After coming on H1-B work visa and putting in more than a decade of prime working years, getting permanent residency within the US is a natural next step for many. However, with average wait times to acquire a US permanent residency ranging from anywhere between 20 months to 20 years for most people on a non-immigrant or an immigrant visa, they have begun to explore other options. Options that primarily revolve around a reduction of time duration is the primary criteria. And this is met through the EB-5 visa which is an immigrant investor category and takes about 27 months to process. 10,000 are approved and released each year provided the applicant can make a commercial investment in the US with 10 permanent full time jobs for US workers.
What is the process of getting a EB-5 Visa?
The process to acquire a EB-5 visa is three-pronged and goes through:
- Approval of the I-526 petition: Once the priority date (this can be found on Visa Bulletins each month) becomes current, investors are scheduled for interviews. If they had previously filed for an adjustment of status, this is to be adjudicated as well if the investor is in legitimate status within the US at the time of petition. Should there be a RFE, USCIS takes a few months to approve the AOS application. This time frame also includes I-693, a medical examination.
- Submission of required fees and DS-260: Once the Date for filing is current, the investor may file the required filing fee and be prepared to submit the Form DS-260 and get transferred to NVC.
- Processing of I-829, Petition to remove condition of Permanent Residence: This stage may take up to 38 months although in many straight forward cases, these get approved sooner if everything is in place. In order to get status on this, you may either submit a ‘outside normal processing time’ service request or connect with your local Immigrant Investor Program Office.
If you are looking to go the EB-5 route for attaining permanent residency within the US, connect with an immigration lawyer who will help you navigate this process and expedite a green card for you.