As of January 31st, 2016, USCIS released updated EB-5 Program processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office's following forms: the I-526 Petition, the I-829 Petition, and the I-924 Application.
Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur has an average processing time of 16.3 months. This petition is for entrepreneurs who wish to immigrate to the U.S.
Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions has an average processing time of 16.9 months. After the entrepreneur has been approved for the I-526 petition and met USCIS requirements for the EB-5 application, EB-5 immigrant investors may apply to remove lawful permanent residency conditions.
Form I-924, the Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program has an average processing time of 9 months. Regional Centers need I-924 application approval to receive USCIS designation. Regional Centers can also file an I-924 application for preapproval of an EB-5 project.
Although this is the reported average processing time, some cases, as noted by USCIS, take longer to process. This can occur if USCIS requests that the immigrant investor submit additional information along with their forms.
Applicants in the EB-5 process can check the status of their pending I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, by visiting USCIS website or they can email USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov regarding Form I-526, Form I-829, or Form I-924 if they have further questions or if the forms are taking longer than the average processing timeframe reported.
What do longer processing times mean for EB-5 investors? EB-5 investors should expect longer processing times and plan accordingly. Consult with your immigration attorney to find out how longer processing times could impact your plans and options. Working with an experienced immigration attorney to submit the correct evidence along with your petitions may help lower the chances that USCIS will request additional evidence and thus keep your EB-5 Program processing times to a minimum.