RC Authorization to 9/30/2018, Processing Times, New RCs

Regional Center Program Authorization

The last time Congress voted a significant regional center program extension was 2012. Since then, the program has been extended a few months at a time, in connection with government funding. This is now happening again with H.R.1625, the vehicle for the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018, which was signed by the President today.  The text includes regional center program authorization to 9/30/2018 on PDF page 1759, as follows:

SEC. 204. Section 610(b) of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (8 U.S.C. 1153 note) shall be applied by substituting “September 30, 2018” for “September 30, 2015”

This language refers back to Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102-395) Section 610 (PDF page 47), which established the regional center program. The 2018 Appropriations Act does not include the EB-5 Reform Act, or other EB-5 changes. It just extends the borrowed time until we get a good piece of EB-5 legislation.

Processing Times

USCIS has attempted to clarify reporting for processing times, and succeeded in confusing me, at least, even more than before. Unfortunately I missed a webinar on this topic yesterday because even the emails were confusing, but here’s what I think I understand, having read the new pages at egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/ and egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/more-info, and used my spreadsheet to fiddle with the EB-5 form numbers in comparison with numbers in the old-style report.

USCIS has changed its method for calculating processing times for four forms: N-400, I-90, I-485, and I-751. The underlying method for calculating (and underlying reality behind) times for I-526, I-829, and I-924 has not changed. What’s different for the EB-5 forms is that USCIS now reports three pieces of information: a high and low month in an “estimated time range” and a “case inquiry date.” The low month in the time range corresponds to the date USCIS previously reported for “processing cases as of…” in the old-style report, while the high month multiplies that duration by 1.3, and the case inquiry date more-or-less corresponds to the high month. Apparently IPO doesn’t want people complaining that they’re outside of normal processing times until their cases are taking 130% longer than average. If you took part in the webinar and have additional insights or corrections, please share.

See also the OIG Report: USCIS Has Unclear Website Information and Unrealistic Time Goals for Adjudicating Green Card Applications

Visa Availability

The Visa Bulletin for April 2018 confirms that Vietnam is definitely up next month for a cut-off date based on oversubscription. With visa availability being the major political and practical factor for EB-5 today, I’ll be writing more about this soon.

Regional Center List Updates

Additions to the USCIS Regional Center List, 03/09/2018 to 03/19/2018:

  • 888 American Dream Projects Regional Center (California, Nevada)
  • American National Regional Center d.b.a. EB5 Financial Regional Center (California): www.anrcs.com
  • Dayton Regional Center, LLC (Ohio)
  • Delvelyn Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • Hudson Funds New York Regional Center, LLC (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania): hudson-funds.com
  • MGV NYC Regional Center LLC (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)
  • Monterey Massachusetts Regional Center, LLC (Massachusetts)
  • Monterey Northern California Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • Monterey Southern California Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • New York/New Jersey Real Estate and Infrastructure Regional Center LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York)
  • PacNW Regional Center, LLC (Oregon, Washington)
  • Propet American Dream, LLC (Washington): www.propetamericandream.com
  • RSR EB-5 Regional Center, LLC (North Carolina, South Carolina)
  • Smith Mountain Regional Center, LLC (Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas)
  • U.S. Green Capital Regional Center, LLC D/B/A Playa Vista Regional Center (California): pvcapitalmanagement.com
  • Washington American Investments, LLC (District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia)

New Terminations:

  • Chen Roberts Regional Center (Oklahoma)
  • Regency Regional Center LLC (California)

About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Suzanne Lazicki is a business plan writer, EB-5 expert, and founder of Lucid Professional Writing.

65 Responses to RC Authorization to 9/30/2018, Processing Times, New RCs

  1. PNJ says:

    Suzanne,

    Thank you for all the updates.

    The new reporting changes just add unnecessary complexity and anxiety. Given the regressive trends observed over the last few months with I-526 dates, is there any data available to determine how many applications were received and processed in the last quarter – i.e., are Q1 2018 petition stats available or are we still waiting USCIS to release this information?

    – An extremely frustrated EB-5 applicant (filed on 9/30/2016)

  2. Chinese Investor says:

    I have heard that Indian nationals are expected to file around 1,000 I-526s this fiscal year – that’s around 3000 people.

    In addition to Indian nationals who filed in 2015, 2016, and 2017, there are probably around 5000 Indian nationals on the backlog. Since only 700 visas are available each year, that means a 7-year backlog. There are multiple sources suggesting that backlog for Indian and Vietnamese nationals may get just as bad as backlog for Chinese nationals, all add up to 15-20 years+.

