EB-5 Glossary of Terms
Adjustment of Status
This is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. This means that you may get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to complete visa processing.
Advance Parole, commonly referred to as a “travel permit,” allows you to travel back to the United States without applying for a visa. A transportation company (such as an airline) can accept an Advance Parole document instead of a visa as proof that you are authorized to travel to the United States. An Advance Parole document does not replace your passport. In most cases, you must have your advance parole document before you depart the United States.
EB-5 petitioners who reside in the U.S. in lawful status may file an application to adjust their visa to that of a lawful permanent resident (Form I-485) concurrently with the filing of their EB-5 petition (Form I-526E). The concurrent filing of Form I-526E and Form I-485 allows the EB-5 petitioner to remain in the U.S. during the time that his/her Form I-526E is adjudication pending.
Conditional Lawful Permanent Resident
A conditional permanent resident receives a Green Card that is valid for two years. To remove the conditions on the individual’s permanent resident status, he/she must file a petition within the 90-day period before his/her conditional Green Card expires.
EB-5 investors are admitted as conditional permanent residents for an initial period of 2 years. To seek removal of the conditions on permanent resident status, EB-5 investors must file a Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829) within 90 days prior to the 2-year anniversary of the date conditional permanent resident status was granted (for example, adjustment of status application was approved or investor admitted into the United States on an immigrant visa)
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
The Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program, sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
EB-5 Investment Thresholds - $800,000 and $1,050.000
The minimum investment requirement under the Immigrant Investor Program is $800,000 in “rural areas,” “high unemployment areas,” and for “infrastructure projects,” and $1,050,000 outside those areas/categories. Investments under the Immigrant Investor Program must be atrisk, i.e., while the investments can be secured by the assets of the project, the return of investment cannot be guaranteed.
EB-5 Reserved, Set-aside Categories
Approximately 10,000 EB-5 visas are allocated per year for immigrants and their dependent family members whose qualifying project investments result in the creation of at least ten (10) full-time jobs for U.S. workers. Of this total allocation:
• 20% of total visas are reserved for “rural areas”;
• 10% are reserved for “high unemployment areas”; and
• 2% of the visas are reserved for immigrant investment in “infrastructure projects.”
EB-2 and EB-3 visas
EB-2 and EB-3 are both employment-based immigrant visas. In most cases, sponsorship by a U.S. employer is required. The EB-2 visa is available to people with advanced degrees and/or exceptional ability. EB-3 is open to professionals (people with bachelor’s degrees or higher), skilled workers, and unskilled workers.
EAD (Employment Authorization Document - Form I-766)
A general term used to describe a card USCIS issues on Form I-766, Employment Authorization Card, to aliens who are authorized to work in the United States. The card contains a photograph of the individual and sometimes his or her fingerprint. An alien who has an EAD usually has open-market employment authorization, but there are exceptions.
F-1 Nonimmigrant Student
A person who has been admitted to the United States as a full-time academic student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school or other academic institution, or in a language training program. The student must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma or certificate, and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
F-1 Nonimmigrant Student — An alien who has been admitted to the United States as a full-time academic student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory academic high school, elementary school or other academic institution, or in a language training program. The student must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students; or
M-1 Nonimmigrant Student — A alien who has been admitted to the United States to participate in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training.
Green Card (Form 551)
Also known as a Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551, or alien registration card. USCIS issues Green Cards to aliens as evidence of their lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Although some Green Cards do not have an expiration date, most are valid for 10 years. Cards issued to individuals with conditional permanent resident status are valid for 2 years.
Immigrant visas are issued to foreign nationals who intend to live permanently in the United States.
Nonimmigrant visas (NIV)
Nonimmigrant visas are for foreign nationals wishing to enter the United States on a temporary basis – e.g., for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, study, or other similar reasons. NIVs usually ve a set end date.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
An act of Congress that, along with other immigration laws, treaties and conventions of the United States, relates to the immigration, temporary admission, naturalization and removal of aliens.
Lawful Permanent Resident
Any person not a citizen of the United States who is living in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as “permanent resident alien,” “resident alien permit holder,” and “Green Card holder.”
A person who files an immigration petition or application.
The receipt number is a unique 13-character identifier that USCIS provides for each application or petition it receives. USCIS uses it to identify and track its cases. The receipt number consists of three letters-for example, EAC, WAC, LIN, SRC, NBC, MSC or IOE-and 10 numbers. You can find it on notices of action USCIS has sent you.
Visa Retrogression occurs when more people apply for a visa in a particular category or country than there are visas available for that month.
A U.S. visa allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification, such as student (F), visitor (B) or temporary worker (H). A visa does not grant the bearer the right to enter the United States. The Department of State is responsible for visa adjudication at U.S. Embassies and Consulates outside of the U.S.
The visa bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers and indicates when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center
EB-5-Related Forms to Know
I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)
This form is used to apply for lawful permanent resident status if you are in the United States.
I-485 Supplement A
This form is used to provide USCIS with additional information if you are seeking to adjust status under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
I-526E, (Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor)
An investor pooling their investment with one or more qualified immigrants participating in the Regional Center Program uses this form to petition USCIS for status as an immigrant to the United States under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. A regional center investor may also use Form I-526E to report any amendments necessary to establish ongoing eligibility if the regional center, new commercial enterprise, or job-creating entity in which the investor has invested is terminated or debarred from participation in the Regional Center Program.
I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor)
The form is used by a standalone investor to petition USCIS for status as an immigrant to the United States under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended.
I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status)
This form is used by certain nonimmigrants extending their stay or changing to another nonimmigrant status; CNMI residents applying for an initial grant of status; F and M nonimmigrants applying for reinstatement; and, Persons seeking V nonimmigrant status or an extension of stay as a V nonimmigrant.
I-765, (Application for EAD - Employment Authorization)
Certain alien noncitizens who are in the United States may file Form I-765 to request employment authorization and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), commonly referred to as a “work permit.” Other alien noncitizens whose immigration status authorizes them to work in the United States without restrictions may also use Form I-765 to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an EAD that shows such authorization.
I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status)
This form allows conditional permanent residents who meet the full terms of the EB-5 program to remove the conditions on their U.S. residence and receive permanent green cards.
I-956 (Application for Approval of an Investment in a Commercial Enterprise)
As a designated regional center, CanAm Enterprises uses this form to request approval of each particular investment offering through an associated new commercial enterprise.
I-956 (Regional Center Annual Statement)
Designated regional centers use this form to provide required information, certifications and evidence to support their continued eligibility for regional center designation.