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What is the processing timeframe for EB-5 cases in projects with expedited exemplar approvals?

Does an expediated exemplar approval for a project equal to a “fast track” of case processing for investors involved in this project? Does this mean I have a shorter waiting time? What is the correlation between an expedited exemplar approval of a project and the timeframe of processing for investor cases in this project?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no such thing as exemplar expedited approval. If your project has an approved exemplar, it increases your chances of being approved because USCIS will not readjudicate the business component of the case (meaning USCIS has already approved the project, its business plan, job creation report, and an exemplar I-526 filed by the regional center) but USCIS will still use the same process to adjudicate all individual EB-5 investor I-526 petitions filed in connection with the exemplar approved project. Current average processing times for I-526 petitions are about 2 years. Some cases take shorter time to get adjudicated and some cases get longer time to get there, even though USCIS groups I-526 petitions for the same project.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 project documentation can be pre-approved by the filing of an exemplar petition approval or by the first I-526 petition bring approved. Each I-526 petition consists of the EB-5 project documentation and the lawful source of the personal investment funds. Therefore, the adjudication of each I-526 petition should be quicker. However, the current processing times are remaining the same for petitions whether the EB-5 project documentation has been pre-approved or not.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Just because an exemplar project was approved does not mean other investors in the project would enjoy "fast track" case processing. However, one of the major advantages the project investors may enjoy deferential treatment from the USCIS because, the agency would have been familiar with the business plan of the project thus, it does not to review the business plan particularly if it is unchanged from one subsequent I-526 petition to the other. This cuts the review or adjudication time down. A residual gain for project developer or regional center is that a project with an approved exemplar is that the approval may become a powerful marketing tool to attract other investors to invest in the project.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no expedited or fast-tracked case review in EB-5. While some investors who filed in a project that already had an approval may have gotten their petition approved more quickly, it does not always work out that way. According to USCIS, they review and adjudicate cases on First-In-First-Out (FIFO). There is no premium processing of any EB-5 cases. Anyone who tells you that their cases could be fast-tracked is just trying to sell you similar to those who tell you that their projects are located in a new TEA that is in "set-asides" that will by-pass the retrogression of visa numbers.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The approval of an I-526 exemplar petition does not mean that the I-526 petitions of the investors will have shorter processing times.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A few months shorter but still takes close to 2 years.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I see a lot of folks claiming that an exemplar results in fast-track approval. Hmm, this is not exactly correct. First, once the first I-526 is approved, that acts as the equivalent of an exemplar approval. It is true USCIS often batch processes by project, so once an example is approved, or the first I-526, then often the pending petitions get approved faster. Current processing times are about 24 months for both petitions and exemplars. So to get an exemplar approved, one has to wait almost two years.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An I-526 petition with an expedited exemplar approval for a project for which an I-526 petition should be "fast tracked" may have a shorter waiting time, although, in fact, the results may vary from case to case. Having expedited exemplar approval should be a positive factor in having the individual I-526 petition approved as well. It would be hard to predict the time frame other than saying that it should be faster.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There does not appear to be any correlation between I-924 exemplar processing times and the I-526 petition processing times based on the exemplar approvals. I-526 petitions appear to be bundled by project and assigned to a team of adjudicators at the IPO. Therefore, the result is that petitions are not adjudicated on a pure "first in, first out" basis.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is a chance your I-526 petition would be adjudicated faster, but no guarantee. In other words, do not plan on it or make your investment decision solely based on it.

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    Michael A Harris, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The USCIS does not offer a fast track as you refer to it for investors who file an I-526 based on an approved exemplar. What the USCIS offers is that so long as there is not any material change, mistake of law, etc., in the underlying I-526 exemplar approval, then the adjudicator will give deference to the approved exemplar as far as the project is concerned. This may, and ideally should, mean that the individual I-526 of the investor will receive a swifter adjudication processing of their petition. Aside from that potential benefit in choosing a project with an approved I-924 exemplar, there are other benefits to the exemplar in addition to the possibility of a faster processing time. Consult an experienced EB-5 lawyer who specializes in the filing of I-924 exemplars as well as investor I-526s.

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    Tomas Resendez

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An expedited exemplar approval is not a "fast track". It may help to process a petition faster, but I would not call it "fast track." USCIS processing times for form I-526 right now is about 25 months. You can use this number to estimate how long a petition may take.

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