What is an EB-5 I-526 Petition?

I-526 Petition Summary

  • Proves eligibility for EB-5 program
  • Must be filed in order to obtain EB-5 visa
  • Filed by immigration attorney
  • $1,500 filing fee
  • Link to the form on the USCIS website

Download the Form: USCIS Website: I-526 Form Definition of I-526 Petition The I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur is filed by the EB5 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 policymaking 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.

I-526 requirements

Many forms of evidence may be used to prove that all of I-526 petition requirements have been met by the applicant:

  • Requirement: an EB-5 eligible project has received/will receive the investment
  • Evidence: articles of incorporation, merger or consolidation certificates, joint venture or limited partnership agreements, state business certificates
  • Requirement: the appropriate investment amount has been made in the project
  • Evidence: bank statements, security agreements, promissory notes, loan or mortgage certificates, other evidence that sufficiently illustrates the investment amount
  • Requirement: the capital investment was obtained through lawful means (legal source of funds)
  • Evidence: five years of tax returns, pay stubs of the funds coming from earnings from an employer, bank account statements, securities statements (if the funds came from trading/bonds/stocks)
  • Requirement: the investment will create 10 fulltime U.S. jobs
  • Evidence: a business plan
  • Requirement: the investor will be involved with day-to-day management or will have a policy-making position within the EB-5 project
  • Evidence: corporate documents, statement and description of duties

Who files the I-526

I-526 petitions are usually completed by immigration attorneys. They are submitted to the USCIS California Service Center. The filing fee for the I-526 petition is $3,750. USCIS will occasionally request more evidence as needed. Investors are usually notified as to whether or not the petition has been approved by USCIS after a period of 10 to 15 months and potentially longer. USCIS processing times vary. EB-5 visa applicants can apply for U.S. residential status once the I-526 petition is complete. They do so by filing the form I-485 adjustment of status if they are already in the United States as a nonimmigrant, or by filing the DS-230 application if they are abroad. Learn about the EB-5 Process here: EB-5 Process Explanation