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How will I-526 approval affect processing times for subsequent investors in a project?

I am considering immigrating through the EB-5 program regional center route. The regional center said my I-526 processing time will be less than the 16 months announced by USCIS because the first I-526 petition of the project has already been approved. Is a faster processing time feasible if a project already has an approved I-526? In real practice, approximately how long will it take for my I-526 to be processed?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS has stated that it will afford deference to previously approved I-526 petitions when reviewing the EB-5 project and regional center documentation for later-filed I-526 petitions. The source of funds review will be done regardless. Currently, the processing time is 14 months, and while you may hope that it would take less time due to previously-approved I-526s, there really can be no guarantee that it will take less time.

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, an exemplar or an initial I-526 approval will not reduce the wait time for your I-526. As of December 2014, the average processing time for I-526 remains at 14.7 months.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A faster time should be expected if the project is already approved, but you cannot count on it. I would use the 16 month time span.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The estimated current processing time is 16 months. There are certain circumstances in which the investor can legally request expedited processing of the I-526 petition.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When filing an EB-5 petition based on a regional center, the approval of the first petition means that generally speaking, the documentation put together by the project meets the USCIS standard. As such, for subsequent EB-5 regional center investors, the thing that USCIS will focus on is the source of funds requirement. The timing that you are looking at to complete everything is over 1 year (16 months is a decent estimate).

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An initial I-526 approval is not a guarantee set in stone that other I-526s will be approved faster than the posted processing times. We have seen regional center cases approved as quickly as under 2 months or as long as up to 1.5 years. This largely depends on the increasing volumes of I-526s being filed and some other factors.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is difficult to predict I-526 processing times because the USCIS gives only an average processing time for all I-526 petitions. In my experience, I-526 petitions filed in a regional center project with existing I-526 petitions are processed more quickly than the average processing time.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is true that if a project is already approved, the processing time could be shorter as USCIS only needs to review your Source of Funds rather than the project and SOF. However, there is a difference in just one I-526 being approved over the exemplar or the majority of I-526 petitions being approved in the same project. Finally, USCIS also maintains that they are reviewing cases on first come first serve basis so there is no guarantee that your petition will be approved much quicker. I have had clients who received the approvals within 1-3 months in an approved project where the majority of the I-526s were approved. Realistically, you should forecast at least 12 months for the adjudication.

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    Emre Ozgu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is some truth to the regional center''s position that subsequent petitions get processed quicker. I would say 9-12 months is a fair guesstimate on how long it will take. I have heard other lawyers tell clients 3-6 months but I think that is being overly optimistic and would not plan accordingly.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is very hard to predict. If previous I-526s have been approved, it can speed your processing time, but no guarantees. No one can adequately predict USCIS and remember the times they give you are an average, not a real projection on your particular case. No one can give you a date certain.

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    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    I believe you may be the beneficiary of some economy in time here, but not to a substantial extent.

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