If pursuing a different immigrant visa, when should an EB-5 investor withdraw an I-829 petition?

Completing and submitting the I-829 petition is the final step in the EB-5 investment processU.S. permanent resident status. Because I-829 petitions can take several years to process, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will extend the conditional residency status of investors with pending petitions. Withdrawing an I-829 petition will result in a loss of conditional permanent resident status for the principal applicant and all derivative beneficiaries. An EB5 investor considering withdrawing their I-829 petition should consult with an experienced immigration attorney before making this decision.

Withdrawing an I-829 petition before approval may risk an applicant’s investment capital. As part of EB5 program requirements, an investor can only qualify if they put the necessary capital “at risk”; they cannot be guaranteed a return of their funds. Although USCIS allows an investor to receive their funds after filing Form I-829, this is not always the case. Some EB5 regional centers may prohibit the return of investment capital until after I-829 approval. Such stipulations will be included in a project’s subscription agreement. In these projects, withdrawing the I-829 petition before approval will likely risk an investor’s funds.

As aforementioned, withdrawing an I-829 petition will result in a loss of conditional permanent resident status, which will require the petitioner to leave the United States. If an investor wishes to withdraw their I-829 petition but still reside in the country, they must find a way to maintain lawful U.S. status to avoid issues such as deportation or accrual of unlawful presence.

There is no official USCIS withdrawal form, so investors must submit a request to withdraw their I-829 petition. When completing a withdrawal request, an investor should:

  • Ensure the request is addressed to the USCIS office that is processing their petition;
  • Include their full name, date of birth, and passport information;
  • Include the receipt number, receipt date, application type, and alien number;
  • Include their contact details and a reliable mailing address;
  • Sign the request.
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