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Everything You Need To Know About An I-829 Petition

The road to obtaining permanent resident status in the United States can be complex, but one popular way to do so is through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

The I-829 petition is an important part of the EB-5 Program and your journey to permanent residency. But what exactly is it, and why does it matter?

Whether you’re an aspiring EB-5 investor or simply want to know whether you’ve completed this form correctly, this article is for you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about I-829 petitions and what you can do to ensure approval.

Understanding the Form I-829 Basics

Two years after a foreign national’s Form I-526 or I-526E has been approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they must submit Form I-829—or Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.

This form must be filed within the last 90 days of the two years that the investor’s conditional residency lasts. It’s a critical step in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and is essential for those who want to transition from conditional to permanent residency in the United States.

What is an I-829 petition?

The I-829 petition serves as a formal request to USCIS to remove the conditions that apply to the foreign investor’s permanent resident status. This conditional residence is usually obtained through the EB-5 Program and includes the investor’s family members.

The I-829 petition is a way to prove that the investor has fulfilled the requirements of the program and that their capital investment has contributed to the U.S. economy as intended.

Why do you need to file Form I-829?

The I-829 petition must be filed before you can get your green card. Without it, the investor’s conditional resident status would expire after two years, and they could lose their opportunity to become a permanent resident.

The petition shows USCIS that the investor has met the requirements of the EB-5 regional center program. If their Form I-829 is approved, lawful permanent resident cards—or green cards—are granted to the investor and their qualifying family members.

What accompanying documents do you need for Form I-829?

There are a number of supporting documents you need to collect and file with your I-829 petition. This includes:

  1. Proof of conditional lawful permanent resident status: Investors must include a photocopy of their conditional permanent resident card or EB-5 Visa to demonstrate their eligibility for filing an I-829 petition.
  2. Evidence of new commercial enterprise (NCE): To show that an NCE was established, investors should quarterly tax statements that document the enterprise’s tax compliance and continued existence, since the NCE must successfully remain in business during the two-year period when the investor has conditional residency status.
  3. Capital investment proof: Investors need to provide evidence that their capital was invested in the new commercial enterprise. This can include bank and audited financial statements or other acceptable forms of proof.
  4. Job creation verification: The EB-5 Program requires that 10 full-time jobs be created through the investment. Investors should include tax documents and payroll records to demonstrate that this requirement was met.
  5. Criminal history documentation (if applicable): If the applicant has a criminal record, they must provide the necessary legal documents. These may include court records, law enforcement statements, or records related to arrest, sentencing, probation, or parole.
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How Do You File Form I-829?

An immigration lawyer will typically prepare Form I-829 on your behalf. Let’s take a closer look at the process this might entail.

Step 1: Gather the necessary documents

Collect all necessary documents to support your petition. This includes evidence of your investment, job creation, and the continued existence of the new commercial enterprise.

Step 2: Complete Form I-829

Download and fill out Form I-829 from the USCIS website. Follow the form’s instructions carefully. Ensure accuracy and completeness in your responses—your immigration lawyer will help you with this step.

Step 3: Pay the filing fee

Pay the required filing fee of $9,525 before you file the form. Your payment can be made by check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Step 4: Mail your petition

Mail your petition package—which includes Form I-829, supporting documents, and proof of the filing fee payment—to the address specified in the form’s instructions, which are usually the USCIS Dallas, Phoenix, Chicago, or Elgin Lockboxes. It’s advisable to use a trackable mailing option for added security.

USCIS will send you a receipt notice to confirm they have received your petition. This notice will include a receipt number that you can use to track the status of your case online.

Step 5: Attend your biometrics appointment

USCIS may schedule a biometrics appointment to collect your fingerprints, photograph, and signature for background checks.

Step 6: Respond to requests for evidence (RFE)

If USCIS requests additional evidence or information, respond promptly to avoid delays in processing your petition. RFEs may, for example, involve providing missing documents, employment-based forms, proof of relationship, proof of eligibility, or undergoing a medical examination.

Step 7: Wait for USCIS’s decision

USCIS will review your petition and the supporting documents. If everything is in order and you meet the EB-5 Program requirements, your conditions will be removed, and you will obtain a permanent green card.

The processing times for I-829 petitions may vary, so it’s important to be patient. You can track the status of your application on the USCIS website.

Tips for Filing Your I-829 Petition

The I-829 petition process can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Here are a few things you can do to make this a bit easier:

  • Plan in advance: Begin preparing for your I-829 petition well before the 90-day filing window opens at the end of your two-year conditional residency period. Gathering the necessary documentation can be time-consuming.
  • Document your investment from the start: Maintain thorough records of your investment in the NCE. Keep copies of all relevant financial documents, bank statements, wire transfers, and evidence of the capital’s lawful source.
  • Seek legal counsel: Consider working with an experienced immigration attorney who specializes in EB-5 cases. They can provide guidance on the specific requirements and help you compile a strong petition package.
  • Stay informed: Keep yourself updated on any changes in immigration policies, procedures, or requirements that may affect your I-829 petition.
  • Maintain your immigration status while you wait: Until your I-829 petition is approved, continue to meet all the conditions and requirements of your conditional permanent resident status. This includes residing in the United States and avoiding extended trips abroad, especially if your conditional green card expires soon.

Ensure Your Future in the U.S. with EB5AN

Navigating immigration petitions can be a complex journey, but it’s a vital step toward obtaining your green card and forging your future in the United States.

At EB5AN, our team of seasoned immigration lawyers is here to simplify this process for you. We offer expert guidance every step of the way, from determining the required forms to be submitted to helping you compile your package of essential documents. Moreover, we can provide recommendations for suitable investments.

Don’t put off your future any longer. Reach out to us today by visiting our website or sending us an email. With EB5AN as your trusted partner, you can confidently navigate the path to permanent U.S. residency.