Approval of Previously Denied EB-5 due to “Indebtedness”

In response to the class action lawsuit (Zhang v. USCIS),  USCIS provided certain relief to EB-5 investor clients who were adversely affected by USCIS’s “loan proceeds” policy.

Under this policy, the Immigrant Investor Program Office (“IPO”) classified loan proceeds as “indebtedness” instead of “cash” and therefore denied the I-526 petitions of EB-5 applicants who invested loan proceeds without showing that their loans were secured by the investor’s personally owned assets.

Due to the aforementioned lawsuit, that policy has been reversed. The Court ruled that loan proceeds are properly classified as “cash,” not “indebtedness,” and USCIS therefore erred in imposing collateralization requirements on the investment of loan proceeds.

Under that class action decision, USCIS is required to reopen and re-adjudicate any I-526 petition denied on or after June 23, 2009, so long as the denial was based solely on the loan proceeds policy.

We identified our case below as a potential class member in June 2019. The case was re-opened and then approved on May 3, 2021.