On August 3rd, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released processing times for EB-5 immigration petitions as of May 31, 2015. According to this latest update, investors filing I-526 petitions for conditional permanent residence can expect processing times to average 13.4 months. Compared to last year’s data, which estimated a 13.2 month wait, I-526 processing times have remained stable, albeit very lengthy. For Chinese investors, the visa backlog adds additional waiting time to receive a green card.

The length of the I-526 adjudication process has prompted more innovative structures in EB-5 escrow accounts; the additional complexity makes it essential to work with the right team. Adjudication of I-829 petitions for removal of conditions currently averages 13.6 months – nearly six months longer than processing took a year ago.

These longer processing times are consistent with predictions regarding the I-829 bubble. As more projects reach completion and filing of I-829 petitions continues to increase, this timeline is expected to lengthen even further.

Lengthening I-829 processing times require a specialized approach as well. To ensure funds remain compliant with the USCIS “at risk” requirement, EB-5 loan administration and repayment of investor funds must be properly managed.

For I-924 EB-5 Regional Center applications, processing times average 11.5 months, more than double the average times published in 2014.

With additional regulatory requirements on the horizon, many projects have sought to submit exemplar filings while current regulations still apply, which may result in longer I-924 processing times for the future.

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