EB-5 Investor Drops Lawsuit Against USCIS Over Processing Delays

A foreign investor has dropped a federal lawsuit in which she accused immigration authorities of an inexcusable delay in processing her EB-5 visa application. The suit against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was filed slightly over a year ago. The government stipulated an agreement to dismiss all claims without prejudice, and determined that each party would be responsible for their attorneys’ fees and costs.

When first making the complaint, the investor tried obtaining an order that would force the government to process the application she filed. It had been two years since she filed her Form I-256 petition with the USCIS in July 2019 to obtain a visa by participating in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. According to the complaint, the delay meant the agency was not complying with the Administrative Procedure Act and the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The Administrative Procedure Act requires applications to be processed reasonably, and the Immigration and Naturalization Act states that applications must be processed within six months.

The complaint stated that the plaintiff is a national of India and submitted her petition after investing $500,000 in the CanAm New York Regional Center LP X. This EB-5 center was formed to raise $30 million in EB-5 capital, which was to come from 60 immigrant investors. The investments were for building a 36-story office building in Brooklyn.

When the plaintiff filed an application for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the guidelines required investors to supply proof of their investment and evidence that the investment would create a minimum of ten full-time jobs. The plaintiff did supply this evidence with the Form I-526 petition she filed.

The plaintiff asked the USCIS for a specific and reasonable timeline for abjudicating Form I-526. However, the form has not been adjudicated, and when the USCIS will complete a review remains unclear. The USCIS has also not given a reason for the long delay in the plaintiff’s I-526 petition.

Despite the USCIS informing the public that it hired more workers to address the delays with processing applications, the processing times continue increasing. Ths USCIS claims a reason for the growing delays is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in response to the announcement, the plaintiff denies this being a sufficient reason for the extensive wait.

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