On June 19, 2017, USCIS published a list of approvals and denials for Form I-526 [link] and Form I-829 [link] performance based on Regional Center, ranging from January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2017. At first glance this seems to be great news for investors: one can now finally use official government data to find which Regional Centers have the best track record for approval and weigh such data when performing due diligence as to which EB-5 investment is right for him or her. But let us be clear, prospective investors should NOT rely upon the I-526 and I-829 reports in determining where to invest, nor should existing investors now be worried about the performance of their projects simply because of these reports.
USCIS data is often inaccurate. Any immigration practitioner can attest to this pattern when reviewing published processing times, both in the EB-5 and non EB-5 context, that rarely track actual experience. It appears to us that the new I-526/I-829 reports are inaccurate as well. While we cannot explain the specifics in a public forum, upon review of this data and our knowledge of various Regional Center entities’ reputations and clients’ experiences, some of the published figures simply cannot be true.
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