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How can an Eb-5 project's exemplar approval accelerate the adjudication of my I-526?

What is the difference in adjudication times, on average, between projects with an exemplar approval and those that do not have one? How can I double check with an authority that a project actually has the official approval and what are the criteria for a project to get this approval?

Answers

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no clear evidence that exemplar approval helps expedite adjudications. It seems that adjudication of the first I-526 will accomplish the same result. The RC should happily share information about exemplar approvals.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, USCIS does not post detailed processing time breakdowns by category. I can tell you from personal experience that projects with exemplar approvals or with I-526 approvals generally are adjudicated faster than those projects without them, but there are exceptions. You cannot "double-check" with USCIS on an exemplar approval. he USCIS approval notice (Form I-797) for an approved I-924 exemplar should be sufficient. If you doubt its authenticity, you can ask an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney to review it for you. If you do not trust the regional center to give you legitimate documents, you probably should not invest in one of its projects.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS states that it adjudicates cases on "first filed, first out" (FIFO) basis. We have had cases that were approved within a year after filing on projects that did not have any exemplar approval and we had cases that took longer than normal processing times on projects that had not only the exemplar approval, but also I-526 approvals. Thus, any assurances being given to you about having cases approved faster because there is an exemplar approval must be taken with a grain of salt.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is not going to verify whether a project's exemplar has been approved. However, the RC should provide you with a copy of the approval letter upon request. On average, having an exemplar approved does not increase the speed of adjudication. USCIS stands behind its "first in, first out" approach to adjudications, though we have seen some clients have the benefit from being among the last investors in a project and have their petition adjudicated at the same time as the first investor's petition. At the end of the day, you cannot count on shorter processing time on account of an exemplar approval.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An EB-5 project with an approved exemplar should accelerate and result in faster, more predictable decisions on the individual EB-5 petitions on Form I-526; that was one of the stated advantages of same. The other advantage is that once you have an approved exemplar, it helps in marketing as well, as investors who are filing petitions based upon the same set of facts have a higher degree of certainty that their individual EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526 will be approved. However, in practice there is little evidence that having an approved exemplar actually results in faster approved individual I-526 petitions. This is particularly true, since today it takes so long to get an approved exemplar; the more common practice is to have an individual I-526 petition filed and once that is approved, it gives subsequent investors a higher degree of certainty that their individual I-526 petitions will also be approved based upon the same set of facts regarding the EB-5 project.

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