Complete Guide to EB-5 Documents


The EB-5 visa offers the chance to obtain permanent residency in the United States by investing in a job-creating project. Central to this process is gathering the required EB-5 documents, which is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth EB-5 visa application.

This comprehensive guide will help you prepare for your application, outlining the key EB-5 documents you need to help you prepare effectively.

Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor)

The first step to the EB-5 visa application is to submit Form I-526 to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be classified as an eligible immigrant investor. Form I-526 is submitted along with documentation presenting information about your investment project, source of funds, and eligibility.

Here is the essential evidence you will need for Form I-526, per the USCIS:

  • Form G-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative) – Submit this form if you will be represented by an immigration attorney, in which case they can act on your behalf, including filing for appeals or submitting additional evidence for you. Your lawyer must complete and sign this form.

  • Form I-526 – Ensure this is filled with complete and accurate information.

  • Cover letter – Though not required, the USCIS recommends the inclusion of a cover letter with an exhibit index, which will act as an introduction to your application supplemented by a list of your supporting documentation. Do not forget to sign it.

  • New commercial enterprise (NCE) evidence – These are your entity’s organizational documents, such as articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, certificate of limited partnership, business trust agreement, certificate evidencing authority to conduct business in a State, etc., depending on the type of entity you are using.

  • Project documents – Include the project’s transactional documents, such as escrow agreements, corporate bylaws, loan agreements, subscription agreements, etc. When in doubt, include it.

  • If applicable: targeted employment area (TEA) evidence – If you are investing $900,000 or the NCE is conducting business in a TEA, include a letter from the state government certifying the area where the NCE is principally doing business is a designated high unemployment area.

  • NCE investment evidence – These demonstrate your proof of investment, including bank statements showing the amounts deposited in the NCE’s U.S. accounts, evidence of property transfers for NCE use, evidence of the entity’s business activity (e.g., invoices, contracts, and purchases), etc.

  • Source of funds – You must prove your funds have been lawfully obtained. You can use five years of business tax returnsbank statements showing where the funds originated, wire transfer records, and any evidence that traces the investment capital from its source to the NCE.

  • Creation or maintenance of 10 full-time jobs – You can demonstrate this via a business plan that details your employment plan and timeline for no less than ten qualifying U.S. employees.

If employees are already hired, provide relevant tax records, Forms I-9, or other documents.

If you are investing in a regional center project, they can help by providing you evidence that your investment will result in the creation or maintenance of ten full-time jobs within the next two years.

  • NCE management evidence – You can show involvement in the NCE by providing a statement of your position title with job duty descriptions and documentation proving you are a member of the board of directors or a corporate officer.

For partnerships, you can prove that you are involved in policy-making or direct management.

  • For regional center projects: Provide Form I-924 (approval notice by the USCIS designating the regional center).

  • For regional center deference: Provide previously approved project documents, such as a business plan, economic analysis, and organizational and transactional documents.

Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status)

After securing conditional permanent residency, you must file Form I-829 to remove this conditional status and achieve unrestricted permanent residency.

Here are the EB-5 documents needed for a successful Form I-829 submission per USCIS:

  • Form G-28 – As previously discussed.

  • Form I-829 – Ensure this is filled with complete and accurate information.

  • Cover letter – As previously discussed.

  • Evidence of conditional permanent resident status – Provide a copy of your and your dependents’ conditional permanent resident cards.

  • If applicable: evidence of criminal history – If you have been arrested or detained for any reason since obtaining conditional permanent residency, provide evidence that no charges were filed, a complete incident record showing each incident’s disposition, or any related documents.

  • NCE establishment evidence – Provide a copy of federal income tax returns.

  • NCE investment evidence – Provide evidence that you are in the process of or have invested in the NCE, such as the NCE’s audited financial statements, bank statements, investment agreements, and other probative evidence.

  • Sustained investment evidence – Provide evidence that you have sustained your evidence throughout your conditional permanent resident status, including invoices and receipts, bank statements, business licenses, contracts, federal or state income tax returns, quarterly tax statements, audited financial statements, and other evidence.

  • Creation of ten full-time U.S. jobs – Provide evidence that you have created or maintained ten full-time U.S. jobs or that this can be met within a reasonable timeline. You can use tax documents, payroll records, Forms I-9, and other probative evidence.

For regional center projects, indirect jobs can be proven through a methodology showing that the business indirectly created at least ten full-time U.S. jobs. This can include feasibility studies, multiplier tables, market analyses, or other economically or statistically valid projections.

For a troubled business, provide evidence that the NCE maintained existing employees following your admission as a conditional permanent resident.

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