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What are preapproved EB-5 regional center projects?

What exactly are preapproved regional center projects? Is it true that preapproved projects are approved relatively more quickly than other projects, in terms of investor applications?

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A regional center can seek exemplar preapproval of one of their projects. USCIS will review and approve the EB-5 project documentation (business plan, economic report) and offering documents (PPM, partnership agreement, subscription documents, etc.). This allows USCIS to focus their review of an I-526 on the source of funds only (according to current policy), which theoretically could reduce processing times.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A preapproved EB-5 project is where the CIS has either approved an exemplar or approved an initial I-526 petition describing the same project. In theory, once an exemplar is approved, the CIS has said it should make it easier and thus faster to approve subsequent I-526 EB-5 petitions based upon the same project, but in practice it is not much faster, if at all. For the investors, however, if you know that an exemplar has been approved or one or more earlier I-526 EB-5 petitions have been approved, it gives you some greater confidence that the project meets the legal requirements of the EB-5 regional center program. Remember, the exemplar approval does not necessarily tell you whether or not it is a good investment.

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    Yazen Abdin

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Having a preapproved exemplar may speed up the pending time of an I-526 petition since the project documents have already been approved.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A preapproved EB-5 project is when USCIS has approved the EB-5 project documentation, which includes the business plan, economic report, and security offering documents. Therefore, with all I-526 petitions filed, USCIS will not have to review or adjudicate the EB-5 documents that are a part of the petition. The I-526 petitions should be approved in less time with preapproved project documentation.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Preapproval means that the project developers have submitted their application prior to obtaining investors, Once it is preapproved, then the developers may find it easier to market the investment. The investors may be processed faster because all the adjudicator will need to do is rule on the individual's suitability.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If it is a preapproval of a particular project, it may mean different things, such as that a regional center may have filed for a hypothetical, an actual or exemplar project approval. Exemplar is the best way to go because this means the regional center has actually submitted all required evidence for an exemplar I-526 petition with all required project documentation and comprehensive business plan/economic analysis (except an actual EB-5 investor's source of funds documentation) for USCIS to review. If an exemplar is approved, USCIS will defer to the approval of the project documentation and will only review an individual EB-5 investor's lawful source of funds evidence when an investor files his or her individual I-526 based on that project. An EB-5 investor must otherwise qualify for EB-5 and prove lawful source of funds when filing his or her individual I-526 petition. Preapproval of the project documentation does not necessarily guarantee faster processing times. We have seen approvals of individual I-526s on preapproved projects in as little as under two months, but some take 12-16 months on average.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Preapproved basically means they have an approved exemplar, or one of the first I-526 petitions has been approved, which is basically the same thing. Yes, our experience is projects with either of these approvals tend to get adjudicated faster.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I think you are speaking about projects that have exemplar approval. Though exemplar approval can be very important, we have not found that they result in universally quicker approval from USCIS.

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