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EB-5 Visa Blog

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

Catharine Yen

On May 13, 2014, USCIS published new statistical data regarding the number of filed, approved, denied and pending I-526 and I-829 petitions received for the second quarter of the 2014 fiscal year. This update includes data released by USCIS as of March 31, 2014. The 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 notable changes between the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 (January – March) and the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 (October – December). Our observations are outlined below:

  1. There has been a 19 percent increase in number of filed I-526 petitions.
  2. There has been a 2 percent decrease in the number of approved I-526 petitions
  3. There has been a 68 percent decrease in the number of denied I-526 petitions.
  4. There has been a 13 percent increase in the number of pending I-526 petitions.

These statistics show that more and more I-526 petitions are being filed, and consequently, more I-526 petitions are pending in the adjudication queue. The increase in the I-526 petition filings is partially due to the concern of possible EB-5 visa retrogression before October 1, 2014. Additionally, the increase in filed I-526 petitions could also be due to the exponential creation of regional centers. As of June 2, 2014, USCIS has approved approximately 532 regional centers.

More interestingly, there is a huge decline in the number of denied I-526 petitions. This is possibly due to the fact that, given the increasing popularity of the EB-5 program, investors and attorneys are becoming more familiar and sophisticated in submitting complete and comprehensive I-526 filings. Additionally, this could also be a reflection of the Washington, D.C., office’s successful training of the petition adjudicators.

Lastly, it’s important to note that even though there has been an increase in I-526 filings, the number of approved and denied I-526 petitions has decreased. This means that USCIS is having a hard time keeping up with the heavy inflow of I-526 petitions. Thus, these statistics explain why the I-526 petition adjudication processing time has slowly increased over the past year.  

Data on I-829 Petitions

For the I-829 petitions, there have also been notable changes, and we outline our observations below: 

  1. There has been a 36 percent increase in number of filed I-829 petitions.
  2. There has been a 87 percent increase in the number of approved I-829 petitions
  3. There has been a 74 percent increase in the number of denied I-829 petitions.
  4. There has been a 9 percent increase in the number of pending I-829 petitions.

Overall, these statistics show that adjudication for I-829 petitions is becoming more active. USCIS is receiving more I-829 petitions, and they are subsequently denying and approving more I-829 petitions. As previously approved I-526 petitions are quickly approaching the I-829 stage, we will see more of an increase and more of a flux of USCIS statistics for the I-829 petitions. Current trends indicate that the I-829 petitions will continue to escalate and USCIS will likely need to train additional adjudicators so that there can be reasonable I-829 processing times. 

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