The USCIS has updated its EB-5 petition processing statistics, displayed on the Immigration and Citizenship Data page, to reflect information about the petitions received and processed during the second quarter of the 2019 financial year (January–March 2019).
The overall number of EB-5 forms processed by the Immigrant Investor Office (IPO) during this period decreased significantly, from 3,116 in FY2019 Q1 to 1,290 in FY2019 Q2. This has been a particularly unproductive quarter for IPO.
The number of I-829 applications processed fell from 474 to 285, and I-526 applications decreased from 2,573 to 975. The data concerning the volume of I-924 applications processed has been omitted from the report, but based on the number of pending applications in the previous quarter (148), the number of applications received in Q2 (22), and the number of pending applications at the end of Q2 (156), it seems only 14 were processed.
Of the 975 I-526 petitions processed, 180 petitions were denied and 795 were approved. Thus, the percentage of I-526 petitions approved decreased slightly, from around 85% in FY2019 Q1 to 81.5% in FY2019 Q2. Additionally, I-829 application approvals increased slightly, from approximately 93.5% to 94.7%.
The number of I-829 applications received increased compared to the previous quarter, at 921 compared to 797 for I-829 applications, while the number of I-526 applications decreased from 1,808 in Q1 to 580 in Q2.
In relation to all types of employment-based petitions, those related to the EB-5 program constitute a small percentage. For example, in FY2019 Q2, USCIS received 388,338 applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), compared to only 1,290 for all three categories related to the EB-5 program (I-526, I-829, and I-924). A total of 22,082 EB-5 petitions remain unprocessed, a number that consists of 13,105 I-526 applications, 8,821 I-829 applications, and 156 I-924 applications.
Processing times for I-526 applications have increased to 25.5–40 months, whereas processing times for I-829 petitions have increased to 28–43.5 months.