On Nov. 7, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) held an EB-5 stakeholder program at their New York City field office. GT attorneys Kate Kalmykov and Kristen Ng attended the in-person session.  During the engagement, key members of the IPO addressed: 1) updates from the IPO; 2) priorities for FY 2018; and 3) stakeholder questions from both the phone and the live audience.  Below is a summary of the engagement:

Continue Reading USCIS Holds EB-5 Stakeholder Engagement in New York City Field Office

Today the U.S. Congress passed a government funding bill containing a short-term extension of the EB-5 Regional Center Program through December 11, 2015.  We wrote previously about the EB-5 Regional
Continue Reading September 30th Comes and Goes and the EB-5 Regional Center Program is Extended through December 11, 2015 in its Current Form

On Feb. 18, 2015, USCIS released performance statistics on I-526 and I-829 EB-5 related petitions. The following charts provide the case status as broken down by petitions received, approved, denied, or pending from fiscal year 2008 through the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 (October through December 2014):

USCIS statistics on I-526 EB-5 petitions for FY2008 –  FY2015
Year Received Approved Denied Pending
2008 1,258 642 120 853
2009 1,031 1,265 208 514
2010 1,953 1,369 165 1,125
2011 3,805 1,571 372 3,347
2012 6,041 3,677 957 5,018
2013 6,346 3,699 943 7,131
2014 10,923 4,925 1,169 12,453
2015 (First Quarter) 2,941 1,652 133 13,526


Continue Reading USCIS Releases Performance Data on I-526 and I-829 Petitions

The Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State, Charles Oppenheim, reported that the EB-5 immigrant visa category would likely retrogress in July 2015. However, this does contradict his prediction provided to AILA earlier last week of retrogression occurring in May 2015. What is striking about Oppenheim’s announcement was that retrogression of the EB-5 immigrant visa category would cause him to establish a cut-off date of July 2013. A cut-off date has the effect of establishing an orderly line for the issuance of EB-5 immigrant visas. The cut-off date is determined based on the date an I-526 Petition was filed and is the date included on each I-526 Petition approval notice in the “Priority Date” box. For example, if a cut-off date of July 2013 is established in July 2015, during the month of July 2015, only those EB-5 investors (and their derivative beneficiaries) with a Priority Date in July 2013 or earlier (i.e. June 2013, May 2013, etc.) may apply for an EB-5 immigrant visa.

Continue Reading Retrogression for EB-5 Predicted at IIUSA Conference; July 2013 Cut-Off Discussed

On May 13, 2014, USCIS updated the data for I-526 petitions and I-829 petitions for the second quarter of the 2014 fiscal year (January – March). This newly released data includes data up to March 31, 2014.  The original USCIS data for the I-526 petitions and I-829 petitions can be found on the USCIS website.

Data on I-526 Petitions

For the I-526 petitions, there have been a few changes between the second quarter and first quarter of fiscal year 2014. Overall, there has been an increase in number of filed I-526 petitions. There is likely an increase in the number of filed petitions because investors are concerned of the possible visa retrogression that may occur before October 1, 2014. Most notably, Chinese investors comprise approximately 80 percent of the I-526 filings, so they are hurriedly filing their I-526 petitions before visa retrogression hits.


Continue Reading New I-526 and I-829 Processing Data Published by USCIS on May 13, 2014

In a welcome bit of news for the EB-5 industry, USCIS released updated processing times dated as of April 30, 2014 which show USCIS is processing I-924 applications in approximately 4.4 months. Earlier this year, the processing of I-924 applications was moved to the new Immigrant Investor Program Office (IIPO) in Washington D.C. The new EB-5 Program Director Nicholas Colucci oversaw this transition and, during the February 2014 USCIS EB-5 Public Engagement, expressed optimism that the move to the IIPO and ramp-up of new staff at the IIPO would lead to shorter processing times. This new announcement by USCIS appears to be the fruits of that labor by Mr. Colucci and the IIPO and is significantly less than the most recent processing time reports, which pegged the I-924 application processing time at approximately 12 months.

Continue Reading I-924 Processing Times Reduced to 4 Months