What is the I-829 approval rate for the EB-5 program?
I am interested in an EB-5 regional center investment. However, I read in The Brookings Institution Report that stats on the percentage of conditional visa approvals which led to removal of conditions are not available (because regional centers are private enterprises that are not regulated by the government). Where can I go to find accurate information on how many I-526 and I-829 applications were approved for each regional center?
This information is published by USCIS and you should be able to review it online. It is not, however, broken down by specific regional centers/direct investment. You should contact specific regional centers and find out their approval rates by I-526/I-829. If a regional center is not willing to provide data or is being vague, do not invest in it.
John J Downey
Simply ask the individual regional center. They should be happy to celebrate any victories. They should tell you in the interest of full disclosure. If not, then perhaps it is a wrong sign.
The statistics on approval and denial for the conditional green card and I-829 are readily available. Not sure why the Brookings report says otherwise. The latest Fiscal Year 2013 number shows USCIS received a total of 1217 I-829 cases. Within the same year, 844 cases were approved. Note that not all the approved cases were filed within the same Fiscal Year, but it should provide a rough gauge on the approval/denial situation. Most experienced EB-5 attorneys have access to such statistics through the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
USCIS.gov is the website that publishes this information. Please note that the data is not broken down by regional center or by direct versus regional center approvals. The historical approval rate for all I-829 petitions hovers between 80 percent and 90 percent.
I-829 approval is approximately 80 percent. USCIS publishes its approval/denial statistics on its website on an annual basis. However, statistics per each regional center are not publicly available.
According to the USCIS unofficial reporting a couple of years ago, they stated that 85 percent of I-526s were being approved compared to 25 percent of I-829s. This is the reason why there are so many regional centers that are designated, but much less numbers with I-526 approvals and even less with I-829 approvals. When you consider which regional centers have multiple I-829 approvals in multiple projects, the numbers really become small. However, USCIS in a recent EB-5 Stakeholders Meeting announced that they will be reviewing more closely the I-526 petitions and projects so that only those with good I-829 approval chances will get approved - in hopes that if they are tougher on earlier petitions, the I-829 approval percentage will increase.
Those are interesting claims. Regional centers receive licenses by USCIS and are required to report on many matters of their operation each year (jobs created, I-526 petitions filed, etc.). It is also required to report the number of I-829 petitions approved, denied, and revoked! In financial year 2013, there was a 95 percent approval rate for I-829 petitions (which is a stat found through a reputable EB-5 industry organization and Google search). Because of the vast amount of misinformation out there about the EB-5 program, it is essential to retain qualified and experienced EB-5/Immigration counsel to assist and guide you through the process.