Washington State does not manage the program. Rather, EB-5 is a federal program administered by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). Thirteen regional centers have been approved by USCIS to do business in Washington and these centers offer a variety of services geared specifically to the immigrant investor.
Benefits of the EB-5 program include the ability for you, your spouse and family members under 21 to work in the U.S. and attend school. You are free to travel to and from your home country with no restrictions.
1. File Form I-526, the Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. One of the regional centers in Washington State can assist you with this process and ensure that all the proper documentation is in order and filed.
2. Once the form is approved by the USCIS, you will need to file one of the following forms:
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form is filed with the USCIS to adjust your status to conditional permanent resident within the United States.
- DS-230, which is the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration. This is filed with the Department of State to obtain your EB-5 visa for admission to the United States.
As an EB-5 investor, you and your derivative family members (spouse and children under 21) are granted conditional permanent status residence in the U.S. for a two-year period. This period begins with the approval of your I-485 application or entry into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa. As lawful permanent residents you, your spouse and children will be authorized to work and study in the U.S.
3. At least 90 days before the end of your two-year anniversary you must file Form I-829, the Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. If this is approved by the USCIS, all conditions will be removed from your EB-5 status and you and your family will be allowed to live and work in the United States permanently.
Forms are available in the Forms section of the USCIS website or by calling (800) 870-3676. You can also work with your regional EB-5 center to complete and submit the forms.
EB-5 is a federal program. As such, Washington State plays no role in vetting or administering projects that are managed by privately owned and operated regional centers in the state, nor do we control or monitor statements made by regional center operators when discussing their investments. As with any investment, performing due diligence is an essential part of the investment process and is the responsibility of the individual investors and their legal counsel.
Although bonds issued by Washington are backed by the full faith and credit of the state, Washington State does not guarantee, financially back or otherwise single out any investment made through the EB-5 program.
The Washington State Department of Commerce does not provide any assistance with EB-5 applications, processes or procedures. To facilitate your application, please contact an EB-5 program of your choice directly.
Requirements and Documentation
To make your application go as smoothly as possible, you will need to make sure you meet the following requirements and document it properly.
You must create at least 10 new permanent employment jobs for American workers, either directly or indirectly.
- The commercial enterprise must be for profit and be non-risk averse.
- It must have been obtained through lawful means and traceable.
- It can be obtained through relatives as gift as long as there is a proper gift letter on file.
- It can be an inheritance, as long as proper documents are provided.
- It can be from a real estate transaction with a proof of sale and records of proceeds.
- It must have been taxed with last five years of tax returns available showing income and taxes paid.
- It must have personal records, if the funds are from stocks, bonds or mutual funds.
- An existing business requires registration documentation and financial statements for the last five years.
If you are working with a regional center you may be required to provide additional information, including completing a consulting and subscription agreement, a private placement memorandum, escrow agreement, a waiver of conflict, bank statements and confirmation of funds transfer from your bank.
Investor Targeted Employment Areas
Reduced requirements for obtaining an EB-5 immigrant-investor visa are available to those investors who create the required number of full-time jobs in an area of the state where there is high unemployment. The Targeted Employment Area (TEA) designations are managed by the Department of Employment Security, which reviews applications on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the area meets the requirements of a high unemployment area (HUA), defined as an area that is part of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) that has experienced at least 150 percent unemployment when compared with the national average rate.
Want to know more about the TEA process for EB-5? Visit this link for more information.
While your actual experience may differ, following is the estimated time required for completing the EB-5 process.
1. Choose a regional center.
- Document lawful source of funds
- Invest the required amount of money
- File your EB-5 Petition Package with USCIS (Form I-526)
2. Await approval from the USCIS (takes 16 months or less).
- File Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) if you are already in the United States (Approval Wait: 6 to 8 months) – or
- Form DS-230 with the National Visa Center if you are not in the U.S. (Approval Wait: 6 to 12 months)
3. Receive Conditional Permanent Resident Status Approval for your 2-year Green Card.
4. File Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (Form I-829) 90 days before the end of your two-year Green Card period.
5. Receive your Permanent Green (6 to 12 months later).
6. File an Application for Naturalization (5 years after you receive your Conditional Green Card).
7. Naturalization approved and U.S. Citizenship granted (6 to 12 months later).