Each month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) updates the processing times for each type of visa case filed (USCIS Case Processing Times). Below are the latest estimated EB-5 green card processing times for the I-526 Petition, the I-485 Application, and the I-829 Petition for the month of December 2019:
- I-526 Petition Processing Times:
As of December 2019, the processing time for the Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur (Form I-526) at the Immigrant Investor Program Office (“IPO”) is currently 31.5 months to 52 months.
These processing times are updated monthly, and USCIS states that this is the estimated processing time from the day they receive the I-526 Petition. They also state that they “generally” process I-526’s in the order that they receive them and the time range listed is “based on data captured approximately two months prior to updating the page.”
USCIS, however, allows applicants to file an inquiry about their case if it falls “outside normal processing time.” According to USCIS, if your I-526 Petition receipt date is on or before September 16, 2015, you can submit a case inquiry.
- I-485 Application Processing Times:
The latest processing times for the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) depends on each Service Center location. For example, the California Service Center has a I-485 Application processing range of 10 months to 47 months while the Texas Service Center processing time ranges from 10 months to 20 months. You can search your specific service center here: USCIS Case Processing Times.
- I-829 Petition Processing Times:
The updated processing times for the Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829) at the IPO is currently 22.5 months to 45 months.
If your receipt date is on or before April 11, 2016, you can submit a case inquiry to USCIS.
Implications for EB-5 Investor Families
In the last month, I-526 Petition processing times slowed down by several months. However, as everyone in the EB-5 industry continues to navigate the ever-changing landscape of legislative proposals, significant regulatory impositions, bureaucratic backlogs, and political alterations, accurate and projectable information can be hard to identify.
We, at Christian Tyler Properties, will continue to provide the most up to date information at our disposal, and we will continue to remain in contact with the industry’s leaders in the legal, lobbying, and financial sectors. However, for families who submitted 18-24 months ago, it is understandable that they would feel frustrated over timelines that were not expected at the time of their filings.
No one in the EB-5 industry could have foreseen the level of impact that the number of petitions and review requirements were going to have on the adjudicators at USCIS who oversee evaluating the petitions they receive in a timely manner. The one thing that everyone can agree on is that the EB-5 industry and its review process needs change, improvement, and simplification. But that change has not arrived yet and so we are all dealing with the reality of processing times as best we can.
What We Recommend
Our recommendation would be that you remain in contact with us and your EB-5 immigration attorney. But know that if you are still waiting on your I-526 petition adjudication, you are actually the first person to be notified in the event of an adjudication. Once USCIS reviews your petition, a notice is delivered to the investor address on file and attorney listed on the G-28. No communication about your petition is shared directly with the regional center.
Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions and stay tuned to our website and social media pages for updates.