Advice
May 18, 2024
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What is the I‑829 petition for EB‑5 visa in the US

When the investor comes to the US with an EB‑5 visa, they get a so‑called conditional Green Card. Unlike the usual Green Card, it only allows you to stay in the U.S. for two years.

To get a permanent Green Card, the investor needs to file an I‑829 petition. However, it is only possible if their conditional Green Card expires in less than 90 days.

Albert Ioffe
Albert Ioffe

Legal and Compliance Officer

I-829 petition for the investors in the US

What is the I-829 petition for EB-5 visa in the US

What is I‑829 petition and who needs to file it

I‑829 is a petition for foreign investors who came to the U.S. on an EB‑5 visa. This is an investment program: to get residency, the applicant needs to invest in regional projects and create 10 skilled jobs.

The form is filled out by applicants who have already filed an I‑526 petition and received a conditional Green Card for 2 years. The goal of I‑829 is to remove conditions from the Green Card and make it permanent.

The form contains 11 pages with both general questions about the applicant and questions regarding investment. For example, one of the questions requires that you indicate the number of full-time direct employees in the investment project.

I-829 form to the United States

These are the first two pages of the I‑829 petition. You can download the full version on the USCIS website.

Usually, investors use the help of immigration lawyers to avoid mistakes in filling out the form. A petition takes three years to process, so it’s better to ensure that it is completed in the right way.

The petition is only filed once by the main applicant. Spouses and children aren’t required to have separate forms; it’s enough to mention them in the main I‑829 application.

Documents required to apply for I‑829

Along with the I‑829 form, the investor needs to provide supporting documents. The investor sends copies of the following documents to the address indicated at the USCIS website.

  1. Copies of the front and back of the Green Cards of the primary applicant, spouse, and children.

  2. Proof of investment. Document that can prove applicant has invested the required amount of money into the U.S. economy. Bank statements and investment agreements are suitable.

  3. Proof that investor kept their investment throughout the conditional Green Card period. Proof examples include receipts, bank statements, contracts, business licences, and tax returns.

  4. Proof that investor created 10 full-time skilled jobs. USCIS also considers cases when a business is about to create enough jobs within a reasonable time. A list of possible supporting documents includes payroll records, tax records, and copies of I‑9 forms.

  5. Criminal record for the period of living in the US with a conditional Green Card. However, you don’t need to submit traffic fines if the fine is under $500 or only affects points on the driver’s licence.

What are the I‑829 filing fees

The filing fee for an I‑829 petition is $3,750. There are no additional fees for family members included in the application; the investor makes the payment only once.

A biometric services fee of $85 is also required. All applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must be fingerprinted at the local office. The visit date is usually scheduled during the application process.

On the USCIS website, you can always check the current fees for the I‑829 form and biometric services.

Individual cost calculation of the US EB-5 visa

Individual cost calculation of the US EB-5 visa

Processing time of I‑829 petition

The I‑829 application process takes around 3 years, as indicated on the USCIS website. This is much longer than the expiration date of a conditional Green Card, but in this case, the document is extended.

The investor retains resident status while the petition is pending. Once an investor fills out Form I‑829, the Green Card is extended for 2 years. It can then be extended for another year if necessary.

When the documents are ready, they will be sent to the investor’s home address in the States. In the event that the investor moves to another location during these 3 years, they need to notify USCIS and provide their new home address.

Why is it crucial to file I‑829 petition in time

The investor needs to file an I‑829 petition at least 90 days before the Green Card expiration date. Just count 3 months from the expiration date — that is the date from which you can apply for an I‑829.

For example, if your Green Card expires on August 17, 2028, then you can start filing I‑829 on May 17, 2028.

The investor may face problems with their immigration status if they fail to file I‑829 within 90 days. In this case, the investor may be considered an illegal resident of the U.S. and deported.

Why can the I‑829 petition be denied

The U.S. immigration office denied 15% of I‑829 petitions in 2023. There are some reasons why investors don’t manage to get a Green Card even after making an investment. The most common reasons are failing to support the business or failing to create 10 jobs during the time spent in the U.S.

To avoid I‑829 denial, it is important to select an approved EB‑5 project with a good reputation so the investment is not wasted for nothing.

It is a good idea to conduct thorough research to find out the financial viability of the project. In addition, make sure to check that they have a track record of successfully completing similar projects. You may also use the help of lawyers to choose a worthy EB‑5 project.

Key takeaways on the I‑829 petition

  1. When the investor comes to the US with an EB‑5 visa, they get a so-called conditional Green Card. To make the Green Card permanent, the investor needs to file an I‑829 petition.

  2. Along with the petition, the investor needs to provide proof of investment and the creation of 10 skilled jobs within the time spent in the U.S. with a conditional Green Card.

  3. The filing fee for I‑829 petition is $3,750. In addition, all applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must attend biometric appointments. The service fee is $85 per person.

  4. The I‑829 application process takes around 3 years. The investor retains resident status while the petition is pending.

  5. The investor needs to file an I‑829 petition within 90 days before the Green Card expiration date.

  6. To avoid denial, look up trustworthy EB‑5 projects with experience in your area. You may need the help of experienced lawyers to choose the right EB‑5 project.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain a EB-5 visa to the USA?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain a EB-5 visa to the USA?

Frequently asked questions

  • What is an EB-5 visa?

    EB‑5 visa is an investment program for people who want to move to the United States, most commonly to do business there. To get a visa, the applicant needs to invest at least $870,000 in a regional project and create 10 skilled jobs.

    Under the terms, the investor and family members get U.S. permanent residency status, the right to work, study, get medical treatment, establish a company, and the right to get a U.S. passport after 5 years of living in the country.

  • What is the I-829 form used for?

    I‑829 is a special form for investors who came to the US on an EB‑5 visa. When investors come to the country, they get a conditional Green Card valid for only 2 years. The petition is used to make the Green Card permanent.

  • What happens after filing I-829?

    After you file a petition and send it to the immigration office, there are two more steps to take: get a conditional Green Card extension and attend a biometrics appointment. USCIS should notify you by mail about both the extension and the date of your biometrics appointment.

  • What is the fee for I-829?

    The filing fee for an I‑829 petition is $3,750. There are no additional fees for family members included in the application; the investor makes the payment only once.

    A biometric services fee of $85 is also required. All applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must be fingerprinted at the local office. The visit date is usually scheduled during the application process.

  • How long does it take to process an I-829 petition?

    It usually takes up to three years. Investors and their family members keep permanent residency status while I‑829 is processed; they get an extension for a conditional Green Card. When the procedure is done, you will receive a document.

    When the documents are ready, they will be sent to the investor’s home address in the States. In the event that the investor moves to another location during these 3 years, they need to notify USCIS and provide the new home address.

  • Can I apply for U.S. citizenship while my I-829 is pending?

    To apply for U.S. citizenship, you need to get a Green Card and have spent five years in the United States since then. So, in fact, you cannot apply while I‑829 is pending, because in this case you probably will not meet this requirement.