Generally, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review an I-526 petition in its entirety and issue a single Request For Evidence (RFE) that addresses all of their concerns. However, there is no limit regarding the frequency and number of RFEs that USCIS can issue pertaining to any or all concerns they have regarding a petition. In other words, it is possible for an EB-5 investor to receive more than one RFE for the same I-526 petition.
Receiving an RFE can be nerve-racking for an EB-5 investor who is awaiting I-526 adjudication. After all, many foreign nationals begin the EB5 investment process as a means to gaining lawful permanent resident status. Some even take it a step further and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. If an investor receives an RFE, the best course of action would be to contact an EB-5 industry professional who can help guide them through the process.
An RFE should not be confused with a Notice of Intent to Deny. In fact, if USCIS receives all of the requested information, the petition is likely to proceed smoothly. However, failure to provide an accurate and thorough response may result in further delays in adjudication or even denial of the petition. USCIS sends an RFE when a petition contains incomplete or inconsistent information. It is sent because the USCIS officer determines there is a possibility that the petitioner—in this case, an EB-5 investor—can overcome ineligibility by simply providing further information or documentation.
The best way to avoid an RFE is to ensure that the I-526 petition is thorough and complete. One particular part of the petition—the business plan—is especially important. The business plan shows USCIS that the EB-5 investment project is financially viable and compliant with USCIS regulations. Submitting a detailed business plan reduces the likelihood of RFEs and denials.