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When does an approved I-526 count as an exemplar petition?

I am an EB-5 investor with a pending I-526. The project already has an approved I-526 from another EB-5 investor. Keeping in mind the regional center program sunset on September 30th, does that approved I-526 in the project also count as an exemplar I-526? Will this allow my own I-526 petition to be approved faster?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An exemplar I-526 petition is filed by a regional center and is different from another investor's individual I-526 petition that was approved. You can inquire with your regional center project whether an exemplar has been filed. It is, however, good news for you because USCIS has looked at the project's business documentation as part of the approved individual I-526 petition of the other investor. It does not expedite your I-526 in any way though and USCIS will still review your I-526 petition in detail in the same fashion it will review all other I-526s in the project.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An exemplar I-526 petition can only be filed as part of an amendment to a regional center through the I-924 application. Yes, USCIS will afford deference to approved I-526 petitions, but that is still not technically an exemplar I-526 or even a pre-approval of the project. That is, the project will not be named in the regional center designation nor will any of the project documents through an approved I-526 petition alone. An I-924 is required.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An exemplar is different and something the regional center applies for when it is getting authorized to be a regional center.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An approved I-526 petition does not count as an approved exemplar petition. The EB-5 regulations allow the EB-5 regional center to file an I-924 application to request pre-approval of the actual project and the exemplar I-526 petition. The exemplar filing may be essential to grandfather in the required investment amount and the TEA analysis for the existing project, even though there may be changes to the EB-5 requirements after September.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The exemplar approval is just the business side documents approval. The I-526 approval of another investor is a full approval of both the business side documents and source of funds documents of the petitioner. It is helpful to your petition that an I-526 of another investor is approved, as you are in the same project with the same business side documents and technically, all USCIS has to review is your source of funds documents, thereby shortening the time of review. However, in reality, it does not always work that way, as USCIS states that "each petition is individual and requires careful review." Also, it is a USCIS-stated policy that they will take a first-filed, first-reviewed process in terms of how long it takes. Thus, in conclusion, you can take comfort in knowing that the project in which you have invested has been approved and unless there is something lacking with your source of funds tracking, your petition should be approved eventually.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the project has been approved then the sunset date should not affect you. You could, of course, be turned down for another reason, but the project itself is covered.

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