Removal of Conditions
The I-829 petition is the final step in the EB-5 process and is used to remove the conditions on an EB-5 investor's permanent resident status. When an investor obtains conditional permanent resident status (approval of Form I-526) through the EB-5 program, their Green Card is valid for two years. To remove the conditions on their permanent residency and obtain a 10-year Green Card, the investor must file an I-829 petition within 90 days of the expiration of their conditional Green Card.
The I-829 petition requires the investor to provide evidence that they have fulfilled all of the requirements of the EB-5 program, including maintaining their investment in the qualifying EB-5 project and creating the required number of jobs for U.S. workers. This Green Card can be renewed indefinitely, allowing the investor and their dependents to maintain permanent residency in the United States.
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.”
The petition should be filed by an immigration lawyer within 90 days of the end of the investor's two-year conditional residency. The filing fee for Form I-829 is $3,750, and a biometrics fee of $85 is required for each petitioner and dependent between the ages of 14 and 79.
To satisfy the requirements of I-829 petition, the EB-5 investor must provide evidence for the following:
Investment: Proof that the investor had invested or was actively in the process of investing the required capital, which may include audited financial statements or similar documentation.
Sustainment of Investment: Evidence that the investment was sustained for two years from the time of investment may include bank statements, invoices, receipts, contracts, tax returns, and quarterly tax statements.
Job Creation: Evidence that the new commercial enterprise directly created or is in the process of creating at least 10 full-time positions within a reasonable time. Jobs created after three years of conditional residency won't be considered unless extreme circumstances exist.
For direct job creation, payroll records, tax documents, and Form I-9 can serve as evidence. For indirect job creation, reasonable methodologies like multiplier tables, feasibility studies, and analyses of foreign and domestic markets can be submitted.
In addition, relevant documents submitted with Form I-526, such as the comprehensive business plan and economic-impact analysis, should be included if required to prove job creation.
Historical I-829 approval rates
According to data from the USCIS, the approval rates for I-829 petitions have been consistently high over the past several years. From fiscal year (FY) 2013 to FY 2021, the approval rates have ranged from 90% to 99%.
This is in contrast to the approval rates for I-526 petitions, which have been more variable and generally lower than those for I-829 petitions.