Donoso & Partners Submits Questions to USCIS EB-5 Stakeholders

The following questions were submitted by Donoso & Partners to USCIS as part of the recent USCIS call for Stakeholder questions:

  1. USCIS announced in April 2020 the adoption of a “visa availability” approach to processing I-526 visa petition. How many I-526 petitions have been approved based on “visa availability”? How many I-526 petitions that are eligible for “visa availability” remain pending more than 1 year; more than 2 years; more than 3 years?
  2. For pending I-526 petitions that are eligible for the “visa availability” approach, it is taking approximately 3 years for USCIS to review and process an I-526 immigrant petition. Long processing times are a significant head-wind against investors’ use of the EB-5 program. What is USCIS doing to reduce I-526 processing times?
  3. Why does it take USCIS 3 years to review and process an I-829 petition?
  4. What is USCIS doing to reduce the extraordinarily long processing time for I-829 petitions?
  5. USCIS recently announced that it was granting evidence of continued conditional lawful permanent resident status of 24 months. Given that USCIS processing times for Form I-829 petitions to remove conditions are approximately 3 years or more, why does USCIS not grant EB-5 investors 3-year evidence of continued lawful permanent resident status to match average processing time of Form I-829 petitions?
  6. Does USCIS plan to roll-out electronic filing of I-526 and I-829 petitions? If so, when?
  7. When will USCIS implement pre-filing of standard I-526 and I-829 petition packages for new commercial enterprises affiliated with Regional Centers to reduce the paperwork burden of large EB-5 capital investment projects with dozens or even hundreds of investors?
  8. Given the long delay in I-485 processing for all USCIS green card programs, will USCIS use its discretion to waive in-person Adjustment of Status interviews for EB-5 investors.
  9. Can USCIS confirm that EB-5 investors who duly filed form I-485 Adjustment of Status applications will be able to obtain and renew Employment Authorization Documents and Travel Permits during the lapse of the EB-5 Regional Center Program?
  10. After I-526 visa approval by USCIS, clients experience long delays in transfer of the USCIS file to the National Visa Center. Delays of several months or even close to one year have been experience in the last 24 months? Why are such delays occurring? Can USCIS provide information to Stakeholders on improvements to its systems for hand-over of approved I-526 petitions to the National Visa Center for consulate processing?
  11. Is USCIS considering any rule-making in 2022 regarding the EB-5 program? Will USCIS contemplate simultaneous filing of I-526 and I-485 visa petitions as part of any regulatory agenda in 2022? Will USCIS contemplate the introduction of Premium Processing of I-526 petitions as part of any regulatory agenda in 2022?

 

Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.

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Donoso & Partners, LLC provide assistance with review and advice regarding eligibility for visas to the U.S. or Canada.

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