On August 28, 2015, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced their third quarter adjudication statistics for EB-5 petitions as follows.
For Q3 of fiscal year 2015:
Though I-526 filings have remained consistent throughout FY15, the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) has improved their adjudication rate for I-526 petitions dramatically, assessing nearly 1,000 petitions more than in the previous two quarters.
As a result, the number of pending I-526 petitions has decreased for the first time since FY09. At the end of Q2, 13,553 I-526 petitions had not yet been processed. By the end of Q3, that number had dropped to 13,117 pending petitions — more than 400 fewer petitions.
With the Q3 data added, EB-5 adjudication data for FY15 to date is consistent with the preliminary statistics announced at the USCIS stakeholders call August 15th:
I-526 filings appear to be on track to reach the projected 10,000 visa cap but have remained consistent with FY14.
In fiscal year 2014, 2,516 I-829 petitions were filed; with a quarter still left in this fiscal year, 2,268 I-829 petitions have been filed. Projected filings for Q4 would indicate that, when compared to FY14, I-829 filings will continue to increase.
The IPO has also updated information on processing times for EB-5 petitions. As of June 30, 2015, I-526 petition adjudications averaged 13.5 months, I-829 petitions averaged 14.3 months, and I-924 petitions averaged 11.8 months.
Though the processing times have not increased dramatically since the last update, which was current through the end of May, the average processing times for all three EB-5 petitions have continued to grow.
With new EB-5 regulation on the horizon as the Regional Center Program sunset date approaches, many anticipate the USCIS will receive an influx of I-924 filings, increasing I-924 processing times.
As I-829 filings also continue to increase —consistent with our predictions of “the I-829 bubble”—I-829 adjudication times are expected to grow as well.
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