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Why is there bottleneck with I-526 processing times?

We do understand dealing with bureaucracy is not something predictable and can often be untimely in terms of a decision, however, comments from different attorneys on various sites for EB5 programs are more confusing with increasingly varying views. Regarding the time frame for conditional approval of I-526 petitions, why is the US government not appointing more adjudicators and processing petitions more quickly, even if it means increasing processing fees? If the US truly needs high net worth and genuine investors to create jobs for good economic growth, then why waste investors time and prolong the processing of funding projects for increasingly long adjudication times? If EB5 investors can afford to invest $500K to 1 million plus, one would think they can afford to pay an additional $5 to 10K for expedited processing fees as they have decided to make US as their new home and will obviously create jobs for their own growth too! Why deprive investors interest with unwarranted delays!

Answers

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an EB-5 law firm I certainly share your frustration. It is unfortunate that these delays are evident. There has been talk of premium processing over the past two years but nothing has come to fruition. It is my hope that with the move of the USCIS EB-5 adjudication unit to Washington, D.C., a more streamlined and efficient processing will be implemented.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We all share your frustration. EB-5 community is hopeful that the process will improve significantly with the USCIS EB-5 unit''s move to the headquarters and overall improvements in the adjudication process.

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    Roberto Ortiz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, we have also been complaining about the delay in processing and nothing has been done. The only thing that you can do as an investor is go to the US Representative or Senate were you live and let them know about the delay. The American Immigration Lawyers Association and IIUSA have been trying to expedite this for the past 2 years. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 community from all sides shares this frustration. Stakeholders have brought this issue to the attention of USCIS on an ongoing basis. While we always hope there will be change, right now the Agency is concentrating on improving their level of review and analysis, and we hope improving processing times will make it to the top of their list at some point.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As the practitioner of EB-5 cases, I share your frustration at the lengthening processing times. Please note, however, I-526 and EB-5 cases are highly complicated immigration petition where the adjudicators must understand the investor's fund trail as well as the complicated business plan of the business enterprise to make sure that the business will be successful and create jobs as proposed. While it may be easy to say why not hire more people, but actually training the new people also take time and effort to get them up to speed. Also, the sheer number of EB-5 applications that are being filed have more than quadrupled in the past 2 years in addition to so many entities filing for Regional Center designation. Finally, not every immigration attorney knows how to put together an I-526 petition packet properly as it is different than other immigration cases. USCIS officers speak of poorly put together petitions leading to many rounds of RFEs to get the proper documents. One could only hope that with the EB-5 division moving to the headquarters, the reorganization and revamping of that division will lead to faster adjudication times. However, we have heard that before when they moved the operation to the California Service Center, so we need to wait and see.

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    Jor Law

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    Many people who have an interest in EB-5 share the same questions and thoughts as you. To be fair, it is a reasonably young program that is maturing. Sometimes delays are caused by lack of resources (inadequate budget/staffing); sometimes they''re caused by policy (putting holds on certain processing while they determine best course of action). In general, USCIS understands that the delay is an issue and is trying to improve it. Certainly, they have a lot more room to improve, but we''re hopeful that things will get better as the program matures.

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    Boyd Campbell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The more adjudication officers USCIS hires the longer visa petition processing times. USCIS has no economic development mission. This federal agency was not created to help create jobs.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Most of our I-526s have been predictable in processing time. It would be nice if they were faster but posted times are pretty accurate.

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    Karen Weinstock

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately the U.S. government does not think this way. We are hopeful the processing times will improve once the petitions will be adjudicated at the new unit at USCIS headquarters. However, you should check with an immigration attorney whether there is a non-immigrant visa option for you so you can come to the U.S. sooner.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your concerns are well noted as this is a major problem today. Almost two years ago USCIS proposed such an expedited processing program for EB-5 visas, but USCIS appears to have shot it down. They cited concerns of the potential for fraud. Hopefully in the coming fiscal quarter we will see an reduction in adjudication processing times. The U.S. economy is losing opportunities every day as a result of these delays.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your question is more appropriately addressed to USCIS during a stakeholder engagement rather than on this forum. You are preaching to the choir!

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    Sir/madam, You are preaching to the choir! While I wish we had concrete answers to your question, unfortunately we do not . The reality is the delays are causing huge impediments, various advocacy organizations are trying to address the issue, however, your guess is as good as mine as why, when and how.

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