Frustration Grows with EB-5 Processing Times

The USCIS Investor Program Office processing page is showing that IPO is currently processing I-526s, I-829s, and Regional Center I-924s which were filed before October 2015…and folks are not happy.  I’ve had a number of conversations this week with frustrated AVS investors whose family and life plans are being adversely affected by these delays, having in good faith relied upon the much more optimistic processing times they were given years ago when they invested.

Suzanne Laziki’s new post on this subject is so ridiculously perfect and comprehensive that I encourage all of my interested readers to really read through it carefully.  As her analysis shows, there are many moving parts in the process.  I can’t say it any better than she did, so I’m just posting the comment I made on her blog where I again encourage IPO to seperate “visa ready” from “visa backlogged” cases immediately after issuing Reciept Notices for I-526s and establishing priority dates…take a look:

Suzanne, as a former visa officer well-versed in the chaos of processing backlogs, I have repeatedly proposed a simple reworking of the IPO I-526 process.  Before separating RC and individual cases, the IPO should separate “visa available” I-526s from “visa backlogged” I-526s.  Currently, the former would only include of nationals of China but we are told Vietnam will soon be on that list. If IPO initiated intake this way, the backlogged nationalities would be receipted in immediately, with priority date established, then set aside for adjudication AFTER the “visa available” cases are processed. What is the point of adjudicating backlogged cases – which make up close to 90% of filings — when the establishment of the priority date is defined via the Notice of Receipt, not by the date an RFE is generated or an approval issued?  What good is it to have thousands of I-526 approvals destined to wait for years and bottleneck the entire adjudication process?

The USCIS should intake and issue receipts/priority dates as it does, first in/first out.  After that, IPO should adjudicate those cases which can be approved NOW for conditional residency and allow those persons to immigrate in a reasonable period of time.  Doing this would have absolutely no adverse affect on applicants from backlogged nationalities (since their priority dates would be accurately registered) but it would allow USCIS to move through those who CAN immigrate today, catch up with current cases, then organize its processing workflow in a manner which permits them to tackle the oversubscribed nationalities systematically, having those petitions approved and ready years before the visa numbers become available to them.