Form I-526, Petition by Alien Investor, is the form you fill out to begin the process of immigrating to the United States in the EB-5 category based on a qualifying investment into a US commercial enterprise. In addition to Form I-526, you must assemble a complete application package with documentation that proves your eligibility. Following is a list of required and recommended documentation needed to support your application.
- Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative: This form is required only if a lawyer is helping you with your application package (which is highly recommended, due to the complex nature of the applicable legal principles and the required documentation). Your lawyer must complete and sign this form.
- Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur: Fill out this form in accordance with the instructions.
- Cover Letter: The cover letter is recommended but not required. It should provide a brief introduction to your application together with a list of supporting documentation. Your immigration attorney can prepare this for you, and you should sign it.
- Evidence of the establishment of a new commercial enterprise. This means the organizational documents of your entity such as Articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, Certificate of Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization. etc., depending on the type of business entity you are using.
- Fundamental project documents such as corporate bylaws, merger/consolidation agreements, escrow agreements, share subscription agreements, loan agreements., etc. When in doubt, include it.
- If you are investing at least $900,0000 (the absolute minimum) but less than $1.8 million, you must submit evidence that your investment is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). This means you must prove that you are investing into an area that is outside any city with a population of 20,000 or more, or that the area has been designated a high unemployment area (a letter from the state government can establish this designation).
- Proof of your investment, such as bank statements showing the transfer of cash into the entity’s bank account, evidence of the transfer of relevant property to the entity, evidence that you have placed funds into escrow for use by the entity if your application is approved, evidence of business activity by the entity (such as invoices), etc.
- Evidence that you obtained your investment property lawfully, such as five years of business tax returns, bank account statements, securities statements, etc. You must also provide documentary evidence that traces this investment capital from its source all the way to the entity you are investing in. The exact nature of this documentation depends on the source of your funds.
- Evidence that the entity will create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs over the next two years. This evidence might include documentation such as a business plan establishing the need for at least 10 employees and tax records for employees already hired.
Special rules apply if you are investing in an existing entity. If you are investing in a regional center, they can help you support your claim that your investment will result in the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs over the next two years.
- Evidence that you will be involved in the management of the entity, such as a statement of your job duties and documentation proving that you are a member of the entity’s board of directors. This requirement differs somewhat if you are investing in a regional center.
- Approval notice issued by a regional center, if you are investing through a regional center. The regional center might also help you with other documentation. If the regional center has established a project in an already-designated TEA, for example, it can provide you with documentation supporting your investment destination’s status as a TEA, thereby relieving you of the burden of proving it on your own.
This list is not necessarily complete – consult your lawyer for details. Remember to keep copies of all of the foregoing documentation for your records!