I am confused about whether the EB-5 green card is actually permanent. I thought that if I invest through EB-5, first I get a conditional green card, and then I get a permanent green card and then I can apply for citizenship if I want. But now I've read that the permanent green card is really a 10-year green card. What if I don't end up applying for U.S. citizenship? Would I have to leave the United States after 10 years? Will I have to reapply through EB-5 once my permanent green card expires?
The permanent resident card is issued for a 10-year period. Before it expires you can apply for a new card by providing required biometrics such as fingerprints and a new photograph. USCIS wants to make sure you have not committed any crimes which would make you removable from the United States. You do not have to apply for U.S. citizenship.
John J Downey
Once you receive your permanent green card, you will be eligible after three years to apply for citizenship. You are not compelled to apply. Many people have held green cards for years and never applied for citizenship. However, after 9/11 the attitude has changed and after the five-year date you may be challenged at a port of entry as to why you have not applied.
The permanent resident card is issued for a period of 10 years and is renewable before it expires on the 10-year mark. Certain circumstances may justify renewal even after it is expired. But it is best to file the I-90, Application to Renew or Replace Permanent Resident Card, a few months before if the investor does not wish to apply for citizenship.
Once your condition is removed from your residency, you are a resident permanently unless you obtain your citizenship, if you wish, five years after you first entered as a conditional resident. Because the circumstances and the look of a person could change a lot in 10 years, a 10-year card is issued so that they can take new biometrics and check to see if you had any criminal issues that may make you deportable, and issue a new card with an updated photo. Unless you had some criminal or other issues within that 10-year period that could make you deportable, this process should be merely a formality. Think of it like renewing your Driver's License - unless your driving record is so bad that they cannot issue you a new one, you will get it renewed.
Once granted LPR status, it is permanent, but also can be abandoned if you spend too much time outside the United States. The card itself must be renewed every ten years for security purposes. You are not reapplying for your status, just getting a new card.