What Is The Processing Time When Applying for Investor Visa?
E-2 Investor Visa Processing Time.
As the proverbial phrase goes: “Patience is a virtue” and when applying for the E-2 or EB-5 visas, applying patience to the situation is needed. Both visa programs are available to foreign individuals interested in investing in the U.S. market. Although strikingly different in their requirements, both visas require an extensive amount of paperwork to accompany the petition for the visa.
E-2 Visa FORMS
If you review the application instructions found on USCIS.gov pertaining to the E-2 or EB-5 program, you may notice that each application process involves the submittal of required forms. These forms can be anywhere from one to fifteen pages in length. The forms request a lot of information such as personal identifying information, demographical data, financial information, and information about your family members. Please be sure to provide exact and accurate information to the preparer of your forms, to ensure that the forms are filled out correctly. The request for information may seem unnecessary, however as you will see in the evidence portion, providing the specific documentation is crucial to the success of your visa.
E-2 Visa EVIDENCE
Along with the standard form from USCIS.gov, the petition must also include documentation related to the requirements for evidence. These documents, such as bank statements, copies of your passport, proof of LLC, etc., must be included with your application form and may be requested by the preparer of your application. Please note that all documents submitted with the application forms must be in English. This means that a certified translator must translate into English any documents in your native language and both copies must be mailed along with your application. Keep this in mind when you are submitting evidence from your native country. It may take additional time to get the documents translated and sent to the preparer of your application. As the preparer gathers the information and organizes it according to the applications specifications, additional evidence may be needed. This is where the patience kicks in. It may seem frustrating to have to submit more information or to have someone delve deep into your finances, however, the preparer is only trying to provide as much evidence as possible to avoid the rejection of the petition or having the petition sent back for additional evidence.
Below is an example of evidence requirements for the EB-5 Visa- form I-526. As you can see, the supporting documents section may seem vague, however, experienced preparers understand the type of evidence that is needed to show that the requirements have been met.
Requirements Supporting Documents (Evidence)*
New Commercial Enterprise Evidence that you have invested in a “for profit” new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise:
• Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
• Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:
1. Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
2. Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs.
Evidence, if applicable, that your new commercial enterprise has been established and is principally doing business in a targeted employment area (TEA).
Managing the New Commercial Enterprise Evidence that you will be actively involved in the management of the new commercial enterprise (day-to-day or through policy).
Investment Evidence that you have invested or are in the process of investing the amount required ($1 million or $500,000).
Evidence that the investment funds were obtained through lawful means. Evidence that the capital used was legally acquired may be demonstrated by the following:
• Foreign business registration records
• Personal and business tax returns, or other tax returns of any kind filed anywhere in the world within the previous five years
• Documents identifying any other source of money
• Certified copies of all pending civil or criminal actions and proceedings, or any private civil actions involving money judgments against the investor within the past 15 years.
Job Creation Evidence that the new commercial enterprise will create at least 10 full-time positions—not including yourself, your spouse, sons or daughters, or any temporary or nonimmigrant workers, or individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States. You will need to submit a comprehensive business plan showing that, due to the nature and projected size of the new commercial enterprise, the need for not fewer than 10 employees will result. Include approximate dates, within the next two years, and when each employee will be hired.
Job Preservation—Troubled Business The same evidence which is mentioned above for job creation except instead of the evidence that the business will create at least 10 new jobs, you must submit evidence that:
The number of existing jobs is being or will be maintained at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years. Photocopies of tax records, Forms I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), or other relevant documents for the qualifying employees and a comprehensive business plan shall be submitted in support of the petition.
E-2 Visa WAIT TIMES
The wait time from the submittal of your petition depends on the office in which you submit your petition, the type of form submitted and the date in which USCIS receives the form. Average wait times for the EB-5 Investor visa is around 12 months and the E-2 Treaty investor visa can take around 2 months. Premium processing is also available to those individuals who file petitions with forms I-129 (such as E-2 investors) or form I-140. This premium processing time allows petitioners the ability to have their application reviewed in 15 calendar days. An additional fee and form I-907 are required in order to receive premium processing with your petition.
For all petitions, once you application is submitted and a receipt number is received, you can check the status of your application at: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard/ProcTimes.do
As with any process, wait times can be longer or shorter than the average time depending on the specific circumstances of your application.
E-2 Visa REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE
Although each person hopes that their petition is approved on the first submittal, there are circumstances that may require a request for additional evidence. In these instances, the reviewer may need additional documentation to prove that a certain requirement of the application was met. As the preparer reviews the request, he/she may request additional documentation from you. Again, the virtue of patience kicks in. Once the documents are received and reviewed by the preparer, the information is resent to USCIS. This process can add additional wait time to the overall application process.
In all, patience is essentially key to moving forward throughout the application process. It is hard to specify exactly how long the entire process will take, but your patience and assistance with getting the documentation, helps it move that much quicker.
For further information on the EB-5 or E-2 visa, please read our previous blog articles on Immigrationbiz.com or select services from the main page.
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Author: Maurica John