# FY2012 EB-5 Petition and Visa Statistics

November 9, 2012 20 Comments

IIUSA has published the EB-5 processing statistics through Q42012 recently released by USCIS to AILA. The report shows that USCIS has been particularly busy with I-526 petitions, of which it received 6,041 and processed an impressive 4,634 in FY2012 (ending 9/30/2012). This year saw a record number of I-526 approvals and a record number of I-924 denials. The approval percentages for investor petitions fell slightly from FY2011, down to 79% for I-526 and 92% for I-829, while approvals for Regional Center applications and amendments tanked to an average 36%.

Source: USCIS

IIUSA has also published FY2012 EB-5 visa statistics released by the US Department of State. These numbers are significant because they show that EB-5 visas are, for the first time, threatening to exceed the annual allocation of about 10,000 visas. The State Department’s Visa Bulletin for December 2012 notes that “It appears likely that a cut-off date will need to be established for the China Employment Fifth preference category at some point during second half of fiscal year 2013. Such action would be delayed as long as possible, since while number use may be excessive over a 1 to 5 month period, it could average out to an acceptable level over a longer (e.g., 4 to 9 month) period. This would be the first time a cut-off date has been established in this category, which is why readers are being provided with the maximum amount of advance notice regarding the possibility.”

Source: IIUSA

IIUSA has published an article on “THE IMPACT OF CHINESE QUOTA RETROGRESSION ON EB-5 INVESTORS AND EB-5 INVESTMENTS” by Tammy Fox-Isicoff and H. Ronald Klasko.

I also recommend Kate Kalmykov’s blog post on Understanding the Implications of Retrogression in the EB-5 Category and her follow-up post EB-5 Retrogression for China Unlikely in 2013, According to Department of State.

Also note that the State Department website now has an informative EB-5 page.

Thank you, Suzanne for your timely updates. I notice there were only 712 I-829 submissions in 2012. In 2009, there were 1262 I-526 approvals. Why almost half of I-526 approvals have not led to I-829 submissions?

Your guess is as good as mine. One factor is variability in the time to get a visa interview or pass the I-485 adjustment process, which means that people who received I-526 approvals at the same time may receive green cards and therefore reach I-829 at different times.

3 years from 2009 I-526 approvals to 2012 I-829 submission should be sufficient. I-829 submission should start 1 year 9 months after obtaining conditional green cards. Looking back, there were 2345 I-829 submission in 2011 when there were only 640 I-526 approvals in 2008. There were more I-829 submissions in number than I-526 approvals 3 year before in prior years.

Yes, thank you, Suzanne, for sharing this with us all. The figures are interesting and hopeful, but I still say that the Approval Percentage is not very illuminating. Just doing some simple sums we see a backlog of 3,936 for I-526 applications and 1,817 for I-829 applications. The Approval % is only for the number of applications adjudicated (Approval+Denials) many of which are from the previous year! The Backlog as a % of the number of applications Adjudicated during the year is: another 85% of the I-526s adjudicated in 2012 are in backlog, and another 228% of the I-829s adjudicated in 2012 are in backlog.

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I just got my non RC eb5 investors approved by AAO. Very encouraging!

congratulation, Lou. How long it took you to get I-526? Why AAO?

It was denied by uscis first, then appealed to AAO, got approved from AAO 5 month later the appeal.

Can you share some details about your experience. I specialize in non-regional center EB-5 projects as well. My investors were approved in 4 months early this year. I would like to know the reason of your denials so we can learn some important lessons and make non-regional center EB-5 a viable alternative for EB-5 investors. You can find me on Linkin.

Suzanne – thank you for this information. Can you tell me how you calculated the 36% approval rating for 2012 I-924 applications or what chart indicates this. And how is approval rating generally defined for a year (i.e. number of applications approved divided by reciepts in a fiscal year or does it include applications made in prior years?) Thank you for your insights.

Hi Ramesh, thank you for your comment. To calculate approval rate, I ignore the number of receipts and just divide the number of petitions/applications approved by the total number of petitions/applications adjudicated. So for I-924 adjudications in 2012, 35 approvals divided by 98 decisions (35 approvals + 63 denials) equals 36% approval percentage. Considering processing times and backlog, I think it’s safe to assume that most of the petitions and applications adjudicated in 2012 were received in 2011 (or earlier).

Thank you Suzanne.

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Hi Suzanne – can we have these statistical data breakdown by projects…. / or regional centers at least. Thanks

I don’t believe that such stats exist yet, unless self-reported by regional centers.

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Hi Suzanne, thank you for your sharing, could you please tell me where you got the datas, because I cannot find them in the USCIS website? Many thanks.

I got the data from IIUSA, the trade organization for EB-5 (click on the links to see the original source). USCIS has some data posted at this link: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=04de211f28ff0310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=04de211f28ff0310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

Thank you very very much!