[Q] How many examiners work on adjudicating EB-5 related cases?
As you probably know, California Service Center (CSC) is the appointed Center to handle I-526s, I-829s, I-485s based on approved I-526s, and regional center designation and amendment applications.
There were around 10 examiners at CSC handling EB-5 cases, but starting 2011, that number probably increased to around 15 to 20 examiners. Any time new examiners are brought in, there is a steep learning curve when it comes to EB-5 cases, and there probably is no way to avoid inconsistent decisions.
Let me just say EB-5 applications are such that if the examiner wishes to be strict in his or her review, the examiner could probably RFE and/or deny over 90% of all cases presented. It all depends on how "reasonable" the examiner is.
What I am saying is this: You have EB-5 statutes and regulations on one hand, and then, on the other hand, you have what the examiners believe are the EB-5 law.
There are all kinds of EB-5 policies which are not supported in the EB-5 statutes and regulations, which act as "de facto" law; and one single misunderstanding or misapplication of EB-5 policy on a single issue can lead to a denial of I-526 or I-829 petition. It used to be not like that in the past; but in fairness, USCIS did not had to deal with many I-829 related issues that started cropping up as more and more I-829s were filed from 2007 or 2008.
More you think about it, the EB-5 Program is a Program built on various strands of strings, and if one of them breaks, the entire EB-5 Program can fall.
From our personal point of view, the weakest aspect of the EB-5 law is that on many issues, there is a lack of logic or practicality. Hopefully, USCIS will make some changes, and convey these changes to examiners.