The EB-5 investor visa is intended for foreigners that are interested in immigrating to the United States but do not wish to do so through drawn-out visa methods that require familial ties or finding employment. Currently, the EB-5 investor visa is the quickest way to permanently immigrate to the United States.
Once a potential EB-5 recipient has completed their I-526 petition with the aid of an experienced regional center and immigrant lawyer, and it has been accepted, they must then complete their EB-5 consular interview. The United States embassy or consulate will contact each applicant regarding their interview date and what necessary documentation will be reviewed during the interview. It is important that each EB-5 applicant has his or her application in excellent order so that all financial and legal documents will be at the ready for the interview process.
In order for your petition to be approved and your EB-5 visa issued, the interviewing immigration officer must be confident that the data in your application is correct and that you have been truthful in all the information provided. Much like other visa type interviews, this interview is needed in order to provide in-person verification of all documentation.
It is incredibly important that all EB-5 applicants know the fundamentals of the project they are investing in, the status of the project, and the dates on which each step of the EB-5 application was filed. Applicants that work with an established regional center will have been briefed on the details of the project and will be able to provide the immigration official with the answers to the questions they may ask regarding the project. An EB-5 applicant must never lie or mislead an immigration officer during an interview, as this will likely lead to petition rejection and visa denial.
Examples of possible interview questions are as follows:
- What is the name of the project that you are investing in or have already invested in?
- How was the investment for your EB-5 investor visa obtained? Do you have documentation confirming how these funds were made or received?
- What is your current United States immigration status?
- Do you have a criminal history that hasn’t been reported?
- How did you choose the project into which you have invested? Can you describe the aim of the project?
Be prepared to show up for your interview early (at least 30 minutes) and understand that there may be a long wait, even after your interview time has arrived. Ensure that all documents are stored neatly and easily accessible, including marriage and birth certificates, land titles, business registrations, etc.
The list of necessary documents include:
- Bank statements or verification of EB-5 investment fund transfer (eg. a letter from the bank/lending office)
- I-526 petition cover letter and copies
- A copy of the I-526 petition that was filed
- A business proposal or plan for the chosen project, if applicable
- All original documents submitted for the petitions including original birth certificates, marriage certificates, government identification, etc.
- Any documentation provided by the regional center, such as project plans/blueprints, project updates, and/or project outlines
The interview itself can be unpredictable, with some immigration officers asking many questions, while others only ask a few. It is necessary to be ready to answer all pertinent questions from memory and to have supporting documents available to provide written answers if needed. On average, once the applicant has entered the interview office, it can be expected to have an interview lasting 30 mins. This time may be longer or shorter, depending on the type of interviewer and the quality of the information provided by the applicant.
For more information on how the EB-5 investor visa can be your answer to receiving a United States green card for yourself and your family, click here.