|Processing Delays: 56%-67% Increase in Estimated Timelines, but the Visa Bulletin for India is CURRENT!
In May 2020, the estimated processing time frame for Form I-526 was 29.5-44.5 months but we saw an increase in the upper limit in June: the estimated time was 29.5 to 61 months for adjudication. In July there was another huge jump, showing processing times to be between 46 to 74.5 months, only allowing for case inquiries for cases filed before June 9, 2014.
The lower limit estimated processing time increased 56%, while the upper limit increased over 67% between June and August.
It is unclear whether this delay is due to the shift away from the FIFO or first-in, first out processing approach taken in March of this year. The agency switched to a visa availability approach to consider I-526 petitions where visas are immediately available or will be available soon. Currently the per-country cap established by Congress limits individuals from a single country to receiving no more than 7 percent of an employment-based visa allocation (unless the numbers would otherwise go unused).
Recent Regional Center EB-5 Approval Received in 28 Months
Some have predicted that USCIS was receiving many case inquiries and decided to move the receipt date for a case inquiry backward to “catch up” on processing. We recently had an EB-5 approval in June for a case that was filed in February of 2018 for an Indian citizen. It is unlikely USCIS is actually processing cases from 2014.
Children Nearing the Age of 21?
The Child Status Protection Act went into effect in 2002, allowing certain applicants to maintain their age for immigration purposes. If a parent files in the EB-5 category, the child may be able to take advantage of the permanent residence application. For the EB-5 category, a child’s age “freezes” on the date that the I-526 is filed and then begins counting again after the approval.
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Checking Case Processing Times
To check current processing times, go to https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/
Click on the Form dropdown box to select I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. On the Field Office or Service Center dropdown menu, select Immigrant Investor Program Office, then click the Get processing time button.
Scroll down to see the estimated time range, as well as the receipt date for a case inquiry.
Your receipt number and receipt and priority dates can be found on your I-797 receipt notice.
Checking Your Case Status
To check on the status of your case, go to: https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do and enter your receipt number. Click on the Check Status button.
Visa Bulletin Progress: India is Current
Despite the processing delays, we have seen significant progress in the EB-5 category. Applicants from China are still subject to a long wait, with the priority date stuck in August of 2015. Similarly, Vietnam shows a priority date of July 22, 2017. We are finally seeing the EB-5 priority date for India as current.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how to start your EB-5 green card process today!
Presidential Proclamation Update
The president’s recent proclamation suspending immigration for 60 days applies to individuals outside of the U.S. who receive green card approvals after the effective date of April 23, 2020. However, due to the importance of continued investment and job creation, the EB-5 program is specifically excluded from this order. The order also does not apply to individuals adjusting status from within the U.S. For complete details and exemptions, read our recent post on the Challa Law Group website.
Additional COVID-19 UpdatesU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). USCIS offices are open, but some consulates and embassies are operating on limited basis as conditions necessitate. Emergency services can still be requested.
Review some of the recent COVID-19 updates for employers and foreign workers:
RESUMING SEPTEMBER 16, 2020: Join us on Wednesdays for a live webinar at 12 PM ET for critical immigration updates
Visit our COVID-19 resource page for the latest updates or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. You can also sign up for our mailing list.