What are the potential consequences of filing an incomplete Form I-526 and submitting the missing documents later?

The I-526 petition acts as the EB-5 program application, as it is the first petition foreign nationals will file in the EB-5 investment process. In essence, it serves to demonstrate to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the investor has made a valid investment and is eligible for an EB-5 visa. Naturally, an I-526 petition must be accompanied by a wide variety of documentation to prove an investor qualifies for the program. If an EB5 investor submits an incomplete I-526 petition, USCIS will issue a request for evidence (RFE), a notice of intent to deny (NOID), or even deny the petition outright. Since RFEs cause delays in petition processing, it is in an investors best interest to ensure the necessary information is filed alongside their petition. Moreover, once an RFE is issued, all work on a case is halted until USCIS receives the petitioner’s response packet. If the missing information is sent to USCIS after the petitioner receives a receipt notice but before an RFE is issued, a delay is still likely, and an RFE might still be issued.

EB5 investors must respond to an RFE fully, accurately, and promptly. Upon receiving an RFE, an investor has a limited time to respond. The deadline for response will be indicated on the RFE and is typically between 30 and 90 days. Failure to respond within the appointed time window will likely result in petition denial.

Typically, a petitioner only has one opportunity to respond to an RFE. Once USCIS receives a response, it will move forward with adjudication. If an investor sends an incomplete response or multiple responses, USCIS may not consider any evidence beyond what was sent in the first response packet. As such, it is in an investors best interest to consult with EB5 experts to ensure the necessary information is sent to USCIS. The RFE response process should involve coordinating a response team, gathering the required evidence outlined in the RFE, and filing the response by the assigned deadline.