Genuine EB-5 Engagement Promised

I’m overjoyed to report a positive development. For the first time in years, USCIS is holding an EB-5 stakeholder engagement that promises to include engagement (not just updates and not just listening, but “a question-and-answer session to answer questions“(!!!) From 2010 to 2017, USCIS used to hold quarterly EB-5 engagements with updates and live Q&A. I complained at the time about the quality of these engagements, but at least they happened. Communication between USCIS and the EB-5 world started to break down with the end of quarterly meetings in 2018. Over the last five years, there have very few EB-5 updates from USCIS, and only three events that could be considered “engagements” in the sense of involving any dialogue between USCIS and EB-5 stakeholders. No wonder we’ve ended up in such a mess of frustration, hostility, and litigation. But now, USCIS is reaching out with a chance to talk. What a good sign!

USCIS Immigrant Investor Program Stakeholder Engagement Wednesday, Oct. 19|2-3 p.m. Eastern

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder engagement on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern.

During the first part of the engagement, we will share updates on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. We will then hold a question-and-answer session to answer questions, listen to your comments, and seek your individual feedback. We will not address case-specific questions, questions outside the scope of the engagement, or issues under active litigation or likely to be litigated.

We are committed to public engagement, and our stakeholder engagements provide valuable feedback as we work to improve our programs. Participation in this engagement will be virtual. If you would like to submit a question in advance, please send your question to the Public Engagement mailbox at public.engagement@uscis.dhs.gov with the subject line “Question: EB-5 Engagement October 19, 2022” by 4pm Friday, Sept. 16.

To Register: 1. Visit our registration page. 2.  You will be asked to provide your email address and select “Submit.” 3. On the next screen, you will see a notification that you successfully subscribed to this event. Once we process your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details. If you have any questions, or if you do not receive a confirmation email within three business days of submitting your registration, please email us at public.engagement@uscis.dhs.gov. To request a disability accommodation to participate in this engagement, email us at public.engagement@uscis.dhs.gov by 4 p.m. Eastern, Friday, Oct. 14.  Note to media: This webinar is not for press purposes. Please contact the USCIS Press Office at media@uscis.dhs.gov for any media inquiries. We look forward to your participation!

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.

35 Responses to Genuine EB-5 Engagement Promised

  1. Ting says:

    I hope they can answer and explain the processing time for I526 and I829. How to address the timely processing required by the new reformed EB5 bill.

  2. Y526 says:

    I hope they clarify their standpoint on what would be considered material change for EB5 petitions and business plans during COVID and post-COVID. The situation is pretty chaotic in the business world now and drastic price hikes are happening everywhere, which is making it very hard for original business plans and completion timeframes to remain unchanged.

  3. HT says:

    I wish they also answer the processing time for I526 for cases with expedited approval by early 2022.

  4. SON says:

    I would like to see some transparent statistics of how many (if any) I526 approvals have been issued since the March 2022 reauthorization. We submitted our application in Dec 2018 and have not heard one thing from the USCIS since that date. There must be a massive backlog building up. All we see is the expected processing time getting longer and longer, which means they must barely be processing any files at all. What are they doing to address this? It is extremely unfair and unjust to allow people, in good faith, to invest large amounts of hard-earned money in your country and not to process their applications timeously, let alone give them adequate feedback of status. The effect on peoples’ lives can be catastrophic.

    • EBHived says:

      Thanks Suzanne and Son for this great comment. I agree with your comment completely, my family worked so hard to realize funds for this EB5 investment and move to the USA. It seems as though USCIS forgot that our capital was in exchange for the green card, not only the RCs annual profits. I think they should commit to clearing the backlog by a certain date.

  5. EBHived says:

    I think they should consider hiring private contractors and/or paying the reviewers $4-500 hundred dollars per I526 application reviewed and completed, stop paying them hourly!!!! Most RC’s and attorneys do a good job with the application paper and with this incentive I believe a motivated reviewer could complete 1-2 per day. They could also have a list of applications prepared by “trusted” RCs and law firms to help further expedite. Investors would have gladly paid this additional fee for the YEARS of time it would save.

  6. Jaimin says:

    Yesterday, my son has received the letter from NVC, informing him that his Visa Interview is scheduled on 21st October 2022 at Mumbai Consulate.

    His I 526 was filed on 29th Oct. 2018 (Through RC)
    I 526 was approved on 1st April 2021
    NVC fees was paid on 27th April 2022
    Docu. Complete letter 8th June 2022

    I am sharing this information with the forum members, so that they can remain updated about the current status.

    Regards,

    • Abarros says:

      Thank you so much Jaimin.

    • Meg says:

      We also received NVC interview letter scheduled on Oct 27th at Mumbai Consulate.

    • RPG says:

      Make sure he carries all the 526 petition document with him including business plan, latest project update, source of funds, how money was in his possession and then transferred to LLC etc… they had denied me the first time and I had to print out the 2000 page 526 petition apart from other documents… then of course we got the visa, travelled to the US, and now are residents as of Aug 25!!

