Many EB-5 Regional Center projects in the space with expedite approvals from USCIS claim to have an advantage on processing times for EB-5 investors. However, let’s dissect what these expedites really mean and if they matter to investors when choosing their EB-5 project. It’s important to note that USCIS considers expedites on a case-by-case basis and for EB-5 specifically, there’s three types of expedites which are:
When an expedite request is received, USCIS decides whether or not to grant the expedite request which is whether or not USCIS will speed up the review. It does not mean the underlying petition will be approved; it may still be denied. Assuming a Regional Center application has be granted expedited review and the Regional Center application is approved, it doesn’t mean the specific project will receive expedited review. That is a different request.
Similarly, if a project has an expedited review approval, it doesn’t mean the project documents have been approved, it simply means the review of the documents will be done quicker than normal processing. Lastly, if the project is approved, it does not therefore mean that I-562E petitions will be processed on an expedited basis. Each petition/application stands on its own expedite request.
Let’s imagine both the Regional Center application and the Project Review Application have expedite approvals and the Regional Center and project documents were approved – this still does NOT grant an expedite for the investors’ I-526E. It simply means that now the Regional Center and the project are approved. Each investor in the project would need to request an expedite based on individual eligibility and USCIS’ criteria. Please see the link below for more information on the criteria:
Therefore, NO project with an expedite request or approval can offer expedite processing to all investors, the investors need to make requests individually. This is important because investors can be misled into thinking that just because the project or Regional Center have expedited review, they will benefit with faster processing but that is NOT true. It’s crucial for investors to always go back to analyzing the two (2) most important factors when deciding their EB-5 investment – green card issuance and capital repayment.
Learn more about the EB5 process here.