EB5 Visa Processing Time: Duration and Expectations for UK Applicants

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The EB5 visa program is a popular option for UK investors looking to obtain a green card in the United States. However, many potential investors are unsure about the timeline for the EB5 visa process. In this article, we will break down the timeline for EB5 visa and provide insight into what UK investors can expect.

US Visa for UK Citizen | EB5 Visa Processing Time: Duration and Expectations for UK Applicants

What is the EB5 Visa Program?

Before diving into the timeline, let’s first understand what the EB5 visa program is. The EB5 visa program is an immigrant investor program that allows foreign investors to obtain a green card by investing in a new commercial enterprise in the United States. This program was created to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment.

EB5 Requirements

To be eligible for the EB5 visa program, investors must meet certain requirements. These include:

Timeline for EB5 Visa

The timeline for the EB5 visa process can vary depending on individual circumstances. However, there are general steps and estimated timeframes that UK investors can expect.

Step 1: File Form I-526

The first step in the EB5 visa process is to file Form I-526, also known as the Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. This form must be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and includes information about the investor, the investment, and the business plan.

The estimated processing time for Form I-526 is currently 10 to 18 months. This is a significant increase from previous years, so investors should be prepared for a longer wait time.

Step 2: Conditional Green Card

Once Form I-526 is approved, the investor will receive a conditional green card. This is valid for two years and allows the investor to live and work in the United States.

Step 3: File Form I-829

Within the 90-day period before the conditional green card expires, the investor must file Form I-829, also known as the Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. This form must be filed with the USCIS and includes evidence that the investment was made and that the job creation requirement was met.

The estimated processing time for Form I-829 is currently 10 to 20 months.

Step 4: Permanent Green Card

If Form I-829 is approved, the investor will receive a permanent green card. This allows the investor to live and work in the United States indefinitely.

Factors That Can Affect the Timeline

While the estimated processing times for Form I-526 and Form I-829 are currently 10 to 18 months, there are factors that can affect the timeline for the EB5 visa process.

Country of Origin

The country of origin can play a role in the timeline for the EB5 visa process. The USCIS has a limit of 7% of visas per country, so investors from countries with high demand may experience longer wait times.

Source of Funds

The source of funds for the investment can also affect the timeline. If the source of funds is not clearly documented, the USCIS may request additional evidence, which can delay the process.

Regional Center vs. Direct Investment

Investors can choose to invest through a regional center or through a direct investment. Regional centers are pre-approved by the USCIS and can offer a more streamlined process. However, direct investments may offer more control over the investment and potentially a faster timeline.

EB5 Investment Options

There are two main options for EB5 investments: regional centers and direct investments. Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Regional Centers

Regional centers are designated by the USCIS and offer pre-approved investment opportunities. These centers typically have a specific geographic focus and may offer a more streamlined process for investors.

Direct Investments

Direct investments involve investing directly in a new commercial enterprise. This option may offer more control over the investment, but investors will need to conduct their own due diligence and may experience a longer timeline.

Real-World Examples

To better understand the timeline for the EB5 visa process, let’s look at two real-world examples.

Example 1: Regional Center Investment

John is a UK investor who wants to obtain a green card through the EB5 visa program. He decides to invest through a regional center in a new commercial enterprise located in a TEA. John files Form I-526 in January 2020 and receives approval in June 2023. He then files Form I-829 in March 2025 and receives approval in August 2026. John now has a permanent green card and can live and work in the United States indefinitely.

Example 2: Direct Investment

Sarah is also a UK investor who wants to obtain a green card through the EB5 visa program. She decides to invest directly in a new commercial enterprise located in a non-TEA. Sarah files Form I-526 in January 2020 and receives approval in June 2023. She then files Form I-829 in March 2025 and receives approval in August 2026. Sarah now has a permanent green card and can live and work in the United States indefinitely.

Conclusion

The timeline for the EB5 visa process can be lengthy, but the end result is a green card and the opportunity to live and work in the United States. UK investors should carefully consider their investment options and be prepared for a longer wait time. By understanding the timeline and potential factors that can affect it, investors can make informed decisions and successfully navigate the EB5 visa process.

HOW WE HELP CLIENTS

Global Immigration Partners | EB5 Visa Processing Time: Duration and Expectations for UK Applicants

Global Immigration Partners PLLC is a specialized immigration law firm. Through our international presence we have specialist knowledge of the specific procedures in multiple embassies and consulates around-the-world.Book a free consultation

Find an Immigration Lawyer in UK

Global Immigration Partners PLLC, London
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London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
+44 020 3769 9624
Global Immigration Partners, PLLC
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Bucks, Great Britain United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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