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How does USCIS process EB-5 applications?

Does USCIS take my nationality into account while processing I-526 applications or are they processed on a first-come, first-serve basis? How does USCIS process EB-5 applications?

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The USCIS processes EB-5 applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. I think your questions touch on what is known as visa availability, which addresses when a visa will be available to you. However, applications from China are being delayed as a result of over-subscription from China. According to the Visa Bulletin issued by the U.S. State Department in Jan. 2016, applications filed by China nationals on May 1, 2015 are just being attended to by USCIS. This information changes from month to month, so consult an EB-5 attorney before proceeding further if the visa availability is your concern.

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    Echo Meisheng King

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is very difficult to say exactly how USCIS processes each application. It is believed that USCIS usually processes the I-526 petitions based on the time of the filing. However, sometimes they will collectively adjudicate petitions in the same project simultaneously. I do not think your nationality will be a factor at the I-526 stage.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is on a first in, first out basis; however, regional center cases are also handled by the USCIS EB-5 office by project. Some cases tend to be processed longer than others. We had cases approved in as little as under two months and others longer than a year.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your nationality should not be a factor unless you are from one of the countries that may have sanctions. It is supposed to be first-in, first-out, but in reality it is pretty much by project.

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    Xiaosheng Huang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I do not think USCIS will consider the nationality issue of the EB-5 applicant; however the National Visa Center will consider the nationality of the EB-5 applicant. Generally, USCIS processes the EB-5 applications on a first-come, first-serve base.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS states that they review cases based on first-come, first-serve basis, but this seems to apply to how the cases are assigned to the individual officers. As with anything, some officers work faster than others so the 10 cases being received at USCIS at the same date, for example, could be reviewed at different speeds.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For I-526 petitions, USCIS generally follows a first in first out policy. Nationality does not affect the speed.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    They process them as they are received. They state that regional center applications receive priority, but I have not seen that often. Your nationality only matters as to when you receive an approval and then must go through the Department of State at your local U.S. consulate. Some take more time than others. If you are from mainland China there is a backlog of visas and a waiting period.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 applications are processed generally on a first come first serve basis. Depending on the application though, some take longer to process than others. Each application is assigned to an officer and the speed or workload of an officer can also impact timing.

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    Sufen Hilf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Nationality should not be a factor in processing the EB-5 I-526. Country of birth matters in terms of priority dates. At this time, only people born in China have backlogs for EB-5. I do not think USCIS will delay the processing of I-526 based on the country of birth at this time.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS does not consider the nationality. Once the I-526 is approved and you apply for your conditional residency (either at the U.S. consulate or through USCIS), your personal information, like nationality, criminal history, immigration history, etc., is relevant.

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