant wishes to visit the United States with any dependent family members, each dependent who intends on accompanying the primary applicant must individually file for and obtain a B-2 visa and comply with the guidelines of that visa.

As mentioned, any B-1 applicant who is already a participant of the EB-5 program must disclose this information on their B-1 application and demonstrate their intent to return to their home country for consular processing.