The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reported significant delays for processing receipt notices due to a significant increase in filings at USCIS lockbox facilities, as well as facility capacity restrictions due to COVID-19. In particular, USCIS now confirms the following lockbox backlogs:
- Dallas Lockbox: Currently intaking Employment-Based I-485 adjustment of applications and standalone cases filed around Oct. 29, 2020, and Oct. 30, 2020, with approximately 415,000 applications/petitions waiting to be receipted
- Phoenix Lockbox: Currently intaking cases of all form types filed in early December 2020 with approximately 67,000 envelopes (or about 100,000 applications) waiting to be receipted
The CIS Ombudsman continues to assist individuals who have not received receipt notices 90 days after their application/petition was received at USCIS. However, the CIS Ombudsman’s Office recently stated that USCIS has confirmed it is unable to expedite the issuance of receipt notices at this time.
The delays at the Dallas Lockbox facility are affecting the receipting of Form I-829 Petitions by EB-5 investors. USCIS instructions require all Form I-829 Petitions to be filed with the Dallas Lockbox facility. For those EB-5 investors filing Form I-829 Petitions, continued delays are expected to receive the receipt notices. For investors requiring proof of ongoing status via the I-829 Receipt Notice, petitions should be filed as early as possible to the opening of the 90-day window prior to conditional permanent residence expiration. If urgent proof of status is required for EB-5 investors, petitioners should contact their attorney for additional guidance.