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What does it mean if an I-526 approval rate is below 100 percent?

I have noticed that in some EB-5 regional center track records the I-526 approval rate is below 100 percent. What does this mean? What does it mean for the other EB-5 investors in the regional center who already have approved I-526s?

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It may mean certain investors could not demonstrate lawful source of funds or certain other reasons. You should conduct due diligence to find a good project. Hire an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney first.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    With nearly 1000 regional centers that have designation to try doing business/projects with EB-5 investment, not all of them will have a 100 percent approval track record. When the I-526 is submitted for a project, the project/business through the regional center is promising that they will create the requisite number of jobs for the number of EB-5 investors they have in that project. If the economic report and the business plan make sense and USCIS agrees that the jobs are likely to be created as projected, the I-526s will be approved. Not all of the projects that regional centers put forth will be approved as how regional centers view the project and how USCIS reviews them may not be in-line, in which case the I-526 will be denied. After the I-526 is approved, the next hurdle that the EB-5 investor must face is the I-829 removal of condition. At this stage, the project through the regional center must prove that they have created the jobs that they promised to create back during the I-526 stage. This is when the rubber meets the road and they need to show that they, in fact, did what they hoped to do - created jobs and improved economic conditions of that region as the regional centers are supposed to do. Doing these (getting I-526 and I-829 approvals) successfully in multiple projects will separate those regional centers that know how to do things correctly from those just starting out hopeful, or those who do not know how to do it at all and have failure track records. If you look at this process as students going to school promising their parents that they will become an A student and then having them come back year after year with those "As" enough to be on the honor roll or become the valedictorians are different things. Thus, those very few regional centers that have the 100 percent approval track records in multiple projects, both in I-526s and I-829s, as well as return of investments to their investors, could be considered as honor students.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For an EB-5 regional center project to have less than 100 percent approval could mean several things. It obviously means one or more EB-5 I-526 petitions were not approved for one reason or the other. Often, the denial may have nothing to do with the EB-5 project itself, but may be because of insufficient evidence to establish a bona fide source of funds of the individual I-526 petitioner. As part of your due diligence, you could always ask the regional center why it does not have a 100 percent approval rating. The fact that it does not, does not necessarily affect the other I-526 petitioners.

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    Yazen Abdin

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    All this means is that not every investor was approved. This may have nothing to do with the regional center since previous investors were approved. It could just be that some applicants had issues with their applications that are personal to them (for example, difficulty showing lawful source of funds).

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It means that not all of their applicants received approvals of their I-526. This does not automatically reflect on the regional center. Many applicants can fall short of providing the required documentation or providing an adequate explanation of their sources of funds.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It has no effect on other approvals. This could be because the individual was not able to show a lawful source of funds or other reason.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Every EB-5 project is different and there are case-specific reasons for the denial. For instance, an I-526 petition may be denied because of issues with documentation proving the lawful source of investment funds.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Many claim to have 100 percent - I am not sure that means too much. I might want to believe the one claiming 95 percent more. The last quarter approval rates were running at about 75 percent. You need to choose a good project and you need competent legal counsel.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Not every I-526 case can be approved. Some simply do not meet the requirements for authentication of source of investment funds. USCIS does afford deference to previously approved I-526 petitions for the project documents, so if you have an approvable authentication of source of funds, and the project documentation has been previously approved, yours should be too! I-526 denials, unless based on the project itself, should not have any effect on future immigration processes.

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