Earlier today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) hosted a listening session to gather stakeholder input on key issues impacting the EB-5 program.
Participants discussed possible changes to minimum investment amounts, the TEA designation process, the Regional Center designation process, and acceptable indirect job creation methodologies.
USCIS officials also updated stakeholders on program processing and metrics.
Though EB-5 petitions filings have been on the rise for some time, preliminary filing data for Q2 of FY16 indicates a dramatic drop in EB-5 filings from January to March. This is not necessarily surprising, as legislative uncertainty drove unprecedented growth in EB-5 filings in the two preceding quarters.
According to the preliminary data announced today, the USCIS received 849 I-526 petitions, 866 I-829 petitions, and 40 I-924 petitions in Q2. In comparison, 6,277 I-526 petitions were filed in Q1 of the fiscal year.
Representatives from the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO), which manages EB-5 program administration, indicated that they expect filings to increase again over the summer and are anticipating another spike as this year’s sunset date approaches.
However, decreased petition filings may give the USCIS a chance to reduce their adjudication backlog. In Q2, IPO adjudicated 4,141 I-526 petitions, 1,255 I-829 petitions, and 135 I-924 petitions, more than double the number of I-526 and I-829 adjudications completed in Q1.
The IPO also updated attendees on EB-5 program initiatives introduced earlier this year, including:
- Updates to forms I-526, I-829, and I-924
- Regional Center site visits and audit program
- Implementation of I-829 investor interviews
- Increases in IPO staffing
The USCIS has also announced plans to solicit additional stakeholder feedback through their online “Idea Community” in the coming months.
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