Once an EB-5 investor has filed their Form I-526 petition, the only thing that can be done is to wait for approval from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency will review the petition and any accompanying documentation—such as a business plan and market analysis—and determine if approval will be granted. During the review process, USCIS may determine that the petition does not meet certain requirements as is. In these cases, the agency will send a Request for Evidence (RFE) to the investor.
When sending an RFE, USCIS must provide specific information explaining which eligibility requirements have not been met, and why the petition and its accompanying documentation were not enough to satisfy the requirements. Further, the RFE should list any missing evidence and provide examples of documentation that can be submitted for the petition to meet the EB-5 eligibility criteria. In these cases, responding to an RFE can feel overwhelming, and failure to provide the requested documentation could result in further delays to the adjudication process. It would be in the best interest of the investor to seek guidance from an experienced EB-5 industry consultant to avoid any further delays.
Investors who live outside of the United States at the time they submit their I-526 petition must simply wait for adjudication in their home country. However, potential investors who are currently in the United States—such as holders of H-1B visas—may file their Form I-526 and Form I-485 petitions concurrently. This is part of the changes brought on by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act, which was signed into law in March 2022. Concurrent filing can significantly cut down on the wait time for investors who would previously have had to submit the petitions individually.