What is Consular Processing?

If the EB-5 investor is located outside the United States or is otherwise not eligible to file the I-485 application to adjust status when the I-526 petition is approved, then the EB-5 investor must apply for consular processing to obtain the immigrant visa.


After the I-526 petition is approved, notice will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will send a fee invoice. The EB-5 investor will submit civil documents of the investor and accompanying spouse and unmarried children under 21 and submit Form DS-260. After the appropriate fees are paid and documents submitted, NVC will schedule an interview at the appropriate U.S. Consulate if a visa is available based on the EB-5 investor’s (or spouse’s) country of birth.


During this process, the Consulate will determine if the EB-5 investor is admissible to the United States. This includes a criminal background check, visa history, medical condition, etc.


At the interview, the Consular officer should not seek to re-adjudicate the I-526 petition, but they may ask about the EB-5 investment, project and other details, etc. The immigration attorney should prepare the EB-5 investor for the consular interview.


The entire process should take approximately 3-12 months, depending on the consulate. Upon receiving the immigrant visa, the EB-5 investor has up to 6 months to enter the U.S. and start the 2-year conditional residency period.