I-829 alert for investors from the ’90s

In another nice indication that the Investor Program Office is trying to get EB-5 processing back in order, it has updated the EB-5 page at USCIS.gov with a new “Alert” — this one targeted to people with pending I-829 petitions that were filed before November 2, 2002, and based on I-526 approved 1995 to 1998. Apparently USCIS wants to finish processing a batch of I-829 has been held in abeyance for 20 years, and is calling for contact info so that they can schedule biometrics appointments. (There’s a story behind the long delay that’s not IPO’s fault — I described it at the end of a 2020 post, and now in a comment to this post.) Other EB-5 “Alert” language on the USCIS website remains unchanged, suggesting no near-term change to the applied regulations or to the processing freeze for regional center I-526 and I-485. USCIS is excellent at holding petitions in abeyance.

As a reminder, I-829 processing continues for regional center as well as direct EB-5 cases, even during the regional center program lapse. (“We will continue to accept and review Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, in the normal course, including those filed on or after July 1, 2021.”) Current regional center program authorization is necessary to get a regional center visa, but not a condition to keep and remove conditions on that visa. Loss of regional center sponsorship does not in itself change I-829 eligibility. This Q&A from a November 2020 stakeholder engagement discusses the “what if” of individual regional center termination, and could also apply to the unlikely (we trust) event of regional center program termination.

(12) Q: Would a Form I-829 case adjudication be affected by the termination of its sponsoring regional center, if all other requirements have been met, such as job creation, etc.?

A: It depends on the facts of the case. An immigrant investor’s conditional permanent resident status, if already obtained, is not automatically terminated if the investor has invested in a new commercial enterprise associated with a regional center that USCIS terminates. The investor will continue to have the opportunity to demonstrate compliance with EB-5 program requirements, including through reliance on indirect job creation. However, there are times when the reason a regional center has failed to promote economic growth and USCIS has terminated its designation which may have a bearing on the I-829 adjudication. For example, depending on the facts of a particular case, if a regional center was terminated and there was evidence of misappropriation, such evidence could undermine the petitioner’s ability to make the showings required under 8 CFR 216.6. In such a scenario, it is not the termination of the sponsoring regional center that is affecting the I-829 adjudication but rather an evaluation of the applicable eligibility requirements.

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.

14 Responses to I-829 alert for investors from the ’90s

  1. Tommy says:

    The Investor Program Office is a joke.

  2. An EB5 Investor says:

    I-829 petitions were pending for 2 decades. What a joke!!!!

    • FYI this is the Public Law 107-273 story behind the long delay (which long pre-dated IPO):
      In 1995 to 1998, a number of EB-5 investors received I-526 approval for deals that the immigration service would later judge to be problematic.
      In 1998, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the predecessor agency to USCIS, issued four precedent decisions addressing the eligibility requirements for EB-5 petitions. The publication of these precedent decisions resulted in litigation over their applicability to cases at various stages of adjudication.
      In 2002, Congress passed Public Law 107-273 with language to resolve the situation for EB-5 investors who had petitions pending when the 1998 precedent decisions changed the rules. P.L. 107-273 offered options for these immigrants to perfect their investments in order to remove conditions on permanent residence. P.L. 107-273 specified that the immigration service must publish implementing regulations in 120 days, and could not take adverse action on I-829 for those immigrants until implementing regulations were effective.
      Twice a year from 2003 to 2010, the OMB Unified Agenda announced the immigration service’s intent to finalize/propose regulations soon. The pending I-829 for petitioners affected by PL 107-273 stayed pending.
      In 2010 at an EB-5 stakeholder meeting, USCIS announced that PL 107-273 I-829 petitions were getting attention. USCIS said that they had just reviewed and approved some of the I-829, and had 581 affected I-829 left that would be held in abeyance pending finalized regulations.
      2011: A Proposed rule was published in the Federal Register for “Treatment of Aliens Whose Employment Creation Immigrant (EB-5) Petitions Were Approved After January 1, 1995 and Before August 31, 1998.” The public commented.
      2011-2019: The proposed regulations were not finalized.
      October 2020: An I-829 processing times report showed that USCIS recently processed a batch of I-829 about two decades old, suggesting adjudication for some PL 107-273 petitions.

