Department of State Announces New NVC EB-5 Investor Assistance Desk
Not to be outdone by the recent USCIS guidance regarding inquiries and increased processing times, the Department of State (“DOS”) has announced a new EB-5 Investor Assistance Desk with a dedicated email address specifically for EB-5 immigrant visa applicants. DOS explains:
Customers with questions related to an approved I-526 petition will soon be able to correspond with the National Visa Center (NVC) using a dedicated e-mail address: NVCeb5@state.gov. The newly created EB-5 Investor Assistance Desk, which launches on February 22, is part of NVC’s continuing efforts to improve customer service.
Upon receipt of an approved petition from USCIS, our Investor Assistance Desk will oversee the addition of potential derivative applicants and creation of fee bills. Customers will e-mail their derivative’s relationship documents to NVCeb5@state.gov, which can also be used for inquiries on derivatives, the Child Status Protection Act, and general case status.
The Investor Assistance Desk does not change NVC’s process for documentarily qualifying an immigrant visa case and scheduling an interview overseas. All visa applicants, including those in the EB-5 category, should submit their financial, civil, and supporting documents to NVC in one package following the instructions on http://nvc.state.gov/submit. The goal of NVC’s Investor Assistance Desk is to provide more transparent and effective customer service through a team specially trained in the I-526 petition.
Practitioners have noted frequent delays and discrepancies among approved EB-5 petitions sent to the NVC. Most often, fee bills are not issued for all derivative family members, causing delays in scheduling final immigrant visa interviews. Such delays can be costly for derivative child applicants who are unable to “lock-in” their age under the Child Status Protection Act (“CSPA”). We applaud the NVC’s efforts to provide additional service and dialogue with stakeholders, and we hope that this dedicated EB-5 unit will be able to solve many of the procedural delays that arise during this stage of an EB-5 investor’s case.
This post originally appeared on Wolfsdorf Connect. Copyright © 2016 Wolfsdorf Connect - All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Robert J. Blanco specializes in business and employment immigration cases. He prepares both immigrant and non-immigrant petitions for skilled workers, executive managers, high net worth investors, and people of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, and business. As a member of the firm's EB-5 team, Mr. Blanco prepares cases for individual investors and advises U.S. businesses on how to structure investment projects under the regulations of the EB-5 program. He also represents clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).