How the New DS-260 Form Affects EB-5 Investors

In September 2013, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that a required form for all individuals requesting an immigrant visa (green card) from the Department of State would be affected immediately.  The obsolete form, a paper-based version identified as DS-230 (“Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration”), has been replaced by Form DS-260 (retaining the same descriptive name) and can only be completed through an online website.  An accompanying form to the DS-230, the DS-3023 (“Change of Agent”), has likewise been replaced by an electronic form, now identified as DS-261 and retaining the same descriptive name.

After an EB-5 applicant submits his initial petition (Form I-526) to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and that petition is approved, the USCIS sends it to the National Visa Center (NVC).  Once received, the NVC assigns the petition a case number.  The petitioner then begins submitting the required materials, including a completed Form DS-260, and preparing for the visa interview appointment.  Since the DS-260 form must be completed electronically, the petitioner does not need to bring paper copies of this document for his interview; the NVC and consular posts will be able to access the information through its online systems.

The DS-260 online form allows an applicant to complete the required information at the applicant’s own pace.  Most information on the newer DS-260 electronic form is very similar to the outdated DS-230.  Applicants can save the progress of their forms and resume their session at a later time if necessary.

A few notable differences exist between the old form and its replacement: 

  • The old DS-230 asked the applicant to list the City, State/Province, Country and dates of his/her residences since the age of 16, and only for residences lasting longer than 6 months.  The new DS-260 requires the full address of every residence since 16, regardless of the length of stay at that residence.
  • The old DS-230 requested the month and year of past residences and employment while the new DS-260 requests the exact dates.
  • The old DS-230 asked for the dates of all previous visits to the U.S. while the new DS-260 requests only visits during the last 5 years.

Ideally, the centralization of the DS-260 in an electronic database will help to speed the progress towards obtaining a visa interview.  For the applicant, it offers an increasingly common form-fillable electronic format that can be edited over-and-again.  Applicants who have completed and submitted the old DS-230 forms and are awaiting visa interviews would not need to complete an electronic DS-260 form unless instructed to do so by the NVC or by the Consulate.

Are you applying for your green card based on an EB-5 visa?  Learn more!  At the Law Offices of Vaughan de Kirby, we know how important it is for you and your family to get the most up-to-date information on the EB-5 process. Our San Francisco EB-5 immigration attorneys can advise you on how changing EB-5 rules may impact new investors.  Call us today at 415-221-2345 for more information. 

Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney

EB-5 Regional Center Program Ends 12/22/17

Congress has extended the current Regional Center program to December 22nd, 2017, at which time it will sunset unless extended. We anticipate future legislation that will call for an increased investment amount and more stringent requirements. For this reason, we recommend to our clients that they take action under the current law if at all possible.

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