Paperwork for EB5 Visas: The Ins and Outs of Form I-526
The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) created the EB 5 visa category in 1990. EB 5 visas can open the door to U.S. residency for foreign investors and their qualifying families.
Immigrant investors must complete the necessary paperwork, which includes filing forms I-526 and I-829. Here’s everything you need to know about Form I-526:
What Is Form I-526?
Form I-526 is known as the Immigrant Petition by a Standalone Investor. Immigrant investors can file the petition if they meet the eligibility requirements for immigrating to the U.S. via this route. The form is for standalone investors petitioning the USCIS for status as an immigrant to the U.S. under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 203(b)(5). Investors can also pool their investments with one or more investors. Such investors can file Form I-536E.
Who May File Form I-526?
Investors looking to immigrate to the U.S. can file Form I-526 if they meet the requirements of the USCIS. The requirements include investing the required investment amount in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that can benefit the U.S. economy. You can invest independently or through an EB 5 regional center. The NCE must create at least 10 jobs for U.S. citizens, nationals, permanent residents, or others authorized to work in the country.
As an investor, you, your spouse, and your children don’t count toward qualifying employees. The NCE is established by forming a new business or purchasing an existing company formed after November 29, 1990. If you’re buying an existing business, you must restructure/reorganize it to fulfill NCE requirements. Investors can also expand an existing business, provided their investment results in net worth or employee increase of at least 40%.
The investment amount is set by statute based on where you plan to invest. If you invest in a targeted economic area (TEA), the amount is $800,000. The minimum investment outside a TEA is $1,050,000. A targeted economic area can be a rural area or region with high unemployment.
What Information Must You Provide?
Form I-526 petitions involve signatures, evidence, biometric services appointment, copies, and translations. To fill out the form, you must type or print it legibly in black ink. Answer all questions fully and accurately. The form has multiple parts with specific filing instructions. Here are all the sections you should complete:
1. Information About You
This section features personal information, including your Alien Registration Number, USCIS Online Account Number, U.S. Social Security Number, and full name. Other parts include additional names, date of birth, sex, place of birth, country of citizenship/nationality, and last foreign residence. You must also complete information about your mailing address, physical address, employment history, and details about your entry to the U.S.
2. Information About Your Spouse and Children
Complete this section if you intend to bring your family to the U.S. You must provide their full name, date of birth, country of birth, citizenship, and relationship. Other parts require information about permanent residence if your family seeks permanent residence once in the U.S. Item numbers 8-37 ask for the same information for unmarried children of the investor who are below the age of 21.
3. Information About the New Commercial Enterprise
This section requests information about the NCE, including the name, dates, and jurisdictions of formation. If the NCE is a holding company with wholly owned subsidiaries, give details of the top-level holding company on Item numbers 1-12.
Use Item B to provide information about the wholly-owned subsidiaries. You must also specify the type of NCE. Indicate whether the enterprise was created before/after 1990 or if it is denoted as a troubled business.
4. Information About your Investment
Indicate whether the investment is in a rural area, high unemployment area, or non-TEA. You must also provide information about the composition of your investment, including dates and amounts. Other details include the U.S. bank account, total assets purchased, the total value of all property, total stock, or other equity. This section also requires details of administrative costs/fees, your net worth, and sources of invested capital.
5. Information About Employment Creation
Part 5 is all about job creation details, including full-time direct and qualifying employees at the time of the initial investment, current full-time direct and qualifying employees, and the difference in employment levels. Other details include estimated full-time positions you intend to create and the total investment made available to create jobs. The remaining sections (Part 6) are about visa processing, proceedings, and evidence submission.
Professional Help For EB 5 Visas
Applying for EB 5 visas can be daunting and time-consuming. Use an experienced immigration lawyer and a suitable EB 5 regional center to make the process easier. Working with a USCIS-certified regional center can help you find top investment projects that will get you quick EB 5 visa approval. Stick to leading regional centers and lawyers with a history of providing success for clients seeking I-526 and I-829 approvals.