USCIS’ I-526/I-829 Performance Data Under Review
USCIS is officially reviewing their previously published performance data statistics for I-526 and I-829 approvals and denials. On June 19, USCIS published a list of approvals and denials for each Regional Center, ranging from January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2017. While investors may want to use this information to gauge which Regional Centers are better or worse for investing, the published data has been met with scrutiny from those who are both keenly aware of the performance of some of the Centers and who also have experience with USCIS’ frequent mishaps when reporting data. In fact, USCIS states that it does not claim for its data to be “complete, timely or accurate.” This info should therefore be taken with an entire tablespoon of salt, as there are likely to be inaccuracies, inconsistences, and incomplete information provided by USCIS.
USCIS has released the following statement concerning the data sets, “USCIS is reviewing inquiries regarding the previously posted Form I-526 and Form I-829 approval and denial statistics by regional center.” Feedback is welcome from industry professionals, which will hopefully correct the statistics, and data disseminated by USCIS. Some feel that it is very irresponsible for USCIS to put out numbers that can be misleading to investors and the EB-5 community. Publishing data that associates denials with a Regional Center may present the stigma that a Regional Center is to blame for the denial, or that the Center is somehow inadequate. The truth is, each petition is adjudicated on a case by case basis and a denial can happen for any reason including issues on the investor end. USCIS would like to provide transparency to investors, however they have not yet accomplished that goal, and are currently doing more harm than good by scaring investors away from good and legitimate projects with false or misleading data.
MSA will continue to keep you informed with updated information about the performance data published by USCIS. We caution however, that even if the new and updated data can be verified as accurate, the data can still be misleading and experienced EB-5 attorneys should be consulted for all inquiries and concerns. Investors can also request that Regional Centers provide them with statistics and have their EB-5 attorneys review this information for accuracy. One thing is for certain, investors should do more than rely on information provided from USCIS as due diligence when it comes to selecting a project to invest in.
About The Author:
Brian Idehen, Esq. is an attorney with Mona Shah & Associates.
Brian has experience in investor and corporate immigration law and assists MSA with various immigration and non-immigration matters such as EB-5, E-2, O-1, L, H and G (Diplomatic) visas, EB-1, PERM, securities law and corporate law matters. His experience includes advising high-net worth individuals and multinational corporate companies such as large financial institutions, fashion designers, advertising agencies, pharmaceutical companies, transportation companies, and law firms on immigrant and nonimmigrant matters.