How long it takes for an EB-5 petition to be prepared and filed depends on a number of factors, including the EB-5 investor’s source of investment capital and how well-prepared the project is.
Form I-526 is the first petition an EB-5 investor must file to begin the EB-5 process. Investors must prepare a number of documents to append to the petition for submission. They must also gather the necessary funds for an EB-5 investment and conduct due diligence on the various projects available for investment. These steps can be done at the investor’s own pace, though an experienced immigration attorney would help facilitate the process.
After the investor has filed Form I-526, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may take up to two years or longer to process and adjudicate the petition. After receiving approval of Form I-526, EB-5 investors living abroad at the time of their I-526 petition approval will need to undergo consular processing and submit Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. This application includes an interview at the U.S. embassy in the investor’s home country. Consular processing generally takes around 8–12 months.
In the past, an EB-5 investor already lawfully residing in the United States with a nonimmigrant visa would need to file Form I-485 to adjust their status to conditional permanent resident. However, following the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, the I-526 and I-485 petitions can be filed concurrently, dubbed EB-5 concurrent filing. Thus, instead of having to wait until approval of Form I-526, foreign nationals residing in the U.S. as nonimmigrant visa holders can file for adjustment of status simultaneously with their I-526 petitions.