What Is the I-526 Petition?
The I-526 Petition (or Form I-526) is the initial petition for an EB-5 investment whereas the investor intends to file for conditional permanent residency through the EB-5 immigration investment program.
The I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur is filed by the EB-5 investor to demonstrate that they are in the process of investing, or have already invested the required amount of capital in a suitable EB-5 project. I-526 petitions are usually prepared on behalf of EB-5 applicants by an immigration attorney. Applicants are eligible to file the I-526 petition after they have taken the appropriate measures to invest in an acceptable EB-5 Project. These projects must be part of a new commercial enterprise and can either be directly invested in by the immigrant investor, or can be administered by an EB-5 Regional Center, which has government designation to administer EB-5 projects.
The applicants must provide evidence that they have made a $500,000 to $1 million U.S. dollar investment of lawful capital in the new commercial enterprise. The specific required investment amount depends on whether or not the investment is made in an economically depressed location called a targeted employment area (TEA). A key purpose of the I-526 petition is for the applicants to prove that their capital investment comes from a lawful source of funds. Therefore, the EB-5 applicant must provide traceable evidence that proves that the funds were legally obtained.
The applicants must also present evidence that their investment will lead to the creation of fulltime jobs (35 hours per week or more) for at least 10 U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other authorized immigrant workers. Evidence that proves that the EB-5 investor will be in a policy making or managerial role at the EB-5 project must also be provided. This requirement can be satisfied by demonstrating that an investor has voting rights in an EB-5 Regional Center project that is in the form of a limited partnership or limited liability company.
The I-526 petition includes all the project related documentation, the source of funds report and is typically filed with the assistance of an immigration attorney.
Fees Associated with the I-526 Petition
Fees can be anywhere from $20,000-80,000 to complete the I-526 phase. Fees may include:
- USCIS Fees
- Immigration Attorney Fees
- Source of Funds Report Fees
- Regional Center Administration Fees
- Bank Fees
- Escrow Account Fees (Depending on the Project)
Time to prepare an Investors I-526 Petition
It typically takes an investor around 2 months to complete the entire I-526 process and most of the time is subject to the investor having all the documentation regarding the source of funds report complete, readily available and translated. The project's I-526 documents are typically prepared upfront prior to any investor committing to the project and the entire package is held in template form ready for investors to file.
What does the I-526 Petition Look Like?