What are the most common reasons an EB-5 petition might be delayed or denied?

EB-5 petition processing delays can be caused by anything from visa availability to the complexity of the petition. Common causes of delays in I-526 petition processing include visa backlogs, complicated source-of-funds documentation, petition errors, and processing delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS processes I-526 petitions only if visas are available for that country. Additionally, complicated source-of-funds documentation takes longer to verify, and petition errors require petitioners to respond to USCIS requests for information, which takes time.

USCIS will generally deny an EB-5 petition if the petitioner has not complied with the EB-5 program or has failed to demonstrate compliance. Common reasons for EB-5 petition denial include not providing the required information on the petition or supporting documents, providing inconsistent or inaccurate information, and failing to show that the petitioner meets or has met the requirements of the EB-5 visa program. The latter includes failing to invest the required amount, investing in a project that does not qualify for the program, failing to prove EB5 investment funds were obtained lawfully, and failing to prove that funds remained at risk during the investment period.

To determine whether an EB-5 petition is delayed, the investor can visit the Processing Times page on the USCIS website or track the status of their application through the Case Status Online portal. If an investor’s petition has been unduly delayed, they can file a writ of mandamus to compel USCIS to adjudicate it, but they should consult an immigration lawyer about the implications of doing so.

If an EB-5 petition is denied, an investor can attempt to salvage the situation by filing a motion to reopen or reconsider the case or filing an appeal. Alternatively, the investor can file a new EB-5 application. Again, because each case is unique, it is best to discuss the most suitable strategy with an immigration attorney.