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What should investors do if they find issues with their EB-5 investments at the I-829 stage?

We obtained conditional residency through EB-5 years ago. We filed an I-829 after two years and it is pending. There are signs that the new commercial enterprise is struggling with the creation of jobs. The regional center may be a fraud. What should we do at this point to save our green cards?

Answers

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Consult your attorney and initiate a fact-finding consultation with the regional center to get all facts and prepare for any actions by the USCIS on your case. This will allow you to take out the guessing game because if the USCIS discovers the supposed fraud(s), it may be too late for both the regional center and all the investors.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your filed I-829 filings are not approved, you will have lost your green card status. Meanwhile, if you have proof that your regional center is a fraud, you should report this information.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the fraud involves job creation, investor fund allocation, etc., then it may be an issue for the I-829 adjudication. You should consult your attorney.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is advisable to review the project with an attorney and inquire with the regional center. When you submitted I-829, documentation had to show job creation and that you sustained your capital at risk. If this was not the case, you may have issues. Consult your attorney.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Hope and pray! As a practical matter, there's very little you can do, having already filed your I-829 petition. In all likelihood, the I-829 petition will be adjudicated, based upon the information contained therein showing whether or not you established that you made the required investment and created the required number of jobs. That would already, for good or bad, have been dealt with in the I-829 petition. Even if the investment fails, it does not necessarily mean that you will not have your I-829 petition approved, as long as you otherwise complied with the law in terms of investment and job creation. There may be little you can do, except to wait for the USCIS decision on your I-829 petition and work with your legal representatives to keep abreast of the developments. Of course, perhaps the most important thing you would also want to do is to re-coup your investment, if at all possible.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the investment does not produce jobs as required and turns out to have been a fraud, you will not be able to remove the conditional status and you will need to find another way to immigrate.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If everything was valid at the time of filing, you should be OK. You still may get an RFE or NOID if USCIS does a site visit now, but at the time of filing you have to show that the project has created or will create the jobs in a reasonable time.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There's a difference between what you suspect and reality. Just because jobs are delayed doesn't mean it's fraudulent or sinister. Maybe it is just business realities and really just depends on the reasons for the delay. I agree that you should monitor the situation closely and ask hard questions, but be careful with allegations (that may ultimately harm you) until you take a closer look.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The facts as stated are assumptions. I will wait for your I-829 to be approved; if not, then you will address this issue based on the status of the regional center.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A two-year wait is not itself yet a reason for alarm, but the question is whether the I-829 showed there was actual job creation and that the money was invested as outlined in the documents. If the documents submitted do not show this, then you have an issue. However, if there is fraud and the jobs were not created, then there is a risk the I-829 could be denied. We are waiting for regulations that might protect investors who are the victims of fraud, but at the moment there is no other clear remedy other than possibly making a new investment and filing a new I-526 petition or finding another path to a green card. We expect to see these regulations fairly soon although they supposed to have been finalized last month.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    The most important criteria is whether all the EB-5 funds were deployed in the project and the requisite jobs created. You would have been OK even if the principals committed some fraud but enough jobs were created that were credited to your application. According to the new guidelines, once you fulfill your sustainment period - that is, the conditional permanent residency requirement of two years - you could even be paid back your investment. Right away, you should retain a competent immigration attorney who could litigate your case and, if need be, argue your case with USCIS. Obviously, the fraud has nothing to do with you, so USCIS should be understanding as long as most of the funds are invested in the project and the jobs created.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Continue the conversation with the RC. Document as much as possible in writing. Hire an immigration attorney who is not affiliated with the regional center. Make sure you have copies of all documents filed with USCIS. Understand your position with respect to the job creation and investment.

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