  7. Arvind Raja says:

    anyone here who has filed the i-526 and then concurrent filed the 485,765 & 693? we did that and i would like to know when 526 is approved we need to submit further documentation

  8. I agree. The October 19 engagement seems to be a departure from the old approach which did not allow customer feedback. Maybe if the EB-5 unit listens more, they will learn how to get things right.

  9. Boyd Campbell says:

    Good on ya, Suzanne. I think Martin Lawler and I are on the same page regarding the October 19 engagement. It promises to be a positive development.

    Boyd Campbell

    http://www.visaus.com ________________________________

  10. Y526 says:

    Any direct EB5 investors from non-backlogged countries with a priority date in 2020 or 2021 that got an RFE or any other reply from USCIS?

    • CM says:

      Hey Y526,
      Here: Direct Investor from non-backlogged country. Priority date Nov 2019. Received an I-526 RFE October 2021 replied Dec 2021 and haven’t heard anything else – simply absurd.
      What’s your story?

      • Y526 says:

        Hey CM, in my case, my PD is early October, 2021, but my case status still says “case was received” with no update or movement at all. I know your PD is way earlier but I really thought I would at least get an RFE or a “case is being actively reviewed” status by now but nope, nothing. I presume they have not even looked at my petition. So much for all the new 6 month processing timeline for direct investors from non-backlogged countries.

        It’s insane that they have yet to reply to your RFE all the way from November 2021. What the heck are they even doing? Starting to think there are still just a couple or so officers working on I-526 petitions.

        Or maybe they just have really slow internet 🙄.

  11. Thengai Mandai says:

    I’d submitted my I-485 RFE for medicals in June of this year after receiving request to submit. I-526 approval came last year. PD is 12/2017 and am an Indian citizen. Case status updated from RFE Response Received to “Case Remains Pending”. Anyone else got this update and can shed light on what this means?

  12. Jay says:

    Nov 2019 PD, regional centre investor (India born) seeking mandamus. Anyone with pror positive experience with this process or it is a waste of time and $ ? Please advise.

    • CO says:

      In your case it depends if your PD is after 8th November 2019 or before. As per the previous USCIS policy, if it’s after 8th November 2019 (retrogression as per visa bulletin October 2022) then it’s probably better to wait and see how the dates move over the next couple of visa bulletins.

      Employment based GC has 200,000 numbers in FY 2023, 60,000 more than normal quota of 140,000. However for EB5 in unreserved categories, gains are offset by 32 % for setasides. Still its almost a no impact situation. From next year, if no spillover happens (unlikely), the 7% quota for India EB5 will mean less than 500 visas.

      Irrespective, you should open a channel of communication with a WOM attorney for near future.

  13. Anil Kumar says:

    5thbJanuary 2022 PD direct investor ( India born) ,haven’t heard anything ,agree total wastage or $ ,will join / support genuine organisation/ group seeking mandamus

    • Y526 says:

      It’s still way too soon for you to hear anything. Your PD only dates back to Jan 2022 and you’re originally from a backlogged country so of course you won’t hear anything before a few years, at least.

      I don’t mean to be rude by saying this but people who are applying from countries that have an overload of applicants cannot expect that they are going to get any kind of priority. The USCIS has a yearly quota of applicants to fill from each country, and every year, millions will of applicants from India, China, and other backlogged countries apply and overfill the quotas very quickly. You can’t compare your case to a British citizen applying from the UK or a Canadian applying from Canada, for example, because not many immigrant petitions come from there so they will obviously hear back sooner (unless they applied through a regional center and got stuck in the monstrous mess.)

      I see so many Indian and Chinese applicants complaining about long waiting times but it is bound to happen to you. You make up probably close to 90 percent of total US employment-based immigrant petitions, and you make up for most of the world’s immigrant population. I see more Indians and Chinese people in the US, and the world as a whole, than any other ethnicity. You’re obviously going to have a long wait-time almost wherever you apply for immigration.

  14. Raj says:

    Need help in case anyone has had a similar experience. Our interview date has been scheduled at the Mumbai embassy for 11Oct. However, we cannot make it for that date and have requested the embassy (via support-india@ustraveldocs.com) for reschedulement. They have advised us to reschedule via their online portal and that they don’t accept reschedule requests via email. However when we follow their steps there is no option to reschedule the consular interview in their online portal. I have followed up with them & they gave the same response to do it via the online portal. Does anyone have any experience or idea how we can request for reschedulement? 

    • Katy B says:

      Don’t reschedule. Move heaven and earth to make the interview date, however inconvenient, or risk waiting a very long time. If, like most investors currently having interviews in Mumbai, you have already waited several years it simply isn’t worth elongating the process. You risk getting caught up in visa retrogression and could potentially store up problems for the I-829 phase.

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