Frequently Asked Questions about EB-5

Q: Who may apply for EB-5?

A: Anyone with sufficient investment funds. Investors in EB-5 need not have a particular background or any experience. However, their funds must be legally obtained.

Q: How long does it take for an EB-5 applicant to get a Green Card?

A: Usually, the whole process takes about one to one and a half years for an EB-5 applicant to get a conditional green card. It takes about six months to receive approval for an I-526 petition. Petitioners living in the United States should then expect to wait another six months for approval of their adjustment of status, but this cansometimes take longer if the background check does not clear in a timely manner. Petitioners living abroad at the time of application should apply for an immigration visa through an American consulate office, a process which also takes approximately six months. After approval of the immigrant visa through consular processing, the investors and their families receive conditional green cards within a few weeks or months of arrival into the United States.

Q: Can I use retained earnings as investment?

A: Retained earnings are not considered an investment.

Q: Is a promissory note an investment of capital?

A: An unsecured promissory note is not an investment of capital. The investment must be in real money. Alternatively, the investor must demonstrate that the note is secured by his or her property and the secured note is used by the enterprise to receive funding as an investment.

Q: Can I use the money gifted by a parent or other relative for an EB-5 investment?

A: Yes, provided that you have paid applicable gift taxes. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual transaction and the gifted funds will not be given back after the green card is granted.

Q: Can I use money coming from funds in a joint account?

A: Yes, but investment can only come from joint accounts owned by the investor and his/her spouse. This does not extend to joint accounts held with other family members. The investor must establish that all funds come from accounts under his/her name.

Q: What is a "conditional" Green Card?

A: A conditional Green Card is a temporary Green Card valid for two years. An EB-5 investor first receives a conditional card before he/she is able to receive a green card without conditions. When the investor successfully applies for a removal of conditions, the investor and his immediate family members are given a permanent Green Card.

Q: How do I start the process?

A: Contact Zhang & Associates, P.C. by calling or sending an email to to set up an appointment.

Q: What documents must I prepare to process my investor Green Card petition?

A: Please see the evidence section of the EB-5 page for a list. Note: this is not an exhaustive list. Other documents may be required and vary on a case-by-case basis.

Q: In your experience, how much documentation will I need?

A: As much documentation as possible. For example, it is better to provide too much information about the source of your funds rather than too little, because the USCIS examines this aspect of your application very thoroughly.

Q: Are EB-5 visas available to people from any country in the world?

A: Yes, barring any issues of inadmissibility.

Q: Does the Child Status Protection Act apply to the EB-5 program?

A: Generally, yes. According to USCIS, “CSPA allows the time a visa petition was pending to be subtracted from an applicant for permanent residence’s biological age so that the applicant is not penalized for the time in which USCIS did not adjudicate the petition”. Essentially, your child needs to be unmarried and under age 21 at the time the I-526 is filed. For example, if it takes 6 months to adjudicate Form I-526, and your child is 20 years old and 11 months at the time of filing, then your child will still be eligible as a derivative based on this rule.