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How can I get my investment back if I get a NOID for my I-526?

I am an Iranian EB-5 investor. Initially I invested $100,000 in the project and filed my I-526 application. I recently received a NOID notice for my I-526 filing. My initial investment is still in the escrow account and has not been injected to the project. I heard that due to the Iranian Travel Ban and the NOID notice, there is no hope that the application would be accepted, and it is better for me to cancel my filing and get the initial investment back. I have some questions. Will I receive my money without any reduction within 30 days after I withdraw my application? Also, I have paid $50,000 as a management fee to the project. The regional center said that it was nonrefundable, but I read in the contract that it is possible to get a refund of $25,000. How should I proceed to get my investment and the administrative fee back? My immigration attorney works for the regional center, so I am hesitant to talk with him.

Answers

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to read the terms of the subscription agreement. That should regulate your terms of repayment.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your rights to have your EB-5 capital returned will be based on the escrow/subscription documents you signed with the project. Many projects require a replacement investor to be located before they return funds. A subscription fee may or may not be refunded or partially refunded. This varies by project. Have the documents reviewed by a legal counsel independent from the project to advise you and possibly represent you in this matter.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your legal right to receive any return/refund of your initial investment will be determined by the legal documents you signed with the project. Most escrow agreements provide for release of the funds to the investor if the I-526 petition is denied. You should have an independent attorney review all of your documents and advise you of your rights under the agreements. You should not withdraw your petition unless, and until your own attorney reviews the documents and advises you. Some project agreements carry penalties if the investor has a "change of mind," and sometimes withdraw and denial are treated differently. Only an independent attorney who is not affiliated with the regional center can give you the advice you need and represent your best interests.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In this situation there is no reason why you should not get your money back. Although your fact pattern is a little bit confusing, the question is how did you file an I-526 with just a deposit of $100,000? The filing does not meet the EB-5 standard regardless of whether your money is in the escrow account or not. The typical situation is that a petitioner must invest either a minimum of $500,000 or a $1 million before she can file an I-526, depending on the location of the project. With your money in an escrow account, you should consider hiring an attorney to pursue the closure of this matter and get your money back. There may be other legal issues that you may pursue in the case.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an Iranian national who has a pending I-526 petition, it would be highly desirable to re-coup your investment, given the fact that the travel ban has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and applies to Iranian nationals who are applying for an immigrant visa or non-immigrant visas. This is especially true given the fact that you've received a NOID. Whether or not you'll be able to re-coup your investment at this stage would depend upon the project itself, as well as the terms of your investment as set forth in the private placement memorandum. You should explain to the regional center why you need to withdraw, given the fact that you're no longer eligible with the travel ban. If you cannot get a satisfactory answer, your immigration attorney should be able to help you because he has a legal and fiduciary duty to you.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This would all be governed by your agreement with the regional center (i.e., if the money is held in escrow until approval). You should either engage separate counsel or work with the regional center and attorney regarding getting your money back. However, if the total money invested for the EB-5 in your case is only $100,000, that may be the issue with your petition since the minimum requisite capital investment is $500,000 if project is located in a targeted employment area (TEA) and $1 million if not in a TEA.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have a lawyer representing you (and I presume that you do), you should address this to him or her. Most EB-5 regional centers will return the investment if your case is not approved. But just getting a NOID may not be enough for them to return the money. The NOID needs to be answered and a decision made by USCIS before the case is dead. Probably an appeal is not necessary if you are asking for your money back. Most regional centers will refund you if the case is finally denied. Read your escrow agreement to see what it says.

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    Michael A Harris, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I'm sorry to hear you are going through this. Have you only invested $100,000 to date? I think you are going to need a litigator to demand your investment and administrative fee back. It will be important to have a qualified expert work with your litigation attorney to seek a refund.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The short answer is check your subscription agreement, PPM, and perhaps the NCE's LP/OA. The refund provisions should be clearly stated, including timing (before/after I-526 approval) and whether the administrative fee will be returned.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will need to have a business or immigration attorney look at your documents to see the terms of the project and your investment. NOID is not a denial and perhaps the case can still be salvaged.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your questions are very specific to your case and the documents you signed. You need to retain an independent immigration attorney to advise you.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    Most projects nowadays come with an I-526 denial guarantee. However, these guarantees are rarely unconditional, no-questions-asked guarantees. Almost all of them cover you for project-related denials. Only a few of them, if any, would obligate themselves to pay you back if the cause is other than project-related, as is in your case. You can certainly try. As for the administrative fee that also depends on the language in the PPM, or the private placement memorandum. The best thing to do is to hire another immigration attorney since you strongly seem to believe that your immigration attorney is conflicted due to having to be representing both you and the regional center. If you approach them through an independent attorney they might decide to settle your case rather than go with an ugly arbitration or court case.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Looks like you may need to counsel to review the agreements and determine your options, because this all has to do with the RC documents.

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