What do the terms “processing” and “adjudication” mean in reference to the I-526 petition?

With regard to Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by an Alien Investor, the term “processing” refers to the review of the documentation submitted with the petition. The agency charged with processing I-526 petitions is United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Based upon the submitted documentation, USCIS decides whether a petition will be accepted, denied, or if a request for evidence (RFE) is needed. The decision that USCIS provides is known as “adjudication.”

I-526 Petitions

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program was created to incentivize foreign investment in the U.S. economy. In exchange for investing capital into a qualifying EB-5 project, foreign investors are granted U.S. permanent residency—also known as green cards. Foreign investors can get permanent residency not only for themselves, but for their spouses and dependent children younger than age 21.

Before submitting Form I-526, EB-5 investors must:

-Conduct their due diligence
-Select an EB-5 project
-Put the minimum investment amount–$800,000 for projects within a targeted employment area (TEA) and $1,050,000 for all others—at risk

Qualifying EB-5 Projects

There are two types of EB-5 investment projects—regional centers and direct investments. Both need to create a minimum of 10 jobs in order to be considered qualifying projects that meet USCIS standards. The biggest difference between the two types of projects is that, through regional centers, indirect employment—jobs that are created as the result of a project’s economic impact—can be counted towards the minimum 10 jobs required. Direct investment projects, on the other hand, can only count direct, W-2 employment to meet the job creation requirement.

I-526 Adjudication

Once an investor’s I-526 petition has been adjudicated, they and their immediate family members receive conditional U.S. permanent residency for two years. During that time, they must demonstrate that their project continues to meet the requirements of the EB-5 program and they can file Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.