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How quickly is my investment returned if I cancel my EB-5 application?

I invested $500,000 in an EB-5 project in Florida over a year ago, and my permanent residence status has already been approved. The next step is an interview at the U.S. consulate in Bahrain. However, my wife and I are unable to spend the required amount of time in the United States. How can we spend less than 180 days per year in the United States within the rules of the EB-5 program? May we split up our total amount of required days in the United States throughout the year? If I have to cancel my application now, how quickly can I recover my investment?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    During your conditional residency period, you will need to actually be physically present in the United States. You may be found to abandon your status if you remain outside the United States for more than one year (and sometimes even if less than a year), or moving to another country intending to live there permanently. The 180-day rule is considered when applying for citizenship, and actually requires you to not be outside the United States for a period of 180 days or more. If you decide to withdraw your application for conditional permanent residency, you may do so, but a refund from the entity into which you invested will depend on the specific terms of your agreements with them. Some entities provide for refunds for any reason of withdrawal, while some are more restrictive.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no required number of days to be in the United States to maintain your green card. You must maintain your intention to permanently reside in the United States in order to keep your green card. If you spend a significant amount of time outside of the United States for business or personal reasons, that is okay, as long as you have proof of your permanent residence in the United States (bank accounts, own property, have a job here, driver’s license, etc.) and you do not spend more than 180 days outside of the United States during any single trip. If you plan to spend more time outside of the United States, you may be able to apply for and obtain a reentry permit, which allows you to remain outside of the United States for up to two years and reenter the United States as a permanent resident. Finally, if you wish to cancel your application, your rights and responsibilities will be governed by the agreements you signed with the EB-5 investment project. You should be represented by legal counsel that can review these documents and advise you of your legal rights in the event you wish to cancel.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Terms for return of your investment should be outlined in the offering documents you have signed with your regional center project. Most projects do not allow for return of the capital contribution until after I-829 is approved (when you remove conditions and obtain a permanent green card). If you intend to stay outside the United States for longer than one year, you should obtain a reentry permit before you depart the United States. This allows absences up to two years. Frequent and prolonged absences from the United States may affect your permanent residence and CBP may consider that you have abandoned it unless you can demonstrate ties to the United States as your permanent home rather than your home country. Absences will also affect your eligibility to apply for U.S. citizenship in four years and nine months after the date your conditional green card is issued. Please consult your immigration attorney.

  • Avatar

    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Normally, if your I-526 petition is denied, most regional centers will refund the investment to you. However, in terms of withdrawing from the EB-5 process by the investor himself/herself, you should refer to the PPM or investment agreement such as the LP agreement. You can also discuss with the refund process with the regional center.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    How much you may get back depends on the terms of the documents you signed with the project (most don''t allow any refund after the I-526 is approved). You are fine to spend time out of the United States after getting the green card, but there are precautions. If you are going to be gone more than 180 days at a time then apply for a reentry permit first which allows an absence of up to two years. You should continue to pay taxes on your worldwide income and other requirements.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Conditional permanent residency requires you to consider the United States as your permanent home. If you decide to leave the United States you are viewed as only visiting another country. To maintain your residency and to avoid presumptions by the USCBP inspectors upon your return to the United States at the port of entry regarding the potential abandonment of your residency, you should not spend more than six months outside the United States.

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    Karen-Lee Pollak

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When your investment is returned, including in the event of cancellation depends on the contract you signed with the regional center. In regard to the time you spend in the United States to maintain permanent residency, you should not be out of the United States for more than 179 days at a time ideally, but certainly no more than 364 days. You do not have to be in the United States for 180 days at a time. If you visit for a few days every 179 days and file U.S. tax returns annually you should be fine.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not an EB-5 rule. It is a requisite of Permanent Residency. As far as I know there is no rule that the 180 days be continuous. I would seek the advice of an immigration attorney to assist you in your specific situation.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Many EB-5 investors are people with substantial business interest overseas, and thus, may not be able to spend that much time in the United States. The requirement to spend 180 days per year is not an EB-5 requirement, but a requirement to reside more than half of the five years as a Legal Permanent resident before applying to become an U.S. citizen. If you could come and go between your country and United States without staying out more than six months at one time, you will not be seen as abandoning your green card. Also, if you must leave and stay out for extended time for business, you may be able to obtain a Reentry Permit before leaving so that you could stay out up to two years without abandoning your residency. These are issues that you should consult with your immigration attorney who helped you with the EB-5 process. Giving up your EB-5 case so close to getting your immigrant visa just because you cannot stay in United States for 180 days or more is a shame.

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