On Jan 29 2020, USCIS released a news update which will affect all future processing of EB-5 Visas. Specifically, the I-526 petition, which is the first stage of the EB-5 process will now not be processed in a First in First Out (FIFO) manner as has been previously done by USCIS. Instead, starting in March 2020, USCIS will adjudicate petitions based on Visa availability by country, which means that new EB-5 investors from countries other than China will be able to see their petitions getting adjudicated faster than previously done as they don’t have to wait for the earlier (2016-2019) Chinese I-526 petitions to complete processing.
There are thousands of Chinese I-526 petitions filed during 2016 to 2019, waiting to be adjudicated. These Chinese petitions still have to wait 7+ years for an EB-5 visa even after I-526 approval as there is an yearly 7% quota for each country out of the 10,000 annual EB-5 visa limit. Since there are enough approved Chinese I-526s from 2014/2015 to get EB-5 visas for atleast the next 5 years, USCIS has decided that it will now focus on processing I-526s of citizens of non-China countries as there is no waiting period for most countries, except for India and Vietnam. This is welcome news for EB-5 investors from non-China countries as this can lead to faster I-526 processing times.
If you are looking to apply for the EB-5 Visa, contact us now to start your process.