[Q] What is the track record of AAO ever reversing the Service's decision on EB-5 case?
Let's put it this way: We have not yet seen or heard the AAO ever reversing the Service's denial on either I-526 or I-829 petition in the history of EB-5 cases. We cannot be certain if this means AAO has never overturned the Service's decision on EB-5 case, as there is no such record. Either the Service is right every time it denies an EB-5 case, or all EB-5 appeals to AAO lacked any merits. Basically, to really get a "real" review of your denial, you might be better off going to Immigration Judge or will definitely be better off going to the federal court if you can afford the costs.
One reason why the Service and AAO can deny an EB-5 case so easily is because EB-5 statutes and regulations are so broad, and there are so few federal court cases on point, and there are so few precedent AAO decisions.
The favorite rationale used by both the Service and AAO to deny your case is: "There is nothing in the EB-5 law which allows so and so . . . " But one could just as strongly argue: "There is nothing in the EB-5 law which prohibits so and so . . . ".
When you review many of AAO decisions, you get the sense that AAO already decided to uphold the Service's decisions and then try to come up with supporting reasons, rather than act as a neutral "reviewer" of relevant facts and EB-5 related laws. Like we said, the EB-5 law has so many holes that anyone can "reasonably" arrive at any conclusions, and when it comes down to it, a lot of what USCIS and AAO cite as "the EB-5 law" is nothing more than their desires policies for the EB-5 Program.
Another negative aspect of AAO review is that AAO almost never allows an oral hearing: that means, you might have to go through many MTRs and many years waiting for AAO to render their decisions.