Once an EB-5 investor has selected a project and made the necessary investment, he or she must complete Form I-526, Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and submit it, along with all supporting documents, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will then evaluate the I-526 petition and determine whether the applicant is eligible for an EB-5 visa.
Immigration attorneys compile and submit I-526 petitions on behalf of their clients.
Once the investor files the I-526 petition, within 7-10 days they receive an acknowledgement or receipt number for the petition from the USCIS. This is called the I-797 (C). This serves as an acknowledgement that the USCIS has received all the paperwork submitted and will start reviewing the investor’s application.
If any information is missing or inadequate, USCIS may send a Request for Evidence (RFE), which will delay the approval of the petition.
The average processing time for Form I-526 varies, but is currently around 18-22 months.