USCIS has announced new significant changes to EB-5 processing of application petitions. The approvals for I-526 petitions will be faster from March 31, 2020 as petitions will be processed based on new visa availability approach instead of First in approach
What has changed?
- BEFORE: EB-5 petitions were processed based on First in First out (FIFO) basis.
- NOW: EB-5 applications processed based on visa availability approach
Visa Availability Method
The new visa availability approach simply gives priority to petitions where visas are immediately available, or soon available, and will not create legally binding rights or change substantive requirements.
Applicants from countries where visas are immediately available will now be better able to use their annual per-country allocation of EB-5 visas. The new visa availability approach will apply to petitions pending as of the effective date of the change.
USCIS has said, this new operational approach aligns with other visa-availability agency adjudications processes, is more consistent with congressional intent for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, and increases fairness in the administration of the program.
USCIS made this announcement on Jan 29, 2020 and will implement the visa availability approach for petitions on March 31, 2020.
The EB-5 program undergone a big reform and new changes to EB-5 came into effect on Nov 21, 2019. The investment conditions has been increased to $900,000 and the investment must create 10 jobs.