Renewed attention on foreign investors who seek to live, work, and study in the United States
Since its inception, the EB-5 Visa program has been one of the most dependable means to get permanent residency in the United States. It permits investors and their families to live, work, and study in any U.S. location. The EB-5 program might be the easiest option for well-off individuals to get permanent residence status in the United States.
The EB-5 visa, unlike other immigrant visa alternatives, does not need a US company to act as a sponsor, nor does it require any particular expertise, skills, or experience. Moreover, the EB-5 program is not limited to people of certain treaty states.
Reform and Integrity Act 2022
The long-awaited EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA) was signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022, as part of an omnibus budget bill that reauthorized the EB-5 regional center program. The option to “concurrently submit” Forms I-526 E (Immigrant Petition by Standalone investor) and I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) is one of the most significant changes introduced by RIA. EB-5 Concurrent Filing permits investors in the United States on non-immigrant visas to apply for adjustment of status concurrently with the filing of their I-525 applications.
Foreign nationals temporarily living in the United States may alter their legal status using Form I-485(Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). In EB-5 Concurrent Filing, investors are eligible to get permanent residence status. Before this statute, EB-5 investors were required to wait for the approval of their I-526 E applications before changing their status or leaving the country.
Concurrent EB-5 Filing offers investors more possibilities. Investors in the EB-5 program who convert their status from H-1B or E-2 are free to apply for work permission unrestricted by a sponsoring business or investment firm.
Moreover, upon the adjustment of status, EB-5 investors in the United States with F-1 (Student) visas would be able to suspend certain restrictions placed on foreign nationals studying in the United States.
USCIS Releases New Forms for Immigrant Investor Program
USCIS has updated Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, to reflect the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, which makes substantial modifications to the filing and qualifying criteria for EB-5 investors. Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor, has been divided into Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, and Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor.
• Form I-526 will be utilized by independent immigrant investors who are not seeking to pool their investment with other investors seeking EB-5 classification and will closely mirror the previous version of Form I-526.
• The Form I-526E will be used by immigrant investors who want to pool their investment with one or more other investors seeking EB-5 classification under the new regional center scheme.
Form I-526E reflects components of the new regional center program, such as the capacity to integrate Form I-956F (Application for Regional Center Designation) evidence by reference.
Statutorily, a prospective immigrant investor cannot submit Form I-526E until the regional center has filed Form I-956F for the specific investment offering via a connected commercial entity in which the prospective immigrant investor is investing. Once the regional center has received a receipt notification verifying the submission of Form I-956F, investors may then submit Form I-526E based on the receipt notice.
Forms I-526 and I-526E must be filed in accordance with revised program criteria beginning on July 12, 2022. Each submission incurs a $3,675 filing fee.
Filing and Eligibility
Under US Employment-Based Visa programs that enable concurrent filing, petitioners are entitled to apply for travel permits and work authorization.
If their work authorization and travel permits are accepted, petitioners may live, work, and attend school anywhere in the United States. They are eligible for all green card advantages while not owning one.
The eligibility of EB-5 concurrent filing is of interest to the majority of investors. Form I-485 is used to modify the immigration status of qualified foreign nationals who are temporarily authorized to reside in the United States.
Form I-526 E may only be submitted by foreign nationals in the United States on non-resident status who are also applying for adjustment of status. This clause normally applies to H-1B, L-1, and O-1 visa holders in the United States.
EB-5 Concurrent Filing permits investors who are currently in the United States under another visa category to apply for adjustment of status at the same time they file Form I-526 E. This new filing option, introduced in the RIA, permits EB-5 investors to gain permanent residence status while their I-526 E applications are being reviewed.
Hence, for many people, EB-5 Concurrent Filing expedites their ability to live, work, and study in the United States without the limits imposed by other visas. Contact us for further details on filing costs and biometric fees.