Last month, IIUSA noted in a blog post that on April 30th, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted updated estimated average processing times for I-526, I-829 and I-924 petitions. Many EB-5 practitioners were surprise by the stark decrease in I-924 processing times, which went from 10.6 months in March 2014 to 4.4 months in April 2014.
USCIS recently added a short explanation on its “EB-5 Regional Center” explained the rationale for this reduction in processing times:
U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently recalibrated our method of estimating the processing time for Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, to provide greater transparency of our processing times. The I-924 calculations will no longer also include Form I-924A, Supplement to Form I-924. This new methodology, along with increased efficiency, reduced the estimated processing time for the Form I-924 from 10.6 months in March 2014 to 4.4 months in April 2014. The April processing times were recently posted on uscis.gov.
RCBJ Article Examines Characteristics of Regional Center Approvals in USCIS Regional Center Designation Letters
An article in IIUSA’s latest edition of the Regional Center Business Journal by Editorial Committee member Suzanne Lazicki takes a close look at I-924 designation letters obtained by IIUSA through a recent government disclosure (Pgs. 29-30). View here.
Of the 206 approval letters, 181 were initial designations. During the 14-month period, 150 (73%) of the 206 approval letters were issued in the second half of the period (after the May 30th policy memo).
- Initial designations based on hypothetical projects: 154 (85%)
- Initial designations including actual project and Exemplar I-526 approval: 23 (13%)
- Initial designations including actual project approval but no Exemplar I-526: 4 (2%)
Regarding Processing Times:
- Average time for initial designation: 20 months
- Average time for amendment approval: 15 months
- Range of processing times for designations from 6 to 36 months