EB-5's I-526 Material Change Clause Explained

EB-5's I-526 Material Change Clause Explained

The USCIS has established that, once an I-526 (Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) has been filed and rejected, the petitioner may not “materially change” the proposal presented in the original petition. The question is, “What does that mean?”

Let’s begin with what it does not mean. It does not mean that a petitioner may reapply under the same proposal by materially changing the facts of any part of the proposal, including the business plan. However, this is precisely what many rejected petitioners have been doing, the result of which has been major frustration.

The proposal is what the proposal is. Changing the proposal is not an acceptable response to a Request for Evidence (RFE). The RFE is not a suggestion to change to proposal. It is a request to submit additional, adequate evidence to substantiate the alleged facts in the original petition. It’s kind of like being the prosecuting attorney in a court of law. The petition is the charge in the case. The evidence presented must be sufficient to prove the case, or the case will be thrown out based on a lack of evidence.

Essentially, an RFE indicates that the petitioner has not presented evidence adequate to prove his or her case. The RFE is an opportunity to further establish the veracity and credibility of the proposal in the I-526 petition by supplying additional, factual, substantiating information.

Here it is in two simple sentences: Don’t change the proposal. Gather more evidence.

EB-5's I-526 Material Change Clause Explained   Dr. Gregory Finkelson is president of American Corporate Services and author of the book How to Find Chinese Investors, Agents & Clients for Your EB-5 Projects & Services, A Practical Guide for Regional Centers, Attorneys, Developers and Businessmen.


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