      The moral of the story: avoid law changes with retroactive effect.

      • CR says:

        Heck, 19 years after filing… the Investor Program Office could have waited 1 year longer to celebrate the 20th Jubilee!!!
        On a more serious note, “ex post facto” laws should be deemed unconstitutional.
        I know we should celebrate any progress made by the Investor Program Office, but the above pretty much sums up their level of conformance as well as the priority of the EB-5 visa.

      • Peter says:

        The moral of the story: do not invest because you are in a planned limbo 🙂

        Doesnt matter in what stage of your process you are. It continues unless we “educate” other investors through a “must pass” information platform. Its not a solution to keep going on as it is.

        • veedster says:

          I agree. All this time, operators and “money collectors”, lawyers, have been pushing clients to get in to EB-5, to collect their share of the pie. with dismall regard for the client. (Now one jackass is promoting Institutional Direct EB-5-lol! – to keep the moolah rolling in) Just like the USCIS is good at holding pettitons in abeyance, these goons are very good at holding on to clients moneys as long as possible., rolling from one projet to another at no cost to them. If there should be “must pass” informatin platform, I cannot think of a better place than this platform. If there is anyone who deserves credit for unbiased, tireless work , it is Suzanne. No RC operator, ” money collectors”, research company operator, finders fee collectors or lawyer for that matter (they do a Pontius Pilate in a disclaimer stating, they are not advicing on projects) has done a better job than her, and if anyone deserves a paid monthly subscription, it is her platform, which we are on.

          • veedster says:

            As a matter of fact, Suzanne should be our voice at AIIA and other lobby groups.

          • Peter says:

            I have read the comment.

            Why are hiding the lobbies the new amazing written language for the EB-5 reform? Just show it.

            Not even an official statement. Just rumors through other channels. Very trustable partnership.

  3. Peter says:

    Dont get fooled with processing times of I-829 or any other related ones.

    Reauthorization by December 3?

    According to the lobby a CR can not have a EB-5 reauthorization. And this they didnt know before?

    So if in December is not coming an approtiation bill but another CR, then no EB-5 reauthorization. Next CR in spring, next in summer and then we are again in September 2022 with another CR?

    So, how much time we need to give the regional center to bring our investment into a safe harbour. Maybe we should freeze the assets until its clear for everyone. We got fooled and need to fight back.

    Dont forget the congress can pass a bill by an unanonimous vote. So for what are we waiting for?
    Excuse over excuse over excuse? Or hope over hope over hope?

  4. Bumble Bee says:

    Once 18 months (or 24 months per the latest USCIS guidance) have passed since the I-829 receipt date, what proof of employment eligibility and authorized stay do I have?

    I understand I can get a visa stamp from a USCIS field office before I travel overseas. I’m not talking about re-entering the country. I’m talking about my ability to keep working at a job that I love.

    • CR says:

      You need to call USCIS and say the magic word (infopass) to schedule the appointment for the stamp (I-551 extension). You will then have to wait for USCIS to call you back in up to 30 days and pray that they do not call you while you are in the bathroom, taking a shower or is on a no-miss type of appointment. The reason is they will only call you twice, and if you do not answer, you need to start the process over again.
      Please note that 30 days from expiry is earliest you can call for an appointment.
      With the stamp, you will be able to travel abraod and keep your job.

  5. Lu says:

    Hi everybody. Has someone heard anything about I-829 adjudication perfomance since July 2021? As USCIS temporary cannot adjudicate I-565, I-485 and I-924, have they improved I-829 adjudications? Thank you.

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