Processing times for I-526, I-829, and I-924 petitions vary. USCIS states that cases are processed in the order in which they are received and in accordance with specific goals set out by the agency. Meeting these goals has become increasingly difficult as the number of cases received continuously increases while the hiring and training of new staff for processing of EB-5 petitions has not increased at the same rate.
The target processing time for I-526 petitions is five months, according to public statements made by USCIS at stakeholder meetings and in information published on their website. In recent years, it has taken USCIS, on average, between four and six months to process these petitions. Since 2010, this number has steadily increased to between seven and nine months. Currently, as of September 30, 2013, the California Service Center was reviewing petitions submitted on March 16, 2012, which is a processing time of about 18 months, the longest it has ever been to date.
I-829 petitions to remove the conditions on residency are currently being processed slightly faster than I-526 petitions, with an average processing time of about 16 months for those filed on or before May 16, 2012. Like the I-526 petitions, the target processing time for I-829 petitions is five months and in recent years it has also taken USCIS on average between four and six months to process these cases. In December of 2012 the California Service Center was reviewing I-829 petitions submitted on May 16, 2012. As of September 30, 2013, the petitions submitted on May 16, 2012 are still being reviewed.
Likewise, USCIS is taking more than double its target processing time for I-924 cases. The target processing time for I-924 initial application review is four months and presently, it is actually taking nine months to review these petitions, according to information published by the USCIS.