An I-526 petition can be denied for many reasons. A common misconception is that denials are based on nationality, chance, or the investor’s qualifications. In fact, the biggest reason for a denial comes when an investor, or more likely, an attorney submits an unacceptable EB-5 source of funds report.
The source of funds report is typically 400 + pages long. Above all, it tracks where the investment amount was derived. The source of funds report has to be completed to a high standard in order for the investor to gain an approved I-526.
The other reason for a denial is a fairly standard background check. Investors that are tied to terrorist or criminal activities will be denied. An investor could also be denied If that have committed a crime in US jurisdictions or has previously broken the terms of a US visa, like overstaying on a tourist visa.
Approval rates dipped starting in 2011. This can be explained by the increased popularity in the program throughout the previous three years. I-526 petitions doubled from 1031 in 2009 to 1953 in 2019 and again to 3805 in 2011. With this increase, more inexperienced attorneys and agents filed source of fund reports that were unacceptable. Compounding on that, they were filing for countries that they were unfamiliar with. This corrected itself as those attorneys and agents became familiar with the requirements. At the start of the Indian EB-5 market, we saw the same problem as inexperienced agents and attorneys submitted these reports. This corrected itself in the same way as China.
Overall the EB-5 program enjoys a very high approval rate which has carried on through 2018. The 2018 average quarterly rate was above 90% and dipped to 86.9% In Q4.
For information on I-829 Approvals, view the statistics here: https://eb-5investments.com/eb-5-i-829-approval
For information on I-526 Processing times, view the statistics here: https://eb-5investments.com/i-526-application-statisticsl
*USCIS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the governing body responsible for the processing of EB-5 petitions like the I-526 and I-829