Investors looking for a project in which to invest may want to consider exemplar projects. Exemplar projects come with certain benefits for the foreign investor. Not all Regional Center Projects will choose to apply for exemplar approval because of the stringent standards set by USCIS and the rigidity it imposes in project planning. Investing in exemplar projects does, however, provide investors with the assurance that their project has been preapproved.
Exemplar Indicates Pre-Approval by USCIS
Exemplars, or pre-approved projects, are projects that have been evaluated and certified by USCIS to meet certain criteria delineated in the EB-5 requirements. At the time that an investor moves forward with an exemplar project, most, if not all, aspects of that project should have already received approval from USCIS. These aspects include: the new commercial enterprise, business plan, business organizational documents, offering documents, job creation claims, etc. Because of this pre-approval, investors who file EB-5 petitions with an exemplar project may be able to enjoy faster processing times for their EB-5 application.
How and Why Investors Benefit
Shorter Adjudication Times
An EB-5 application is made up of two major parts:
- project documents, provided by the regional center, and
- proof of source of funds, provided by the investor.
Because the first major portion, the regional center’s project documents, has already received preapproval, the USCIS adjudicator will generally only need to review the investor’s source of funds documents (as long as there are no material changes or evidence of fraud or misrepresentation from the project side). The project documents make up a major portion of the EB-5 application; because of this, processing times for pre-approved projects often are significantly shorter than for non-exemplar projects. For those who wish to immigrate to the U.S. as soon as possible, it is easy to see how the shorter adjudication time frame would have certain advantages.