Who determines whether a change of status (green card) interview was successful?

EB-5 investors who are already living in the United States may be required to attend a change of status interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS may ask to interview an investor and their eligible family members to approve their application for conditional permanent resident status and issue them with green cards under the EB-5 program. Children under 14 years of age will not be interviewed by USCIS.

The outcome of the interview is generally determined by the interviewing officer, whose decision is reviewed by their supervisor.

Per USCIS, the reasons for requiring an interview may include:

  • Need to confirm the identity of the applicant.
  • Need to validate the applicant’s immigration status.
  • The applicant entered the United States without inspection, or there are other unresolved issues regarding the applicant’s manner of entry.
  • There are known criminal inadmissibility or national security concerns that cannot be resolved at a service center.
  • There are fraud concerns and the service center recommends an interview.
  • The applicant’s fingerprints have been rejected twice.
  • The applicant has a Class A medical condition that the service center cannot resolve through a Request for Evidence (RFE).
  • The applicant answered “Yes” to any eligibility question on the adjustment application, and the service center cannot determine eligibility through an RFE.

This I-485 adjustment of status interview with USCIS typically only lasts about 20 to 25 minutes. After swearing in the EB-5 investment participant and their eligible family members, the presiding USCIS officer will ask questions to verify the family members’ identities and relationships to one another. Applicants should keep their answers brief and honest.

Once approved, conditional permanent resident status is effective for two years, during which time the investor must physically reside in the United States. The investor may travel abroad without jeopardizing their status, but certain limitations apply.