Expedited requests: show USCIS objective evidence — and pull on their heart strings

  • Written by GCBI Team Posted on September 25, 2020 | Updated on September 25, 2020 | 2 min read

Immigration attorneys Joseph Barnett and Colin Gallagher advise on best practices for expedited requests. USCIS gives these criteria for eligibility: severe financial loss, urgent humanitarian reasons, compelling government interests, and a clear USCIS error. The attorneys say that in addition to objective evidence, they recommend giving the agency a “feel good story,” and support letters from recognized U.S. parties. 

The Wolfsdorf Rosenthal attorneys share their insights for submitting expedite requests for EB-5 petitions. First, they point out the protocol for the agency’s review of such requests: 

  • All requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • Documentary evidence is a must
  • The decision to approve or deny such a request is solely in the discretion of USCIS
  • Approval of such a request does not mean approval of the petition — it only means faster adjudication

EB-5 expedite request criteria

The agency offers very clear direction on what may constitute eligibility for an expedite request:


1. Severe financial loss to either a person or company; however, the request to expedite the adjudication may not be due to the petitioner’s lack of timely action in filing the original EB-5 petition, a response to requests for evidence, or the expedite request itself. With this criterion, the requestor must show that they are not able to endure the financial loss that would occur with normal processing.

2. Urgent humanitarian reasons for faster processing.

3. Compelling U.S. government interests such as national security concerns or public safety.

4. A clear USCIS error in a decision.

Expedite request best practices

  1. A requestor must give objective proof that they qualify, instead of merely declaring eligibility.
  2. Offer letters of support from U.S. parties: government officials, state or federal agencies, local business organizations, etc.
  3. “Pull on the heartstrings of USCIS”: in addition to real evidence, tell a “feel-good story” to the agency. 

A success (and feel good) story

The Wolfsdorf Rosenthal firm recently made an expedite request for 15 I-526 petitions. The EB-5 investor capital was being used to fund an assisted living and memory care facility for the elderly. When the request was made, $1.5 million of the investor capital was still in escrow, waiting for I-526 approvals to trigger its release. 

The firm maintained that without the expedited request the business had a significant chance of failing; further, such failure would result in the 74 aged residents of the facility being left without a home — during the COVID-19 pandemic, no less. And older people are at the highest risk of severe illness or death from the virus. Beyond this “human story,” the firm said that expedited processing was in the U.S. government’s interest by promoting U.S. employment and the care of American senior citizens.

All 15 I-526 were approved for expedited processing. 

Read “Best Practices for Expedite Request to USCIS and Recent EB-5 Success” by Joseph Barnett and Colin Gallagher