So far we have covered how to remove the conditions on a 2-year conditional green card, or permanent resident card, for those who have obtained that green card via marrying a U.S. citizen. However, EB5 visa applicants can also obtain a 2-year conditional green card that needs to be replaced via removing its conditional status. This step-by-step is dedicated to better understanding how to remove these conditions (also known as a green card replacement) with respective forms and procedures.
What is an EB5 Green Card?
An EB5 green card is for investors who are coming to the United States to support the U.S. economy by investing in a regional center. In order to be approved for these visas, applicants need to satisfy the following conditions:
1. According to USCIS, an EB-5 investor must preserve or create a minimum of 10 full-time positions for workers in the United States who qualify.
2. This creation, or preservation, of jobs generally must occur within two years of the investor’s conditional permanent residency.
3. The qualifying employees who are working on behalf of the investor have to be U.S. citizens or otherwise authorized to work in the U.S. (such as other green card holders).
4. The jobs that have been created on behalf of the investor are full-time positions, with employees working at least 35 hours per week, and are not temporary or seasonal jobs.
5. Invest $900,000 in a TEA—Targeted Employment Area.
The significance of understanding these requirements is that in order to have the conditions removed on the 2-year conditional green card approved to EB5 investors, these individuals will need to file an I-829, Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. This is similar to how married green card holders need to remove the conditionality of their PR card by filing an I-751.
The I-829 Petition, Filing Fee and Processing Time
According to EB5 Affiliate Network, in Q1 for 2019, the majority of cases received approval within the time frame of 24-30 months. However, we can also see that around 40 applicants waited between 30-36 months for a final decision on their I-829. Compared to other forms we have covered, this is an exceptionally long wait time. The good news it that investors with a conditional green card do not have to leave the U.S. while their case is being adjudicated.
One problem this creates is that you need to file for a travel document if you plan on leaving the U.S., as your application can be terminated if you “abandon” its status. For more information on applying for a travel document, see here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-131
The filing fee for the I-829 is $3750, plus an $85 Biometrics fee if applicable.
In addition, all applicants should file their I-829 by mail at the Dallas Lockbox Facility, the address is as follows:
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
P.O. Box 650889
Dallas, TX 75265-0889
For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
Applicants should also place the G-1145 eNotification form in their application so they can receive texts/email updates as to the status of their I-829. The form is available here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/g-1145.pdf