Our client’s direct-investment company operated like every other business in the U.S. – it had its ups and downs. The Company had a great product, but like the majority of new businesses, it struggled to establish a loyal customer base. It also dealt with the usual challenges employers face with their employees – employees who change their mind, find better paying jobs, perform poorly or violate the terms of employment.
While none of this is unusual for a U.S. business, this Company had to live up to a higher standard, as one of its principal investors was an EB-5 investor with I-829 pending. The client had a strong I-829 filing. All their employees had been on board well before the I-829 filing; in fact, the Company’s operations were going strong with a new product line launched just before the I-829 filing and was well-positioned to secure new customers.
Then, every employer’s worst nightmare unfolded. A long-time and loyal employee resigned due to the family’s relocation. Another employee simply stopped showing up. Yet another employee grossly violated the terms of his employment and had to be let go. Then a delay in the manufacturing timeline caused additional employees to be placed on furlough. The company was down to 5 employees.
This too is not unusual for a start up company, but this Company’s worst fears were realized when – in the midst of an employment crisis – they received an RFE on the investor’s I-829. Among other things, USCIS asked for an updated evidence of employment creation.
We worked with the Client to document his business, its validity, and potential. We worked on illustrating to USCIS that this business is a real business facing the problems many other U.S. startup businesses face. We convincingly demonstrated that the Client’s investment had in fact created the requisite 10 permanent positions. However, the Company could only do so much to keep those positions filled at all times. While we were preparing a response to the RFE, the Company worked diligently on rebuilding its staff. Filling the open positions was a priority for the Company not only because of USCIS but also because the Company’s manufacturing could not go on without a permanent staff.
Through our in-depth knowledge of the EB-5 program and I-829 requirements, the legal team at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C., were able to guide the Client in presenting his business to USCIS in the most favorable light. We knew that in order to prevail on the RFE, we had to get USCIS to understand the Client’s business. At first glance, the Company’s situation did not bode well for an I-829 approval; however, the Company had met all I-829 requirements. We successfully responded to the RFE and our Client obtained a Lawful Permanent Residence six weeks after we filed the response to the RFE.