+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

What difference does it make if a regional center has an exemplar approval of its EB-5 project?

My parents live in Shanghai and have attended a number of seminars hosted by migration companies. Something they are being told is that it is better if a regional center has received an exemplar approval of its EB-5 project. What does this mean? Would a project with exemplar approval be safer?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When an actual regional center project has an exemplar I-526 petition approved, this means USCIS has approved the project 's offering documentation and business plan. When your parent, who is an EB-5 investor, files his or her individual I-526 petition based on his or her investment in that project, USCIS will basically adjudicate the lawful source of funds documentation. If I-526 petition is competently prepared by an attorney and approvable as filed, having an exemplar approval provides an extra safety net in the process.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Exemplar approval gives investors greater confidence in a project’s success. The project has been reviewed by the USCIS EB-5 Adjudicator and been approved, which means investors are more likely to receive approvals on their I-526s.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Exemplar approval is helpful but it is only one factor to EB-5 success. I have seen projects with exemplar approvals but, because of later changes, the projects become invalid. What exemplar approval means is the government approved the project and therefore should approve the application if there is an acceptable source of funds report. Several excellent projects I have seen lately do not have exemplar approval and, in fact, are even sold out before the exemplar got approved. In many instances, exemplar is only a marketing strategy. It is more important to understand the fundamentals of EB-5, such as will the requisite number of jobs be created, is their adequate collateral, the success rate of the project developer/regional center, etc.

  • Avatar

    Jon Eric Garde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In short, exemplar approval simply says the project is ready to go, fully documented, and certified legally sufficient for the applicant. No heightened chances of approval or profit from investment accompany exemplar approval.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Sometimes, migration agents will state a project has exemplar approval when the regional center only has a designation letter from USCIS. You will need to check with the regional center to see if their project has exemplar approval and require that they provide proof. Exemplar approval means the project’s business-related documents were approved as sufficient to get the I-526 approved with a clear source of fund tracking. EB-5 has two components: the business side with sufficient documents to prove that a project meets TEA requirements, the business plan and economic model documents to prove that the project will create 10+ permanent, full-time jobs, etc. The other side is the investor side, which involves the source of funds. If the project has exemplar approval and the project has not had any material changes from, then it would be easier for the USCIS to trust that business-related documents have been positively adjudicated. All USCIS would need to do is focus closely on the SOF documents. This may not always be the case, but it is what USCIS said may do. However, migration agents focused on their sales pitch sometimes get confused about exemplar approval, misrepresent facts, etc. Thus, you should do you should do the due diligence yourself to make sure the approval is real. You may also hire an independent EB-5 investment advisor to help you.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A project with an exemplar approval is one that has been reviewed by USCIS and will receive deference (which means USCIS likely will approve that part of the petition if there are no changes or no new derogatory information) for the business plan and EB-5 project documents. The only substantive review by USCIS will be the source and path of funds. Please note that exemplar approval has nothing to do with the financial viability of the project; it is only related to the USCIS review and approval of the immigration aspects of the project. Therefore, a project with exemplar approval is more likely to receive an I-526 petition approval, assuming the source and path of funds comply with the EB-5 requirements.

  • Avatar

    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Theoretically, an actual project with exemplar approval should be approved, assuming the actual project has no material change to the exemplar approval. However, there are many other factors that may affect a project.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.