Intel & DataNorth America

United States EB-5 Program: I-526 Application Volume Hit 3.5-Year High This Quarter

Varvara Latyntseva

USCIS has published statistics for immigration forms processed in fiscal Q3 2023, which runs from April 1st to June 30th. From the report, we can glean a number of insights into the program’s trajectory:

Application volume highest since Q1 2020

Data for the I-526 petition, the first application in the EB-5 process, shows us that in Q3 2023, USCIS received 699 new applications, which indicates modest growth of applicants compared to previous quarters, when 556 and 535 applications were submitted in the first and second quarters, respectively. 

As is normal, most applicants applied through Regional Centers Projects, which account for 93% of all applications. 

With a current minimum investment amount starting from $800,000, this means that investment immigrants have brought to the US more than US$1.43 billion so far this fiscal year.

Pending applications I-526: Backlog gradually retreating 

The USCIS report shows data only for reviewed I-526 petitions that were submitted before the RIA, and though there are many immigration lawyers and Regional Centers who state that their clients received approval for rural projects in 4 - 8 months, the report does not provide any information on them. 

With regard to investors who submitted applications in the past, the average time for their i-526 petition, according to the report, is 48,2 months. 888 petitions were adjudicated in Q3, which is not far from the 904 petitions reviewed in the last period, Q2 2023. 

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The denial rate for I526  went down to 28%, making the average denial rate in fiscal 2023 equivalent to 42%.

The total number of pending petitions with the inflow of new applications has almost remained unchanged, it was 12,819 at the end of Q2 and became 12,700 at the end of Q3. 

Petition I-829

The second application in the EB-5 process is aimed at the removal of conditions, and petition I829 also shows a reduced denial rate of 6%, with the total number of reviewed petitions standing at 474. The agency received 484 forms in Q3, and thus, the number of pending petitions remains more or less the same at 10,507, with an average processing time of 48.6 months. 

41 applications were submitted for new Regional Center designations, and 61 new projects were submitted to USCIS for review. 

Third Party Promoters and Migration Agencies getting registered, but no way to know how many 

Since the enactment of the RIA in 2022, all companies promoting EB-5 projects outside of the US have to be registered with USCIS. 

In the first half of 2023, 412 third-party promoters and migration agencies submitted form I956K.

Form I956K can be submitted for registering a new entity or registering an employee of an entity who is working with EB-5 investors, and the same form is also submitted to record changes in a legal entity’s details or adjustments due to the new contracts signed with Regional Centers. So, based on the information shared, it is hard to say how many companies are actually registered as third-party promoters or Migration agents. 

If you like data-driven articles like this one, you'll love the IMI Data Center, the world's largest collection of investment migration statistics, with more than 350 graphs and charts on dozens of IM programs and markets.

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IMI Pros who can help with US Immigration

Varvara Latyntseva AuthorSubscriber
Co-Founder and Managing Director , Second Wind

Co-founder and Managing Director of Second Wind EB-5, a company specializing in investment immigration opportunities in the USA.

My goal is helping and advising private individuals and their families with the process of relocating to the USA through the EB5 investment visa program, making their path easier, less risky, and more predictable.

I have been actively involved in the field of immigration for more than 14 years, coordinating immigration processes and managing our relocation agency teams.

Since 2017, my key focus has been on the EB-5 program, and the main area of my expertise. My professional background combines knowledge of Immigration, Finance, Planning, Marketing and working alongside some amazing people, both on the client and partner side.

At Second Wind, I working with our EB-5 clients, develop our network of partners in the US, and oversee marketing and management of the non-immigrant visa team.

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