For naturalization purposes, when does an EB-5 investor’s period continuous residence begin?
For naturalization purposes, an EB-5 investor’s period of continuous residence begins when they receive their conditional permanent resident status. This happens after their Form I-526—Immigrant Petition by an Alien Investor—is adjudicated.
The Pathway to U.S. Citizenship as an EB-5 Investor
The EB-5 Visa program is not a direct pathway to U.S. Citizenship. The purpose of the program is for investors to be granted U.S. permanent resident status in exchange for their investment in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that creates a minimum of 10 U.S. jobs. However, participation in the program does lead to lawful permanent resident status, which is a stepping stone to U.S. citizenship.
Once investors have had their conditional permanent resident status for the required time of two years, they may submit form I-829—Petition by an Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. From that point, they must wait an additional three years before applying for U.S. citizenship through naturalization.
To apply for U.S. Citizenship, a lawful permanent resident must submit Form N-400—Application for Naturalization. In addition to submitting the form, applicants must meet certain criteria, such as remaining in the United States for the majority of the time. This means that, when traveling abroad, a U.S. permanent resident may not be absent for a period longer than six months. In addition, applicants must pay a filing fee, participate in an interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and pass an exam.
Many EB-5 investors immigrate with their spouse and children under the age of 21—known as derivative beneficiaries. Derivative beneficiaries have the same benefits as the primary applicant—the EB-5 investor. However automatic citizenship only applies to children under the age of 18. An investor’s spouse and children between the ages of 19-21 must apply and qualify for naturalization individually.