USCIS Sued Regarding Riverside, California, EB-5 Investor Project

Posted on Oct 23, 2012

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is facing a lawsuit that states that the federal organization is not following regulations and is not treating all visa applications equally. The lawsuit was filed by American Life, Incorporated – a real estate development company that specializes in projects funded through the EB-5 visa program. It was filed on September 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

According to the lawsuit, 18 different immigrants who have applied for EB-5 investment visas say that their application was wrongfully denied by the USCIS. The aspiring immigrants say that they invested $12 million into a real estate project in Riverside, California, but that their investment immigration visa was denied because they could not prove that they created enough new jobs to qualify for permanent residency.

The immigrants, who hail from China, India, Iran, and other countries, invested in renovating an office building that was rented by a tenant who created almost 300 jobs. The USCIS argues that they immigrants did not directly create the jobs, while the real estate company and immigrants argue that they followed the requirements of the EB-5 visa.

The EB-5 visa has grown in popularity in recent years as it gives wealthy foreigners an opportunity to invest either $500,000 or $1 million in the United States economy in exchange for a chance to live and work in the United States. One of the provisions of the visa is that the immigrants must create new jobs in the country over a two-year period.  

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