Updates Regarding EB-5 Petition Processing and Filing
In February 2014, USCIS completed the transfer of all pending I-526 filings to the new Washington, D.C. area EB-5 adjudication team, which now employs 53 people, including 20 economists and 25 adjudicators, with plans for continued growth to 75 by September 2014 and 100 by several months later.
USCIS took I-526 cases away from 35 trained adjudicators who remain in California. I-526 petitions grew from 5,000 in October 2012 to 7,131 in October 2013. California adjudicators continue to work on I-829 filings, whose backlog reduced from 1,300 to just over 1,000 during this same period. The average I-526 processing times are about 11 months. Average I-829 processing times are about the same: 11 months. Average I-924 regional center applications are taking 12 months on average.
Authorities at USCIS have stated that they are “taking steps” to implement more consistently a “first in- first out” approach to I-526 adjudication, but they stated they intend to keep “balancing” this goal with the efficiency that can be gained, for instance, with a practice of adjudicating together the petitions of investors in a particular project. They also expressed their sense of “urgency” about long-pending petitions but provided no specific steps being taken in that regard.
Posted by Michael B. Dye, Esq.