When can an EB-5 investor file Form I-130 on behalf of relatives?

According to the website of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Form I-130 may be filed by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to petition for certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States. The purpose of the form is to establish a legitimate, qualifying familial relationship between the petitioner and their alien relative.

Once an EB-5 investor has acquired conditional permanent resident status, they will be eligible to file Form I-130 on behalf of certain alien relatives. However, the list of relatives that permanent residents are permitted to petition for is limited; depending on the type of relative that the EB-5 investor wishes to petition for, they may have to wait until U.S. citizenship is acquired.

Qualifying Relatives for Form I-130

An EB-5 investor who has become a lawful permanent resident may file Form I-130 on behalf of their spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and unmarried children over the age of 21.

For U.S. citizens, the list of eligible relatives extends to the aforementioned relatives, as well as married children of any age, siblings over the age of 21 and parents over the age of 21.

Petitioners of Form I-130 are not permitted to file on behalf of any of the following relatives: grandparents, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, aunts or uncles, cousins, or in-laws. There are also prohibitions against filing for stepparents or stepchildren if the marriage took place after the child turned 18, and adoptive parents or adoptive children if the adoption took place after the child turned 16.

Acquiring Permanent Resident Status as an EB-5 Investor

After receiving approval of Form I-526, the EB-5 investor must either adjust status or undergo consular processing to obtain an EB-5 visa. Once they have been issued a conditional green card, the EB-5 investor may relocate to the United States and begin their two year conditional residency period. During this time, they will qualify as a permanent resident and be permitted to file Form I-130 on behalf of certain alien relatives.

U.S. citizenship may be acquired after five years of maintaining lawful permanent residence. As a U.S. citizen, the EB-5 investor will be permitted to file Form I-130 on behalf of a greater assortment of relatives. This benefit extends to the EB-5 investor’s derivative beneficiaries as well.