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When am I eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship as an EB-5 investor?

According to USCIS’ website, it currently takes over three years for an I-829 to get approved. I have also heard that one can apply for U.S. citizenship five years after becoming a conditional permanent resident. Since the two-year conditional permanent residency plus three-year I-829 processing time is more than five years, does it mean I can apply for U.S. citizenship even before my I-829 is approved? If not, can I start applying for U.S. citizenship right after I get my I-829 approval?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would try filing before I-829 approval. If anything, USCIS will probably just hold the N-400 until I-829 approval, but at least you got it in queue!

  • Avatar

    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    Good question. Once you have fulfilled your residency requirement counting from the conditional permanent residency five years, you can apply 90 days before the end of the five-year period. You will not be approved, however, until your I-829 is adjudicated.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, one can apply to become a naturalized citizen of the United States, five years from the date they became a conditional lawful permanent resident of the U.S. Yes, technically, you could apply for U.S. citizenship even before your I-829 petition is approved.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, you cannot apply for naturalization to U.S. citizen until the I-829 is approved and the condition is removed from your permanent residency.

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may apply for citizenship within the 90-day window before the five-year expiration of your LPR, assuming you meet all requirements to file N-400. You count the five-year period from the date your conditional green card is issued. USCIS will not adjudicate your N-400 until I-829 is approved and conditions are removed.

  • Avatar

    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can apply even before I-829 is approved, but a pending I-829 will complicate the process; its adjudication is generally required before one's N400 is approved.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you may apply for U.S. citizenship four years and nine months after grant of conditional residence even if the I-829 is pending. However, citizenship will not be approved until the I-829 is approved.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS will not approve your naturalization until the I-829 is approved, so in many cases by the time the I-829 is approved, you have the four years and nine months of residence needed to file.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can't apply for naturalization until your I-829 has been approved. Generally, you can apply for naturalization if you have been a permanent resident for five years if you meet other accompanying requirements. Consult an immigration attorney for proper calculation of your residency status and other requirements.

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