Removal of Biometrics Requirement for I-526E EB5 Regional Center Petitioners

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the Form I-526E, Immigration Petition by Regional Center Investor, in 2022. At the time of the forms release, the USCIS required that petitioners submit biometrics along with an $85 fee when submitting the Form I-526E. On March 15, 2023, the USCIS determined that it would no longer require the submission of biometrics or the $85 biometrics fee with the Form I-526E.

See March 15, 2023 USCIS news release on removal of Form I-526E biometrics requirement [link].

For this reason, the USCIS will refund the $85 biometrics fees to Form I-526E petitioners who submitted the form with the formerly required fee. These refunds will be automatic and do not require action on the petitioner's part. Beginning on May 15, 2023, USCIS will only accept the version of the Form I-526E dated 03/15/23 (note that this is accurate as of March 20, 2023, petitioners should always look up up-to-date form filing instructions on the USCIS website). Petitioners submitting the previous edition of the Form I-526E (dated 06/01/22) before that date may disregard the now-outdated instructions about biometrics.

The USCIS notes that although it is no longer requiring biometrics with the Form I-526E, it “may request the submission of biometrics from a Form I-526E” under other authorities. The new guidance simply establishes that biometrics are not required for submitting the Form I-526E itself.

The Form I-526E is used by prospective immigrant investors who are seeking to pool their investment with one or more additional investors seeking EB5 visas under the regional center program. The Form I-526, which is separate from the Form I-526E, is used by standalone immigrant investors who are not seeking to pool their investment into a regional center.

See July 12, 2022 USCIS news release on the Form I-526E [link].

The EB5 immigrant investor program is evidence-intensive. As a general matter, prospective EB5 immigrant investors should consult with an experienced immigration attorney in the area of investment immigration before deciding how to proceed. We have published numerous EB5 articles in our website's section on immigrant investors [see section].