For foreign nationals with plans to make the United States their new home, the EB-5 investment program has been a historically safe option. Contrary to other, riskier options, the EB-5 investment program has proven to be a reliable and transparent means of achieving U.S. permanent resident status, not only for investors, but for their immediate family members as well.
One aspect of the EB5 investment program that has caused inconveniences is the lengthy processing times. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been known to take more than two years to process Form I-526 petitions. In contrast to other immigration pathways, two years may not seem like a long time. But for an investor who is eager to begin their life in the United States, or whose children are approaching the age limit to qualify under their parents’ EB-5 visa, the more efficiently their petition can be adjudicated, the better. In addition, investors’ projects are also at risk of having to make significant changes to their project should they run into unforeseen challenges. This is far more likely to occur with longer processing times.
Thankfully, project developers have the option to significantly decrease processing times. USCIS offers expedited status for projects that meet certain criteria.
Projects of Interest to the U.S. Government
An EB-5 investment project that is granted expedited status can decrease its processing times from years to mere months. The general time period is anywhere from four to ten months, which is significantly better for the investors, and also for the project itself. Developers have faster access to the investment capital. In addition, the sooner the project can get underway, the sooner the economy can see the benefits of the project, including job creation.
How Does a Project Gain Expedited Status?
Expedited EB-5 investment projects are rare. To qualify for expedited status, the project must meet at least one of several specific criteria. The most prominent criterion is that the project must be one that is of urgent interest to the U.S. government. Examples of such projects include a new housing development for displaced families or an addiction treatment center to combat the opioid crisis.
Why Should Investors Consider Expedited EB-5 Projects?
Very few projects are granted expedited status. Foreign nationals who are presented with the opportunity to invest in one should certainly consider it—expedited processing could allow investors and their families to be granted U.S. permanent resident status far sooner.
Expedited EB-5 investment projects are a great opportunity, but also carry a greater financial and immigration risk for investors. Foreign nationals who plan to invest in an expedited project should begin the process as soon as possible, contact an immigration attorney and do their due diligence to find the best direct investment project for them.