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How do the EB-5 processing time priority dates work?

I am from India and am planning to apply for EB-5 soon. On the USCIS website, the processing time priority date is August 7, 2015. According to this, the wait-time is 17 months and it may vary. Does that backlog include mainland China investors? If it does, then how come it takes a potential Chinese investor 35 months to complete the I-526 approval process? How does this wait time apply to a non-Chinese investor like me?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The I-526 processing time and the delay in availability of visas for applicants are separate timelines. All investors are subject to the same I-526 processing times. Once approved, only Chinese investors must wait the extra time until they are eligible for applying for their conditional residency.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no waiting period for an immigrant visa number for Indian nationals. When you file an I-526 petition, you will only be subject to the processing times applicable to the processing of I-526 petitions by USCIS. If and when your I-526 petition is approved by USCIS and, assuming there are no issues of inadmissibility applicable to your case, then you can adjust status in the United States to that of a conditional permanent resident by filing an I-485 application. If you are outside the U.S., you can consular process for an immigrant visa abroad upon approval of your I-526 petition by USCIS.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A Priority Date is a factor only in countries with a high volume of filing in each of the different categories/preference of filing. For EB-5, only Chinese nationals are affected since they have a high volume of filing, where they have used up their quota of immigrant visas available. So, they have a longer wait time before they can file for the immigrant visa. You, as Indian national, would not be subject to this waiting period for the EB-5 category.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The priority date of each EB-5 petition is based on the country of origin of each petitioner. As an Indian petitioner, your priority is different (and much faster) than that of Chinese petitioners who have a waiting period of as much as 35 months. The difference between the two countries is due to a large volume of petitions from China, unlike India. Finally, the rules and regulations that apply to the Chinese petitioners as to priority date do not apply to any other countries, including India.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is a quota by country of birth, so that is why Chinese investors have a longer wait time than you do.

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    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is a difference between processing time for the application for the conditional green card and priority date for the green card interview or adjustment of status. The processing time for the application for the conditional green card is around 15 months. Upon approval of the conditional green card, the investor needs to schedule a consulate interview or adjust status to receive the green card. Chinese investors have to wait for approximately two years for their interview, whereas the priority date for non-Chinese investors is current and therefore they may start the consulate interview or adjustment of status process immediately after approval of their application for conditional green card.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an Indian national, you establish your priority date the day your EB-5 petition on Form I-526 is filed. The only backlog will be the adjudication time. There is no backlog for Indian nationals, only for Chinese nationals born in the People's Republic of China. Any waiting time is not related to a quota, but rather the time it takes simply for your I-526 petition to be decided under the current backlog, which is a function of the number of petitions that have been filed vis a vis the number of qualified CIS examiners available to adjudicate same.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The priority date or I-526 filing date establishes your place in the waiting line. There is no cut-off date for Indian nationals, so you only have to deal with processing times. If you plan to adjust in the United States, expect your petition to take about 15-16 months to get approved, then you can file to adjust status.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The piority date refers to the availability of the immigrant visa. This only applies to people born in mainland China. As an Indian National, there is no delay after your I-526 is approved. However, at present it does take USCIS an average of 17 months to approve your I-526. I recommend that you consult with an experienced investment immigration attorney, preferably with an office in India.

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