Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents, and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur that were acquired by lawful means.
Invest means to contribute capital. This can be in the form of cash, equipment, inventory, and any debt secured by assets owned by the entrepreneur for which he or she is personally and primarily liable. Any loan, promissory note, mortgage, or other debt arrangement secured by the assets of the newly created enterprise does not constitute an investment. Likewise, any loan or debt arrangement between the entrepreneur and the newly created enterprise does not constitute an investment.

It is important to note that a contribution of capital in exchange for a note, bond, convertible debt, obligation, or any other debt arrangement between the alien entrepreneur and the new commercial enterprise does not constitute a contribution of capital.

A targeted employment area is considered an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate.
To be initially eligible for the alien entrepreneur classification, an alien must show:

  • The establishment of a new commercial enterprise;
  • In which the alien will engage in a managerial or policy making capacity;
  • In which the alien has invested or is actively in the process of investing the amount required for the area in which the enterprise is located;
  • Which will benefit the U.S. economy; and,
  • Which will create full-time employment in the U.S. for at least 10 U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other immigrants authorized for employment.
No. A labor certification is not necessary since there is generally not an adverse effect on the wages of U.S. workers and since this is a classification based on investment and employment creation and not the alien’s employment-based skills.
In order to demonstrate that the capital was obtained through lawful means, the alien must provide:

  • Foreign business registration records;
  • Tax returns of any kind filed within the last five years in or outside the United States;
  • Other sources of capital;
  • Certified copies of any judgment, pending governmental civil or criminal actions, or private civil actions against the petitioner from any court in or outside the United States within the past 15 years.
  • Where the source of the capital is from the sale of real estate or a business, copies of the sale contracts and/or deeds will be required.
Step 1: The alien files a Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, with the USCIS.

Step 2: Upon approval of the I-526, the alien files Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if a visa number is available and the individual is in the U.S. If the alien is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, he or she will be notified and must complete the process at his or her nearest U.S. consulate office.

Step 3: The alien beneficiary is granted conditional permanent residency for a two-year period. They receive proof of permanent residence, an I-551 stamp, at the port of entry or at the local USCIS office, which is contingent upon whether or not the individual received an immigrant visa abroad or adjusted status in the U.S.

Step 4: Ninety (90) days before the two-year anniversary of being granted conditional permanent residency, the alien entrepreneur must file a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions.

No. The privilege of concurrently filing Form I-485 with an immigrant petition does not apply to the alien entrepreneur filing Form I-526.
Yes. The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an employment-creation alien can gain permanent residency based on the principal alien.

If dependents file subsequent to the principal alien filing the I-485, dependents must wail until the principal applicant receives a Form I-797, Notice of Action from the USCIS. Thereafter, dependents must include a copy of the principal applicant’s Form I-797 with their filings. The principal’s Notice of Action will facilitate matching dependent’s subsequent filings with principal’s file, thereby reducing the chances of delays in the file routing.

For removal of conditional residency status, Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, is submitted within the 90-day period preceding the second anniversary of his or her admission to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident.

Note: Petitioner’s spouse and children may be included in the petition to remove conditions.