What are the potential consequences if a conditional permanent resident is away from the United States for more than six months?

If a conditional permanent resident leaves the United States for more than six months, there is a possibility United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will raise a rebuttable presumption that the EB-5 investor does not intend on residing in the United States permanently.

However, the investor can override this presumption by providing proof that it has always been their intention to stay in the United States. The following entities are sufficient evidence of ties in the United States: a primary residence, business ownership or other employment, family living in the United States, U.S. bank accounts, the filing of tax returns, and lease or ownership of homes or a car.

Many EB-5 investors who obtain conditional permanent residency are still bound by work and business commitments to travel extensively outside the United States. For these investors, obtaining a reentry permit is the best way to mitigate any chance of having their travel compromise their status as a lawful resident. USCIS issues four different types of travel documents, including the reentry permit, which is given to residents who plan on traveling outside the United States for more than six months. EB5 investors with permanent resident status and conditional residency are eligible to receive one.

Conditional residents should apply for a reentry permit 60 days before their intended departure from the United States. If the resident files their application and completes biometrics before leaving but not before receiving approval from USCIS, they have the option of sending their reentry permit to the foreign country’s U.S. embassy or consulate to pick it up. In general, a reentry permit is valid for two years from the date of issuance.

EB-5 investors with conditional residency should be mindful that absences of more than six months could, from the perspective of USCIS, bring their intent of permanent residence into question. As such, investors should plan ahead accordingly by applying for a reentry permit through Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, if they intend to leave the United States for more than six months.