What documents will an EB-5 investor need to enter the United States?

After an EB5 applicant’s I-526 petition is approved, they are eligible to apply for an EB5 visa. This application process is different depending on the applicant’s location at the time of I-526 approval. Investors already residing within the United States on a different visa may file Form I-485 after approval or alongside their I-526 petition to speed up the investment process. In contrast, investors residing outside the United States must go through consular processing instead. This entails filing Form DS-260 and a visa interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in the investors home country. Once the visa application is approved, the investor and any qualifying visa derivatives — spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 — are issued a visa page in their passports. This visa is the only document needed to enter the United States.

Once an EB5 investor’s visa application is approved, they are granted two years of conditional permanent resident (CPR) status. At the end of this two-year period, an investor can apply for the removal of these conditions and receive lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, which can be renewed indefinitely. CPR status and LPR status grant many of the same rights to EB5 investors, including the ability to travel outside the U.S. and return. However, there are limitations on the travel rights of conditional and permanent residents.

By spending too much time abroad, an EB5 investor could lose their green card based on having abandoned their U.S. residence. However, this also depends on the nature of a trip. Generally, trips that last longer than six months may lead to increased scrutiny upon reentry. Trips that last over a year will likely raise a legal presumption that an investor has abandoned their U.S. residency.

To avoid the aforementioned issues, an investor can apply for a reentry permit. This document serves to establish that, despite a long stay abroad, an EB5 investor does not intend to abandon their U.S. residence. Reentry permits are normally valid for two years from the date of issuance.