USCIS Publishes 2016 Q1 EB-5 Adjudication Data: I-526 Petition Backlog Hits All-Time High

03.23.16 | Archived

This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published its fiscal year (FY) 2016 Q1 (October-December) adjudication data for I-526 petitions (Immigrant Petitions by Alien Entrepreneurs) received, approved, denied and pending as of December 30, 2015.

I-526: Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur*
(Members: Read the Full IIUSA Report Here)


*Source: USCIS Performance Analysis System (PSAS) by the Office of Performance & Quality (OPQ), Data Analysis and Reporting Branch (DARB)

In the first quarter of FY2016, USCIS adjudicated a total of 1,629 I-526 petitions, of which 1,257 petitions were approved, and 372 were denied. This represents a 36% decline of petitions adjudicated from Q4 of FY 2015. Meanwhile, the number of I-526 petitions pending reached an astounding 21,988 petitions, a jump of 27% from last quarter and 63% as compared to first quarter of FY2015.

I-526 Petitions Pending & Implications: By the Numbers

21,988: Currently there are 21,988 I-526 petitions pending with USCIS representing a 27% increase since last quarter.

112%: Back in Q1 of FY2015, there were 13,526 I-526 petitions pending with USCIS. This figures has ballooned by 112% in just one calendar year, setting back processing times.

38 months: At the current adjudication rate of around 1,700 petitions per quarter, it would take roughly 12.5 quarters or 38 months to adjudicate the current backlog of I-526 petitions.

IIUSA: Members: Read the Full I-526 Petition Data Report Here


42%: I-526 approvals decreased 42% from the last quarter of FY2015 and by over 24% in a year-over-year comparison with Q1 FY2015. The data suggests that while USCIS is facing unprecedented high volume of I-526 filings the volume of I-526 petitions adjudicated is falling precipitately.

$11 Billion: The pending petitions with USCIS equate to roughly $11 billion of capital investment waiting to be injected into the U.S. economy.

6+ Years: At the current rate of adjudication it is likely that an EB-5 investor from Mainland-China will have to wait over six years to receive a visa number.

Learn About What Can Be Done to Alleviate the Backlog at IIUSA’s 9th Annual EB-5 Advocacy Conference


April 20-22, 2016, Washington, D.C.
Members $850 | Non-Members $999
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits available!
Sign Up Here!

At IIUSA’s 9th Annual EB-5 Advocacy Conference next month, you will have the chance to hear directly from the federal government as well as EB-5 experts about what USCIS and the Department of State (DOS) Visa Controls Office are doing to manage the influx of petitions and keep the EB-5 Program delivering capital to investment projects around the country. Sign Up Now!


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