On June 23, 2020 USCIS published quarterly statistics for all application and petition form types for the second quarter (Q2) in fiscal year (FY) 2020, including the latest data for Form I-526, Form I-829, Form I-924, and Form I-924A.
Q2, FY2020 (January – March 2020) was the first time when the new EB-5 minimum investment amounts went into effect along with other major regulatory changes throughout the entire quarter. While investors and the EB-5 industry were adjusting to the new rules, COVID-19 pandemic also posed a significant impact on the EB-5 community. IIUSA produced this report, highlighting data and analyses about EB-5 capital investment inflow, I-526 filings, adjudications, backlog and other trends under such unprecedented times for Q2 FY2020.
KEY DATA BRIEFING:
I-526 Filings: USCIS received only 21 I-526 petitions during Q2 FY2020. The number of I-526 filing was at the lowest level of the EB-5 history under the joint impacts of the new EB-5 regulations, COVID-19, visa backlog, etc.
The follow interactive storyline illustrates there historical quarters in terms of I-526 filings: the quarter with the largest number of I-526 filings, the quarter when investors were able to participate in the EB-5 Program with the $500,000 minimum investment amount, and the first quarter when the new EB-5 regulations went into effect:
I-526 Adjudications: Immigrant Investors Program Office (IPO) adjudicated only 1,359 I-526 petitions in the first half of FY2020, a year-over-year decline of 62% from FY2019. In particular, only 904 I-526 cases were processed between January and March 2020. IPO processed approximately 900 I-526 petitions per quarter in FY2020; while the agency was able to adjudicate more than 3,600 I-526 cases per quarter in FY2018.
I-526 Approval Rates: 714 EB-5 investors received their I-526 approval in Q2 FY2020; while 190 EB-5 investors’ I-526 petitions were denied by IPO between January and March 2020. The average approval rate of I-526 petitions in the last quarter was 79%, a 5% decrease from Q1 FY2020.
I-526 Backlog: As of March 31, 2020, more than 16,600 I-526 petitions were still pending in USCIS.
EB-5 Investment Inflows: Based on I-526 filings, new minimum investment amount and the average I-526 approval rate, we estimated that at least $16 million EB-5 capital was invested in the U.S. economy in Q2 FY2020. Since 2008, the EB-5 Program has generated more than $37 billion in capital investment for U.S. businesses and American workers.