Investors seeking to obtain permanent resident status through the EB-5 program must file Form I-526, Immigration Petition by Alien Investor. Investors who submit Form I-526 to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must show that they are complying with the many requirements of the EB-5 program. For example, they must prove that they invested the minimum required amount in an eligible U.S. enterprise that will fulfill the job creation criteria. Form I-526 must also show that the invested funds were sourced and transferred legally. Therefore, investors must make sure to transfer all their investment funds into the project’s escrow account and pay any administrative fees before filing the I-526 petition.
Investors should keep in mind that, according to USCIS guidelines, the entire investment amount must already be irrevocably committed to the project and at risk prior to the filing of Form I-526. To prove that all the funds are in possession of the new commercial enterprise (NCE), investors will have to submit the appropriate documentation with their I-526 petition. Many EB-5 projects sponsored by regional centers place each investor’s funds in escrow until their I-526 petition is adjudicated. In contrast, non-regional center EB-5 projects may not allow investors to place their funds in escrow.
If the USCIS adjudicator in charge of the investor’s Form I-526 determines that the investor has not followed all of the EB-5 program’s numerous guidelines or that important information is missing from the petition, they may issue a denial or send a Request for Evidence (RFE) to the investor. To avoid a significant delay or an outright failure in the EB-5 process, investors should carefully plan their investments with the help of an immigration attorney and qualified EB-5 consultants. These experienced professionals can make sure that the investor complies with all of the EB-5 program’s regulations.