Earlier this week, USCIS published performance data on FY 2019 Q2 (January-March) processing volume. The data presented was not what the EB-5 Industry wanted to see with processing volume dropping 62% in Q2 which follows a 36% drop in Q1.
Decreasing processing volume has also been accompanied by increasing processing times over the last few quarters. Earlier this month, IIUSA, on behalf of the EB-5 Regional Center industry, submitted a letter to USCIS seeking additional information on the causes for the recent surge in processing times.
Key insights from the latest USCIS can be found below. A report on the I-829 data will be available soon.
IPO only adjudicated 975 I-526 cases between January 1st and March 31st, 2019, down by 62% from the last quarter and by 73% year-over-year.
USCIS received only 580 I-526 petitions in Q2 FY2019, the lowest level in the last 9 years. It was a drop of 68% comparing to Q1, FY2019.
In the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2019 (October 2018 – March 2019), only 2,388 EB-5 investors filed their I-526 petitions to USCIS, down by 47% from the same period in the last fiscal year.
Based on the number of I-526 filings, the estimated amount of new EB-5 capital investment inflows in the first half of FY2019 was approximately $1.1 billion dollar.
With the on-going decline in I-526 filings, the backlog of I-526 petitions in USCIS continued to drop since its peak in Q4 FY2017. As of the end of Q2 FY2019 (March 31st, 2019), the number of I526 petitions pending was 13,105, down by 3% from December 31st, 2018 and by 42% from the same time period one year ago.