It is crucial for prospective EB-5 investors to ask the right questions prior to making the commitment to be part of the program. The most commonly asked question from both current and potential investors is what do they need to do in order to expedite their EB-5 applications? The question on its own is tricky to answer but it is a very relevant question. The EB-5 immigrant investment program was created with a specific set of guidelines and requirements. Under these requirements, investors need to invest a minimum of $900,000 which will create 10 jobs for U.S. persons and submit clear source of funds documentation. These requirements heed beneficial results for both the U.S. and the investor. For the U.S. the investment stimulates the U.S. economy and labor market and for the investor, they receive U.S. green cards and residency for themselves and immediate family members.
The I-526 petition is filed at the commencement of the application process and this is to request approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) for the applicant to obtain a U.S. green card. Under certain circumstances the EB-5 investors I-526 petition can be expedited. For this to occur, the investor must show that it would be in the best interest of the national economy to approve the investors petition so that the investors funds can be used quickly to financially support the project. This is a very rare instance and if approved, could only expedite the green card approval application but the conditions imposed on the green card would still be in place.
Additionally, expedited requests require extensive evidence demonstrating the need to speed up the review of the I-526 petition and these are solely granted at the discretion of USCIS service director. The service director will approve an EB-5 request when the investor can show one or more of the following criteria’s exists:
- Severe financial loss to an individual or the company.
The investor must show that the business will suffer unless the petition is expedited. USCIS will then investigate whether the hardship is self-imposed. For example, the investor voluntarily placing funds in an escrow account to be released upon approval of the I-526 petition. This might make the service director deny approval of the expedited request.
- Extreme emergent situation
The investor must be faced with an emergency that could be a violation of his/her human rights. It must be an individual and personal emergency.
- A Humanitarian situation
This occurs when the investor or family member requires urgent medical care or treatment that is unavailable or inadequate in their home country.
Alternatively, the investor must work with an experienced EB-5 specialist who will ensure that the application is filed correctly and without any mistakes. The specialist must provide USCIS with sufficient documents (source of funds, personal information) on time and in the correct manner. Through the submission of the correct information there should be no delays in the application process.
The EB-5 immigrant investor program can be a very complicated process and it requires for the investor to work with people who have extensive and outstanding experience in the industry. The American Legal Center has been assisting families in the GCC and emerging markets obtain their U.S. green cards and residency. Our U.S. licensed lawyers have experience in successfully navigating through all complex areas involved with filing for the EB-5. Contact us for your free initial consultation.