AAO Decisions, RC List Changes

Newly-Posted AAO Decisions on I-526 Cases (existing business, business plan credibility, material change, indebtedness)

Several interesting 2016 AAO decisions on I-526 cases were uploaded this week to the USCIS website:

  • MAY032016_01B7203: Direct EB-5 case in which the petitioner purchased two gas stations through bankruptcy court following the previous owner’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy liquidation, reopened them under his new company, and claimed this as creation of a new business with new job creation. USCIS/AAO declined to credit the business or jobs involved as “new” despite purchase from bankruptcy, because the purchase documents did not unambiguously show that the business was non-operational prior to sale, and that the petitioner merely purchased assets, not a business.
  • MAY032016_02B7203: Direct EB-5 case in which the petitioner invested in a business (house-flipping) that by its nature would be unlikely create the required number of jobs, submitted a business plan that naturally didn’t make a good job creation case, paid EB-5 document and legal fees from the enterprise, and had a messy expenditure paper trail that didn’t clarify that the costs attributed to the enterprise were actually billed to and paid by the enterprise.
  • MAY052016_01B7203: In which a petitioner attempts to overcome a finding of fraud by claiming that she didn’t willfully misrepresent material facts because she didn’t know about the material facts filed with her petition. The AAO maintained that her stated ignorance related to filings is not reasonable, and supports a finding of deliberate avoidance.
  • MAY102016_01B7203: In this direct EB-5 case, the business plan is judged non-credible based, as usual, on inconsistencies: in this case, inconsistencies between the business plan and how the business subsequently developed.
  • MAY102016_02B7203: This direct EB-5 petitioner did not demonstrate that he was eligible at the time of initial I-526 filing, but committed material change when he filed a revised Form 1-526 that changed the NCE’s name and location and materially altered its industry focus, among other changes.
  • MAY112016_01B7203: This regional center case turns on the issue of indebtedness as source of the petitioner’s investment, and includes extensive discussion of the “USCIS Interpretation of Indebtedness.”
  • MAY112016_02B7203: This is another petitioner in the regional center case involving investment in a troubled hospital. (I discussed this case in detail in my 4/7 post. Also note that the petitioners fought the case with a civil action against USCIS and they won.)

Additions to the USCIS Regional Center List, 05/03/2016 to 05/23/2016.

  • C Chase Hotel & Resort Regional Center LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)
  • Harmonia Regional Center New York (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York): harmoniaeb5.com
  • LA Growth Fund, LLC (California)

New Terminations:

  • US EB5 Nevada Regional Center, LLC (Nevada) Terminated 5/12/2016
  • US EB5 Florida Regional Center (Florida) Terminated 5/9/2016
  • Middle Georgia Regional Center (Georgia) Terminated 5/4/2016
  • Global Investment Consulting, Inc. (Indiana) Terminated 5/3/2016

About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Suzanne Lazicki is a business plan writer, EB-5 expert, and founder of Lucid Professional Writing. Contact me at suzanne@lucidtext.com (626) 660-4030.

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