Unfortunately for EB-5 investors, the time frame for the adjudication of I-526 petitions can vary greatly. Depending on a variety of factors, some investors may wait up to three years for their I-526 petition to be adjudicated, while others experience a much shorter wait time. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program can be complicated, requiring different processes and timelines for each investor’s petition.
One main reason that adjudication times for I-526 petitions differ is that there are multiple EB-5 adjudicators. Each adjudicator may have a different process and work at a different speed, resulting in some EB-5 investors waiting much longer than others. Even though this is out of the investor’s control and there is a chance that any EB-5 investor will experience delays or a long wait time for their I-526 petition to be adjudicated, there are other factors that the investor can control or address to reduce wait times.
Find the Best Sources of Funds
The EB-5 program requires all investors to prove they acquired their $1.8 million or $900,000 investment capital from legal sources and to document each source n their I-526 petition. This capital can come from many different sources, including investments, business income, family donations, and the liquidation of assets.
Documenting the legality of some funds can be more complicated than proving the sources of others; by extension, the more complex the source of funds documentation, the more complicated the adjudication of the I-526 petition. Thus, using certain funds can increase the time it takes to process an I-526 petition.
To avoid delays caused by source of funds complications, discuss the best funds to use for EB-5 capital with an EB-5 immigration attorney.
Choose the Most Suitable Principal Investor to Avoid Country Backlogs
On March 31, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) enacted a new approach for processing I-526 petitions. Rather than the first-in, first-out approach, the new method prioritizes petitions based on the immediate availability of visas for the applicant’s country. As of May 2020, Chinese EB-5 investors are the only investors affected by this change. Due to the switch, Chinese investors may experience longer wait times for their I-526 petitions to be adjudicated.
Find out if you or your spouse is from a country subject to backlogs. If you are but your spouse is not, list your spouse as the principal investor. This way your entire family can be processed under your spouse’s country, potentially speeding up your EB-5 process.
Avoid Errors and Omissions in Your I-526 Petition
If an EB-5 investor submits an I-526 petition that contains errors or insufficient information, it will naturally increase the time it takes to adjudicate. This can result in a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). Unfortunately, in some cases this can lead to the I-526 petition just being denied.
Review your I-526 petition with your immigration attorney to ensure there are no errors or omissions before submitting it. Make sure there are no minor issues in your petition that could lead to longer delays.
While there is no way to guarantee a short processing time for an EB-5 investor’s I-526 petition, these tips can help investors avoid common delays. Despite the possible delays, the EB-5 program is still one of the fastest and easiest ways to permanently immigrate to the United States.