FY2017 Q1 EB-5 Petition Processing Statistics

The USCIS Immigration and Citizenship Data page has been updated with numbers for I-526 and I-829 petitions received and processed in October to December 2016. The numbers show another dramatic improvement in I-526 processing, continuing free-fall in I-829 processing, and another unnatural surge in I-526 receipts. Denial rates remain low. When IPO previewed these numbers in the last stakeholder meeting, they said that I-829 adjudications will improve going forward with a new I-829 team.

I’ve updated my summary charts with the FY2017 Q1 numbers, and also added a new chart pointing out how I-526 filing trends coincide with regional center program sunset dates. Legislators and USCIS have tended to speak as if recent EB-5 investor numbers reflect sustainable trends based on surging interest in the EB-5 program (and/or underpricing or aggressive marketing). My experience and what I read indicates that the surges are rather fueled by uncertainty about program changes, such that people who would otherwise have considered EB-5 years in the future are hustling all at once to make investments now while the program is still viable. That kind of demand is not sustainable. In fact it means that all else being equal we’ll see fewer investments in the future, because tomorrow’s demand is being pulled into today (and tomorrow’s visas are being claimed today). The increasing supply of EB-5 investment opportunities (particularly from a few mega-projects, the subject of a forthcoming post) play a role in the surges and backlog, but most of all I blame Congress for keeping the regional center program on edge by repeatedly promising and failing to act on EB-5.

About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Lucid Professional Writing provides writing and editing services for businesses and scholars, and specializes in assisting clients to prepare business plans for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

3 Responses to FY2017 Q1 EB-5 Petition Processing Statistics

  1. James Liu says:

    I526 Petitions Pending Data Enquiry

    Dear Sir,

    I have gotten the I526 petintions datas from USCIS website as following.
    I notice that the pending data seems changing irregularly. Please see the data chart below.

    Datas in columns 0YEAR 1Petitions Received 2 Approved 3 Denied 4 Pending are original data from USCIS website.
    Datas in columns 5 TEST are calculated as below:
    5TEST = 4 Pending in YEAR-1 + 1Petitions Received in Year – 2 Approved in Year – 3 Denied in Year6 GAP = 5TEST – 4Pending
    As my understanding, 5TEST should be same as 4 Pending and 6GAP should be 0.
    But in fact, 6 GAP data shows differences every year. What makes the differences?
    I think whether if there are some petitions quit during the waiting period.
    But the pending data often inceased compared with 5 TEST expect YEAR 2016.
    Could you please provide me with guidances?
    Or whether if there is possibility to update the calculation chart?

    0 YEAR 1 PetitionsReceived 2 Approved 3 Denied 4 Pending 5 TEST 6 GAP
    2008 1258 642 120 853
    2009 1031 1265 208 514 411 -103
    2010 1953 1369 165 1125 933 -192
    2011 3805 1571 372 3347 2987 -360
    2012 6041 3677 957 5018 4754 -264
    2013 6346 3699 943 7131 6722 -409
    2014 10923 4925 1169 12453 11960 -493
    2015 14373 8756 1051 17367 17019 -348
    2016 14147 7632 1735 20804 22147 1343
    2017
    Q1 4395 3346 236 23250 21617 -1633

    >>>>
    ,,Petitions Received1,Approved2,Denied3,Pending4,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,Fiscal Year – Total,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2008,” 1,258 “, 642 , 120 , 853 ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2009,” 1,031 “,” 1,265 “, 208 , 514 ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2010,” 1,953 “,” 1,369 “, 165 ,” 1,125 “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2011,” 3,805 “,” 1,571 “, 372 ,” 3,347 “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2012,” 6,041 “,” 3,677 “, 957 ,” 5,018 “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2013,” 6,346 “,” 3,699 “, 943 ,” 7,131 “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2014,” 10,923 “,” 4,925 “,” 1,169 “,” 12,453 “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2015,” 14,373 “,” 8,756 “,” 1,051 “,” 17,367 “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,2016,” 14,147 “,” 7,632 “,” 1,735 “,” 20,804 “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,Fiscal Year 2017 by Quarter,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ,Q1. October – December,” 4,395 “,” 3,346 “, 236 ,” 23,250 “,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Oh, you are right. This is a mystery! Here is an image of my spreadsheet. I do not know how to explain it, but I will submit a question about this at the next EB-5 stakeholder meeting. At least the numbers don’t suggest that USCIS is losing petitions, but imply that it may be over-counting pending petitions. On the PDF version of the USCIS data report, there is a note indicating that “Denied” petitions means “The number of petitions that were denied, terminated, or withdrawn during the reporting period.” So any withdrawn petitions should be already counted in the “denied” column of the USCIS data.

    • Raed says:

      I have a comment about the processing time
      In their iodate on March they were processing 25 September 2015
      In their update on April they state to process 9 September 2015
      Now in their last update they state to process 20 September 2015

      This in confusing really

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