Yes, a foreign national can file their I-526 petition while abroad. There are no regulations concerning where the EB-5 investor must file their I-526 petition; it can be done while in the United States, in their home country, or anywhere in the world.
Most EB-5 investors invest through a regional center and almost all hire an immigration attorney to guide them through the EB-5 process. As a result, the only necessary requirement is that the EB-5 investor has the means to access efficient communication with these parties.
Filing Form I-526 is one of first and most integral steps in the EB-5 process. Before submitting their I-526 petition, the EB-5 investor should make sure they have met a number of requirements to ensure maximum likelihood of having their petition approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The EB-5 investor must prepare documentation that proves they have made a qualifying minimum investment in an eligible new commercial enterprise (NCE). The current threshold investment amount is $1,050,000, while EB-5 projects with targeted employment area (TEA) designations have a reduced minimum investment amount of $800,000. The EB-5 investor must prove that their investment will remain at risk and that their investment will generate a minimum of 10 full-time jobs, to be filled by authorized U.S. workers for at least two years. The EB-5 investor must also prove that their investment capital was lawfully sourced.
Among the many forms documentation USCIS will require, there must be a comprehensive business plan with a hiring timetable and economic report and documents that prove the EB-5 investor has irrevocably committed their funds to the NCE, whether directly or into an escrow account. Such paperwork may include loan certificates, banks statements, promissory notes, or security agreements. The EB-5 investor must also include a job creation plan that demonstrates how their invested capital will generate the required number of positions.