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What is the law about refunding my capital if I am denied my I-526?

Most regional centers that I am reviewing state in their offering docs that they will refund an EB5 investment if the I-526 is denied. Some will give back a portion of the administrative fee. Is there a law by USCIS or the SEC that requires a regional center to return my full capital contribution?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Under current law, your investment must be at risk. Neither USCIS nor SEC have laws to force the investment to be refunded to you, to my knowledge. Your exit rights are explained in the offering documents of a regional center project in which you have invested or will invest, including event of denials of I-526. You should retain an experienced EB-5 attorney to carefully review offering documents with you prior to your investing the funds into a specific project.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The refund of your personal funds will usually be stated in the offering documents in the event that your I-526 petition is denied.

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    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am not aware of any specific law. It is set up this way to avoid dispute and litigation, a sound business practice.

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    Kyle Barella

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Whether or not you get your money back depends on your arrangement with the regional center, and usually whether your petition was denied due to your source of funds or project- related.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS policy is to allow for your investment to be held in escrow, conditioned on the I-526 petition being approved.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Not from my understanding. The key is that an investment is at risk, so that there is the risk of loss and the possibility to earn a return ON the investment. However, investors cannot receive a guaranteed return OF their investment. That said, refunds in the event of denials are offered in some cases

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no immigration or securities law that requires a regional center (RC) to return your capital contribution in full. Also, unless your subscription agreement or contract clearly states so, you are not likely to receive a full refund. As to those RCs you had consulted, read their agreements very well and seek the advice of an EB-5 attorney in particular who can go over these agreements with you. Last but not least, bear in mind that there are myriad laws, both state and federal, that govern EB-5 investment issues which can be used against any entity that collected investment funds but refused to return it.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no such immigration-related law or regulatory requirement; it is just a good business practice followed by most EB-5 projects (regional center or direct).

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    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    At this time there are no regulations governing the return of funds. The terms of the return of any funds will be governed by your subscription agreement, which should be carefully reviewed, and if complex, reviewed with counsel.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Actually, the law requires the EB-5 investment to be put at risk. Thus, there is no SEC or USCIS requirement to force any regional center to refund you the money if I-526 gets denied. However, more reputable regional centers with the best track records on approvals will refund everything back to you, including the administrative fees, while others will keep all or at least part of the administrative fees.

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    Clem Turner

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    If the issuer states in their disclosure documents and probably also in its subscription agreement that capital contributions and admin fees will be refunded, you will have a cause of action against that issuer in securities and contract law if this does not happen. Absent an affirmative statement of refund, there is no law that requires the issuer to return your funds upon a denial of your I-526. Even in the event of an immigration denial, you would still be an equity holder in the issuer. They could hold onto your capital contribution and treat you like all of their other equity holders.

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    Rohit Kapuria

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A key requirement of the EB-5 program is that your funds must be at risk. Therefore, you could potentially lose your entire capital contribution. The admin fee is not part of your capital contribution. The project developer and/or regional center usually will have spent the admin fee to compensate migration agents and defray legal costs. However, some developers may opt to return most (if not all) of your admin fee unless your denial was based on a fraudulent representation that you, as an investor, made to USCIS.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no law or regulation governing this, but most regional centers will do as you say.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The SEC has just recently taken a new interest in the EB-5 program. I know of no regulation they have about return of your money, except where the entity violated SEC regulations.

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