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Why is there a big increase in the processing time of I-526?

According to the USCIS site, the processing time for I-526 has increased to between 29 months and 45 months. What caused this increase? Do you think it will decrease?

Answers

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The USCIS has given various convoluted reasons on the increase of processing times, ranging from how its own policy seemed to compound the problem to claims that its office realignment and adjudication digitization were the reasons for more scrutiny of petitions. All these claims have been adduced as reasons for the delays. In addition, the agency has attempted to suggest that an over-subscription of petitions was a factor for slower processing, even though the records showed otherwise.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are many factors but no clear answer. There is currently an investigation into these issues.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Speculating, it could be that there is an increase in workload, less workers available to carry the current workload, etc. It could decrease if the above-mentioned conditions are corrected.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Trump's "buy American" philosophy and anti-immigrant attitude.

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    Anastasia White

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, it is an ongoing issue caused by the current administration. According to official USCIS reports, 94 percent of all immigration petitions (not only EB-5) and applications took longer to process when compared to 2014.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There have been delays in processing and also increases in EB-5 petitions being submitted (perhaps in anticipation of the legislative changes to the EB-5 program). These factors may account for the increase in processing times.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This appears to be a industry-wide problem and nobody knows the exact reason. At the recent IIUSA D.C. conference (May 2019), many folks report that since the government reopened in February 2019 after the lockout, it seems that I-526 processing has all but stopped. Currently GAO is investigating the issue, so hold tight.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Sometimes USCIS shows a spike in processing times as we get closer to the end of the fiscal year, but I haven't seen it jump so much and so early before. In the past, a jump like this was temporary, but we'll all be keeping an eye on this.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS only knows! It makes no sense with fewer applications. Unfortunately, USCIS does not explain its actions.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Incompetence.

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    Sally Amirghahari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Due to implementation of new policies, implementation of new forms and systems under the new administration, and other factors such reallocation of the USCIS employees' power all have contributed to such a delay in processing times. Hopefully it will get better and shorter as we move forward.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Most of the cases are taking about two years. The 45 months is to limit the many inquiries. Only a small percentage take that long. No one can predict whether the line will get shorter, but the trend for all adjudications is to increase processing times.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    It is very unfortunate indeed. While we believe 29 to 45 months indication of times for I-526 adjudication seems a little exaggerated, there is no question that processing times have increased. USCIS, in a letter dated May 23, 2019, addressed to the Honorable Thorn Tillis this very issue of processing delays. USCIS, in their response, mentioned several causes for factors contributing to the backlog increases for all petitions and applications. They include staffing and facility resources, new immigration programs and policies, new case processing systems, increased form complexity, and past removal of performance metrics. Another cause for delays in processing can be increased litigation. USCIS is also under an injunction related to employment authorization documents (EAD) for asylum seekers. All of these other functions could be taking significant amount of USCIS' time and, hence, they are delayed.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The short answer as to why the processing time for adjudicating EB-5 petitions on Form I-526 has increased is the number of petitions being filed has increased, but that cannot entirely explain such a significant increase in the adjudication time. It is either because some of the prior estimated adjudication times were erroneous, or more likely resources are being used in other areas that will result in a delay in adjudicating EB-5 petitions. There's also the possibility that this estimated length for adjudicating an EB-5 petition will drop down to a lower or reasonable number of months at some point in the future.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    So many applications. I do not see the processing time being reduced anytime soon!

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