EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 issue" Volume 9 Issue 1 | Page 87

While the US immigration system may not be perfect , it is a democratic one where everybody must wait in the same line or go through the same process once an application is filed . The exception of course is if an individual can establish a compelling reason why their case should be considered sooner than other pending cases .
The request for expedited processing is often mentioned as a hopeful plea or a mythical occurrence , but as we explore below , yes , it ’ s real .
USCIS has long allowed individuals to submit an expedite request for a wide range of immigration applications . 2 This includes EB-5 related petitions such as I-526 petitions for individual investors and I-924 exemplar requests for Regional Centers .
To be eligible for expedited processing , the request should meet one or more of the criteria listed by USCIS that explains why its urgent for the application or benefit to be approved , including :
• Potential severe financial loss to a company or person unless a benefit is granted ;
• Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons ( such as a personal need to enter the U . S . for critical specialized medical treatment , or to serve a compelling public need such as a doctors and nurses providing healthcare in COVID-19 stricken areas );
• Compelling U . S . government interests ( including cases identified as urgent by a federal agency or those that would serve public safety or national security interests );
• To fix a problem that was clearly caused by USCIS error .
Although there are no formal requirements for an expedite request , it ’ s advisable to include a supporting memo and evidence that explains why the expedite should be granted .
Once a case is filed and a case number has been received , one can request expedited processing through several methods , including calling the USCIS Contact Center or by using the “ Ask Emma ” function on USCIS ’ website . However , in our experience , for EB-5 cases , it is often most effective to make the request directly with the
" Although there are no formal requirements for an expedite request , it ’ s advisable to include a supporting memo and evidence that explains why the expedite should be granted ."
investor program office , which will then typically process the request within 14 days .
Note that while requests are generally processed within 14 days , there is no specific timeline or guarantee of when the underlying I-526 petition will be processed . While most have historically been approved within 6 months or a year ( sometimes even earlier ), there is no guarantee that cases will be expedited within a specific time . All expedited requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and are discretionary .
The benefits of an expedite request are obvious : for investors , faster processing time for their I-526 petitions allows them to ultimately begin their lives in the U . S . sooner as conditional permanent residents as well as potentially controlling their investment risk by being eligible for repayment sooner and potentially avoiding redeployment concerns .
It is important to note that a successful expedite request does not guarantee approval of the underlying I-526 petition . It is critical to remember that an expedite request is really a two-part process : ( 1 ) approval of the expedite request and ( 2 ) approval of the underlying application . Thus , one should still ensure that the underlying application is wellprepared and approvable at the time of filing .
A successful expedite request can be based on an individual investor ’ s personal circumstances or it can be based on compelling benefits / importance of the project he or she is investing in . For EB-5 stakeholders an expedite request is possible based on a variety of factors , such as whether a particular project will serve a compelling public need or if it ’ s for an individual ’ s personal emergencies .
However , while an investor can be granted a successful expedite based on the project they are investing in , there is no “ blanket expedite ” for a project that would guarantee that all I-526 petitions will be expedited .
Neither the eligibility criteria or process for requesting an expedite is overly complicated . What is critical however , is weaving together a compelling request that helps USCIS