Wednesday, March 29, 2023

USCIS Removes Biometrics Requirement for Form I-526E Petitioners

Beginning March 15, we are removing the biometrics submission requirement and $85 fee requirement for petitioners filing Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor. Petitioners no longer need to submit the fee for biometrics services with their Form I-526E.

We determined that universal biometrics collection is not necessary under INA 203(b)(5)(H)(iii) in connection with the filing of Form I-526E for all regional center investor petitioners in order to confirm compliance with INA 203(b)(5)(H)(i)-(ii).  However, we may request the submission of biometrics from a Form I-526E petitioner as may be necessary under INA 203(b)(5)(H)(iii), 8 CFR 103.2(b)(9), or under other applicable authorities.

Since the form's release in 2022, we have received about 980 Form I-526E petitions filed with the biometrics fee. We will refund these fees in the coming weeks. Petitioners do not need to contact USCIS to request a refund.

We have released a revised edition of Form I-526E dated 03/15/23, with updated instructions. Effective May 15, USCIS will accept only the 03/15/23 edition of Form I-526E. Until then, you can submit either the new edition or the previous edition of Form I-526E (dated 06/01/22). The edition date is at the bottom of the page on the form and its accompanying instructions. Petitioners should be aware that the previous edition still contains instructions about the biometrics submission requirement that are no longer accurate.

On July 12, 2022, we first published Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, as part of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. An investor pooling their investment with one or more qualified immigrants participating in the Regional Center Program uses this form to petition USCIS for status as an immigrant to the United States under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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