What is the Form I-829 petition?
The I-829 petition is the last step of the EB-5 process. If provides proof that the petitioner has fulfilled all of the requirements of the EB-5 program.
A successful I-829 petition removes conditions of permanent residency. Upon approval, applicants are issued a 10-year Green Card that can be renewed indefinitely. In effect, the petitioner and their dependents now have permanent U.S. residency
Filing the petition
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows one petition to include all qualifying family members: “You may include your conditional permanent resident spouse or former spouse and children in your petition. If your spouse and children are not included on this Form I-829 petition, each dependent must file his or her own petition separately.”
An EB-5 immigration lawyer will generally prepare the petition.
The petitioner must file this petition in the 90-day period prior to the end of their two-year conditional residency.
The USCIS filing feel is $3,750 for Form I-829. Each petitioner and dependent between the ages of 14 and 79 must also pay a biometrics fee of $85.
Evidence to satisfy I-829 requirements
The petition must show that the EB-5 investor was invested or was actively in the process of investing the required capital. Evidence of investment may include an audited financial statement or other similar documentation.
Sustainment of investment
The investor must provide evidence that he or she sustained the investment throughout the period of conditional permanent residency. Evidence of sustainment may include bank statements, invoices, receipts, contracts, business licenses, federal or state income tax returns, and federal or state quarterly tax statements.
The investor must show that the new commercial enterprise directly created, or is actively in the process of creating, at least 10 full-time positions within a reasonable time.
Two years is from the start of conditional permanent residency is generally considered the baseline of a “reasonable time” period; jobs created more than three years after the start of conditional permanent residency will not be considered to be created within a reasonable time unless extreme circumstances are involved.
USCIS does not require that the jobs still be in existence at the time of I-829 filing, but that at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying employees were created as a result the investment and such jobs were considered permanent when created. To be considered permanent, jobs should be created with the intention to last at least two years.
For direct job creation, evidence may include payroll records, relevant tax documents, and Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for employment by the new commercial enterprise.
For indirect job creation, evidence may include reasonable methodologies, including multiplier tables, feasibility studies, analyses of foreign and domestic markets for any goods or services to be exported, and other economically or statistically valid forecasting proof.
Additionally, the investor must submit relevant documents previously submitted with Form I-526, including the comprehensive business plan and economic-impact analysis, if such documents are required to provide proof of job creation.
Historical I-829 approval rates
Traditionally, the vast majority of I-829 petitioners have been successful, with approval rates far higher than those for I-526 petitions.
From FY 2013 to FY 2021, I-829 approval rates have been in the 90% to 99% range: