Avoid EB5 Denial
Most unsuccessful EB-5 petitions fail due to the inability of the project to create a sufficient number of jobs, or through insufficient evidence for the source of your funds. If USCIS requires more evidence to satisfy either of these requirements, they will allow a 15 to 90 day window for you to submit additional material. If you fail to do so, or if the supplementary evidence does not satisfy EB5 investor visa program requirements, USCIS may deny your petition.
You may also receive a “Notice of Intent to Deny,” in which case you must satisfy any problems USCIS has with your application within two to four weeks.
If USCIS denies Form I-526 and does not grant you EB5 green card approval, despite your submission of additional evidence, you can appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office. You will require the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer to gain EB5 green card approval after an EB5 denial.
Time Frame: EB5 Green Card Approval
USCIS takes an average of two months to process EB5 I-526 petitions. The more time-consuming part of the process takes place before you submit your petition, as you hire an immigration lawyer, familiarize yourself with EB-5 guidelines, procure capital, explore investment opportunities, make your investment, and begin creating jobs.
You may obtain EB5 green card approval for conditional permanent residence status much earlier than you obtain a non conditional green card.
You may encounter processing periods of six to 12 months or more when you apply for conditional permanent residence while currently living in the United States. If you petition for an EB-5 investor visa while living outside the US, you may have to wait for six months or longer to receive your conditional EB-5 green card. This waiting period differs depending on the country where you currently reside.
Submitting form I-829 is the final step before gaining non conditional EB5 green card approval. When you submit form I-829 to have the conditions removed from your EB-5 green card, USCIS will likely take about four months to begin the examination of your petition. However, this time frame can vary unpredictable.
While Form I-829 is pending, you and your derivatives will receive an extension of your conditional resident status, in the form of I-551 stamps on your passports. With this stamp, you will be able to enjoy the extended benefits of conditional permanent residence associated with EB5 green card approval for up to 12 months, while USCIS considers your petition to remove conditions.
Work with your immigration lawyer to coordinate the timing of EB-5 program participation with your life plans, as your attorney will be familiar with the range of waiting periods you can expect at each stage. Careful planning with professional guidance can also increase your odds for EB5 green card approval.
Sample Cases of EB-5 Green Card Denial and Acceptance
Your EB5 investor visa can be denied for reasons you may not suspect, making it especially important that you work with an experienced immigration lawyer.
In one example, USCIS denied an EB5 green card applicant’s I-526 petition, even though it was very similar to others which were submitted and approved previously. The district court examining the case determined that this investor was denied because USCIS was not adequately convinced that the investment would meet the employment quota, regardless of the fact that other EB-5 investors had been approved for the same or very similar projects.
Keep in mind that although the court will not retroactively revoke the permanent residence status of investors, just because an application earned EB5 green card approval in the past does not mean their application would be approved today. Your immigration lawyer will understand the progression of EB-5 rules and regulations, and will help you avoid rejection for mirroring a previous flawed application.
Previous EB5 investors have faced criminal charges for using EB-5 investment funds illegally, or for illegal activity carried out by the project in which they invested. EB-5 green card applicants can face criminal charges for money laundering and immigration fraud. If you use your EB-5 investment for the purpose of “evading any provision of the immigration laws,” you risk conviction of a felony and may face five years in prison.
Your EB-5 petition can also be thrown out if you hire the wrong immigration lawyer. Precedents exist of immigration attorneys engaging in malpractice by falsely advising EB5 applicants, or withholding relevant information from USCIS, such as an EB5 applicant’s previous business relationship with the owners of the project in which he or she is investing. It is very important that instead of pursuing discounts, you choose a skilled and experienced immigration lawyer with a strong record of integrity and success.