Mandamus Actions for EB-5 Petitioners

[Also available on Reddit.]

Congress requires that an EB-5 petitioner’s I-829 petition to remove conditions on their green card must be decided within 90 days of filing. This is contained in 8 U.S.C. § 1186b as well as 8 C.F.R. § 216.6, which reads:

(c) Adjudication of petition
(1) The decision on the petition shall be made within 90 days of the date of filing or within 90 days of the interview, whichever is later. [emphasis added]

For those with undecided I-829 petitions pending more than 90 days (most of them), this language provides great ammo for a strong mandamus lawsuit – which is an action filed in federal court asking that the judge compel the government to adjudicate an immigration petition. A long delayed I-829 can keep an investor’s money at risk for longer than necessary, among other potential harms. Whether it is worth it to proceed with a federal litigation is always a case by case analysis and should be done in consultation with an attorney.

* Mandamus/APA lawsuits are also possible for delayed I-526 petitions on behalf of EB-5 investors. The analysis there is more complicated and I’ll address it in a separate post.