A student in the US on an F-1 visa can file for an EB-5 Green Card. The student does not have to return to his home country to obtain Green Card, but travel in and out of the US after I-526 filing will be very risky if Immigration at the airport determines that the student has no intent of returning to their home country after finishing studies.
While under lawful and legal F-1 status the investor / student may file anI-526 petition, obtain the approval and then file an application for conditional permanent residency with the USCIS.
The EB-5 process for the investor as stated can be accomplished without the student/investor having to leave the U.S.
Depending on the circumstances of the student, he may be able to adjust status from within the U.S. Returning to his home country to process through the U.S. consulate there would also work if he is willing to travel. That method requires a form, some supporting documentation, and an interview. Our law firm would prepare this applicant for either process and prepare him for any interviews required.