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How quickly does USCIS process EB-5 RFE responses?

I submitted the I-526 petition and received the acknowledgement receipt from USCIS in February 2014. I then received an RFE request exactly one year after that. Our main concern now is how long USCIS will take to respond to our submission of the RFE? And since the RFE request took so long, what will happen to our I-829 if the I-526 is approved? Because of the slow processing time we do not know what to expect. Should we stop the EB-5 process and ask for a refund?

Answers

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    J Bruce Weinman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS does not give refunds. EB-5 regional center petitions are taking 12-18 months to process. I am not sure what you mean about the I-829 - you file the removal of conditions two years after you get your ''green card.''

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is difficult to predict with accuracy as to how long the USCIS will take for their decision to the investor's response to the RFE. It may only be a matter of weeks or months. Once the I-526 petition is approved, then the U.S. consulate processing will start and be adjudicated for conditional permanent residency. The conditional permanent residency will be issued for two years and three months before the I-829 petition can be filed to remove the conditions. It may take several months before the I-829 petition is approved.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Most RFE responses take about 30-90 days. You should consult your immigration attorney for further details.

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    Sara Wang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, there is no way to tell. Most of our clients' RFEs are responded to within 2-3 months of submission, but a couple of clients who are facing very simple RFEs have had their RFEs pending for over a year with no determination still. However, even if you pull out right now (depending on the project of course) most of the offering documents do not allow for a refund simply because you decided to stop the immigration process. Your investment may still be required to stay within the project for the full duration of the initial agreement, which are normally 5 years. I would consult your immigration attorney.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no standard processing time for USCIS to respond to a request for evidence (RFE). It depends upon many factors, but one of the most important seems to be the complexity of the RFE and how well (succinctly) the response addresses the RFE. We have seen I-526 approvals after RFEs in as little as 30 days or less. In most cases, however, the result takes 60-90 days, with some more complex cases or problem cases taking many months. Your future I-829 should NOT be affected by the processing time of your I-526; there simply is no reason to think that because your I-526 took a long time to adjudicate and was subject to an RFE, that your I-829 (which will be filed more than two years after your I-526 approval) will suffer similar delays. Finally, before you decide to "stop the EB-5 process," you should consult with an attorney who can advise you on your rights under the agreements you signed with the EB-5 project. It might not be so easy to "get a refund" if the petition is still pending and you change your mind about wishing to continue the case.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS often states that responses will be reviewed within 60-90 days, but we have seen much longer timelines. The I-829 timeline is based on obtaining Conditional Permanent Residency, and your project/new commercial enterprise should be able to calculate the jobs to be associated with your investment based on your timelines. "Patience" is definitely an unofficial requirement of the EB-5 program that USCIS does not put on their instructions or forms. If you withdraw now, you go all the way back to square one, and any dependent child who has since aged-out (turned 21) can no longer be included.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If beyond the posted processing time, have your attorney send an email inquiry.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The normal processing times for I-526 is 12 months. So, you are right in line for that. Depending on the RFE demand that USCIS made and how your attorney responds, the decision could come as quickly as 3 weeks. The immigration process is not a quick one. I would urge your patience.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would not quit yet. If you went through a regional center, ask them to send a request to USCIS. If not then find the name of the Congressman who represents the district where your investment is located and ask for help as well as the Senators representing the state where the investment is located.

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