If you have received an RFE (Request for Evidence) in the mail, you might be concerned about what this means for your EB-5 visa application and how you should proceed. It’s important that you know an RFE does not necessarily mean that your application is going to be denied. An RFE simply means that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is requesting more documentation from you and that the USCIS officer who is in charge of your application needs more information before they can make a decision.
The best thing you can do if you have received an RFE is to contact an immigration attorney right away, gather all evidence and documents requested, and submit everything before the deadline stated in the RFE. If you fail to meet this deadline, it means the USCIS officer will make a decision based on the documents they already have, and often times this means that the application is denied. If you have received an RFE, consult with an immigration attorney for more information and details about how to initiate the RFE response process.
The EB-5 Visa
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor program was created with the goal of stimulating the American economy and creating American jobs through foreign investment. The immigrant investor must make a minimum investment of $1,000,000 into a new commercial enterprise of a designated size or through the Regional Center Program. The investment can be made by purchasing an existing enterprise for reconstruction or reorganization to maximize results, or by showing that the investment will increase the network of the company or number of employees by a minimum of 40%. The minimum qualifying investment for this visa program is $1,000,000. However, in areas that are deemed high-unemployment areas and rural areas, the minimum investment required drops to $500,000.
EB-5 Basic Qualifications
When it comes to the EB-5 visa, there are only two qualifications that must be met. A person must be able to invest at least $500,000 into an approved program that will create at least 10 permanent full-time American jobs. The second qualification requires proof that the money was lawfully obtained and is not borrowed money.
Applying For An EB-5 Visa
The application process begins by selecting an investment and putting money in the US securities or establishing a business. After this, you should hire an immigration attorney to assist you in the process of petitioning for a visa. You must prepare your visa petition with all of the necessary documents and then file it. The filing is usually done by the immigration attorney. Following the approval of your visa, you will have an interview at your country’s US embassy or consulate. The form necessary to petition for an EB-5 visa is form I-526. Once this form is approved, you submit the form I-485 or DS-260 to change the status of your green card.
Effectively Handling Requests For Evidence
When it comes to the EB-5 visa there are two types of RFEs you might receive. The first relates to questions or concerns about the Regional Center. The second type addresses missing evidence in the source of your EB-5 capital investment. If you have received an RFE that pertains to the Regional Center, your immigration attorney will forward the RFE to their legal counsel who are in the best position to answer questions about the project. Often times when this is the case, the questions USCIS is requesting an answer for will be relatively minor. The Regional Center’s legal counsel should be able to easily provide any needed documentation. If you RFE refers to the source of your funds, your immigration attorney will advise you on the best course of action to take. All you can do in this situation is to provide further documentation and clarification in the area requested. Your attorney will help you in regards to what additional documents are needed.
Consult With An Immigration Attorney
You RFE is going to come with a deadline to submit the requested information. The best thing you can do is provide them with the necessary information as quickly as possible to clear up your application and allow it to progress as usual. If you miss the deadline, USCIS will continue will review your application with all of the information they currently have. Unfortunately, in most cases, this means that the application gets denied. To prevent this, make sure you take immediate action if you receive an RFE in the mail. Contacting an immigration attorney right away is the best thing you can do to help ensure that you are providing USCIS will all of the information they need to properly evaluate your application. Your immigration attorney with have the proper knowledge on how to deal with an RFE situation and will be able to help you gather all of the necessary documents.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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