On March 4, 2022, Mr. Enterline of Enterline and Partners, working with co-counsel in the United States, helped file a complaint in Federal Court for multiple EB-5 investors waiting for action on their Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Status (“I-829 Petition). The law suit was filed against the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and requested the Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus to order the USCIS to take action on the investor’s I-829 Petitions.
In late April, the U.S. Attorney representing the USCIS responded with an offer of settlement of the case in which the USCIS proposed to review the I-829 Petitions within 120, 150 and 180 days, based on the year of filing the I-829 Petition. Mr. Enterline and co-counsel made a counteroffer requesting that the USCIS agree to review the I-829 Petitions within 90 days (for Petitions filed in 2019), 120 days (for Petitions filed in 2020) and 150 days (for Petitions filed in 2021). On May 12, 2022, the U.S. Attorney on behalf of the USCIS agreed to the counter settlement offer.
In addition to the agreement to review and take action on the I-829 Petitions within those time periods, the settlement included additional terms.
Request for Evidence/Notice of Intent to Deny (RFE/NOID)
“If” USCIS issues a request for evidence (“RFE”) or a notice of intent to deny (“NOID”), the USCIS will agree to make a decision within 60 days of receiving the response to the RFE/NOID. We write “if” because most I-829 Petitions are identified as approvable at the time of filing and will be approved once they are finally reviewed.
The USCIS will assess the need for updated biometrics at the point that each I-829 Petition is being adjudicated and will promptly communicate that need to the investor. In some case, the USCIS may request new biometrics to be taken, such as when there are young children who have aged several years.
Green Card Printing
The USCIS Investor Program Office (“IPO”) will work to ensure that upon the approval of the I-829 Petition, all data entered into USCIS systems for Form I-551 “green card” production is correct at the time of final adjudication to minimize the risk of delay if there are errors on the cards. Errors on printed green cards are remedied by way of Form I-90 filed with the USCIS, not the IPO, so the IPO is not able to commit other agency components to a specific timeframe for corrections, if needed.
One of the reasons that USCIS/IPO is requesting the multiple periods to review the I-829 Petitions is that evidence suggests, and the EB-5 stakeholder community believes, that the IPO is short of staff because of the lapse in the regional center program and many of its staff were transferred out of the IPO or no longer work there; therefore, the IPO does not have the manpower to review so many I-829 Petitioners at one time.
If you have been waiting for a decision on an I-829 Petition for several years, you should consider joining us in our next complaint in Federal Court. Investors who have filed as recently as 2021 have a credible cause of action.
Form I-526 Petitions
We are also filing complaints with Federal Courts for investors who filed Form I-526 Petition, Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur as recently at 2019. If you have been waiting for an approval on your Form I-526 since in or before 2019, we can help.
Writ of Mandamus actions are being filed by hundreds if not thousands of investors right now. With the lack of manpower at IPO, if you are not filing a complaint with the Federal Court for a Writ of Mandamus, it is possible that your petition will fall further to the back of the processing line.
If you want more information on filing for Writs of Mandamus, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and speak with a U.S. immigration attorney in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Taipei.