The Solution to a Stuck EB-5 Visa Application – Filing Writ of Mandamus

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has slowed the pace at which it adjudicates I-526 petitions. The I-526 form demonstrates a petitioner’s eligibility for the EB-5 visa and constitutes the first official step in the application process for would-be immigrant investors.

The slowdown in adjudications are the result of political, administrative and external factors. They are evidenced in the fact that “priority dates” for countries in visa retrogression are quickly shifting forward. The changes to the priority dates is most likely the artificial result of low demand for visas caused by a slow rate of adjudication rather than meaningful changes to the number of applicants waiting for EB-5 visas.

 

USCIS Ombudsman

There are several courses of action open to any immigrant petitioner who suspects their I-526 application to have been unreasonably delayed. In the first instance, petitioners should contact the USCIS ombudsman’s office. This may not ultimately expedite your adjudication, but it is helpful to show evidence of seeking a solution should a petitioner need to subsequently escalate their case. Another option is to contact the senator or congressional representative covering the state or district where the EB-5 project is located.

 

Writ of Mandamus

It is possible to file a lawsuit in a federal court to determine whether your immigration petition has been unreasonably delayed. This lawsuit, known as a writ of mandamus, will have no bearing on whether or not your I-526 application is successfully approved. It does, however, force USCIS into adjudicating your case quickly if it is judged to have been unreasonably delayed. Sometimes simply initiating proceedings can galvanize action as USCIS has been known to adjudicate a plaintiff’s application in order to avoid progressing with the lawsuit.

 

Filing a Case

Since filing a writ of mandamus is a legal course of action which may require litigation, it is always advisable to seek advice from an attorney. Contact D&A for a free consultation to determine whether it would be advantageous for your I-526 petition. Our team has filed dozens of successful writs of mandamus actions against USCIS for unreasonably delaying immigrant petitions. We can assist regardless of whether your I-526 application was prepared by Davies & Associates. The average time between filing a writ of mandamus and receiving an adjudication is around two months, in some cases it can be significantly less.

 

Act Quickly

It is anticipated that USCIS might suddenly start processing applications at a faster pace. It is advisable to file a writ of mandamus as soon as possible to have your case reviewed ahead of a possible surge.


Investors look to the E-2 Visa as the Cost of an EB-5 Visa Increases from Thursday

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Duncan Hill is marketing director at Davies & Associates LLC. Duncan is not a lawyer and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

 

Barring an eleventh-hour intervention, the minimum investment required for an EB-5 application is increasing from $500,000 to $900,000 in areas of high unemployment and from $1 million to $1.8 million everywhere else.

 

Given the time it takes our attorneys and paralegals to prove that a client’s source of funds meets with strict US requirements, it is most likely too late to apply for an EB-5 at the current rate. 

 

For those who can afford the higher investment amount, the EB-5 visa remains one of the fastest routes to a Green Card. 

 

For those who cannot afford the higher investment amount there are a range of options available. Here at D&A, the team picking up most of the slack is the E-2 Visa team (although there are a range of other options available and we advise you to discuss them with us.)

 

The E2 Visa is designed for people seeking to move to the United States to own and operate a business. Processing times are quick, and spouses are eligible to apply for work authorization in the United States. It is possible to expand an existing business, open a new one, or buy an off-the-shelf franchise.  

 

Only citizens of countries with a relevant commercial treaty with the United States are eligible for E-2 visas. This excludes some countries where demand for US visas is the highest, including India, China and Vietnam. Citizens of these three countries already face a multiple-year wait for an EB-5 visa because demand has far outstripped supply.

 

Yet at D&A we are part of a wave of pioneering law firms working to help citizens of such countries become eligible. For example, we have helped clients obtain E-2 visas by first becoming citizens of Grenada in the Caribbean. Coupling an E-2 Visa with Grenadian citizenship in this way has allowed people to live and work in the United States while on the EB-5 waiting list. If the business becomes large enough, it is feasible that it could be transitioned to a Green Card via EB-5.

 

Grenada is a cost-effective option with no residency requirement or tax on worldwide income.  Processing times are quick and have just got even faster. It is possible for the whole process of Grenada and E-2 to take just a matter of months. Grenada is not the only option available and D&A works with a range of E-2-eligible citizenship by investment programs around the world, including Turkey, Montenegro, and various EU countries. 

 

Contact our team today to discuss a bespoke immigration solution to suit your needs.