When is an EB-5 investor able to apply for U.S. citizenship?

An EB-5 investor is eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after five years of permanent resident status. The two years in which an EB-5 investor holds conditional permanent resident status are included in the five-year timeframe.

Obtaining U.S. Permanent Resident Status

The process for obtaining U.S. permanent resident status is lengthy, but straightforward. Once an applicant invests the minimum amount in a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)-approved EB-5 project, they may submit Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by an Alien Investor. Adjudication of Form I-526 can take anywhere from several months to years. Once it is approved, however, an EB-5 investor and their immediate family—spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21—receive conditional permanent resident status. At that point, they are able to relocate to the United States.

Applying for U.S. Citizenship Through EB-5

The EB-5 visa program is not a direct pathway to U.S. citizenship. The purpose of the program is to provide investors with a green card in exchange for their investment in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that will create a minimum of 10 U.S. jobs. After a period of two years, EB-5 investors can submit Form I-829, Petition by an Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. Once this is approved, the investor and their immediate family will have lawful permanent resident status, free of any conditions. After three years of lawful permanent resident status, the EB-5 investor may apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization using Form N-400—Application for Naturalization.

In addition to submitting the form, lawful permanent residents must also meet certain criteria. These include, but are not limited to: not traveling abroad for a period longer than six months; paying the filing fee; and attending an interview with USCIS. Any children under the age of 18 will automatically receive U.S. citizenship along with their parents.