    As 95%+ investors are all facing unreasonable, 2-decade long backlogs, I do hope that these lobbyists will finally take this issue more seriously. But these lobbyists may simply just suggest “set-aside 99% of visas for future investors, and forget about past investors” in the bill. “For past investors, once they have paid their money, they worth less than toilet paper”. That’s a true fact.

    • Kishore says:

      Highly doubt that there are 5000 indians in line. where did you get that information ? Its pretty obvious that vietnam will have a cutoff date in May based on April visa bulletin

      • M Asif Chhipa says:

        Hi
        I read all of your posts and it seems you guys have vast reading of eb-5. It will be nice if you can comment on my query as well.. I am an Indian investor and I applied in June 2016 and my case got approved a month ago thats 23rd Feb 2018. Now I am waiting for NVC response.
        The first question is how long will NVC take to process further and schedule an interview.
        And second is bit complicated.
        I read the latest bulletin of April in which there are two charts A and B
        Chart B shows “current” for regional centre as I understand that it is shows tht after NVC receives the file investor should be immediately notified to submit the documents as there is no priority date for Indian investors.
        But my confusion is chart A which was current last month of march bulletin and now it shows U which means unauthorised or in available …what does that mean? Does that mean even after the NVC finishes the processing and send the file to consulate …visa OS not available ? Is it over subscribed? Or not available ?
        Pls explain
        Thanks

    • Mayank says:

      There is no way India can come close to 1000 files. In 2016, 350 application’s were counted by USCIS. The average family size in India is 4. So I think from year 2015, 16 and 17, there should not be more than 1000 people waiting for approval or visa right now.

  3. Can you discuss how retrogression works with multiple backlogged countries (or point me to a good resource)? For instance, let’s say we’re in FY2019, China and Vietnam are backlogged, and all other countries receive 5,000 visas in that fiscal year based on approved I-526 applications. How do the remaining 4,940 visas get allocated amongst Chinese and Vietnamese applicants for that year? My understanding is China and Vietnam would each get 696 visas, and then approved I-526 applicants from Vietnam would get the rest of the 3,548 unused visas as needed. Then, if there are any visas leftover of the 3,548, those unused visa numbers would go to Chinese investors with approved I-526 applications in order of priority date. Is that accurate?

    • WY says:

      No. If multiple countries are backlogged. Remaining unused visas are allocated strictly based on priority date without regards to national origin. In this case, almost all unused visas (4,940) will be given to Chinese investors, since they have much earlier priority date (2014, 2015). Since most Vietnamese and Indian investors filed in late 2015, 2016, and 2017, they would not get ANY additional visas until ALL Chinese investors with earlier priority date have gone. In these case, no countries may get more than 696 visas until Chinese backlog is cleared off, which may or may not happen after 10 years.

    • Kishore says:

      Each country gets 700 per year in EB5( 7% approx per country ). so if there is a demand from non chinese EB5 for 9300 visa than china will not get any overflow. If other country dont use the 9300 visa ( all countries except china – together) than those will the earliest priority date ( irrespective of country should get the flow – in this case china .

      There are other complex rules but this gives you the jist.

    • Indian says:

      As per my understanding, 7% goes to all countries. Remaining visa goes based on priority date. This means majority visa goes to China since their priority date is earlier than majority another nations. But i think there is one more clause in diversity law is 85% maximum cap. That means at any given time china cant have more than 85% of total visa. I guess if multiple countries get backlogged than 85% will not be relevant since China can’t cross 85% condition.

      I think India is already backlogged for 6 to 10 years since as per 2016 data it shows 1700 visa needed. Based on trend if we add 400 (conservative side) applicants for 2017 and say 200 applicants for 2018. Total 600 primary applicants. This makes total to 1700 + 2400 = 4100 visa.

      In order to get 4100 visa it will take about 6 years. This means this is already 6 years backlog for India. I am sure no for 2017 and 2018 may be higher than above figure. Based on that it is easy to understand that India is backlog for 6 to 10 years for sure. This situation could go worst if set aside rules gets implemented in future.

      In past, India has only 67% approval ratio as per excel document but majority 2017 and 2018 applicants are from H1B visa and that will make approval ratio significant higher, it could be possible that 4 visa per family may reduce to 3.5 visa per family.

      • Rommy says:

        If Suzanne can share some details on how unused visa would be used in a scenario where China , Vietnam and India all have cut off in a future would help us. Coming to the India’s data , I found that total 354 I 526 petitions have been filed in FY 16 ( Oct 15- Sept 16). I did not get data for FY 17 ( Oct16- Sept 17) , but lets say if it is 500 then total combined would be 854 and based on 75 % approval rate , total number of applications eligible for visa would be 640. I know 2 Indian applicants who would consume only 1-2 visa per application as most of our kids are born here. so I am assuming that 3 visa would require per application , so demand would be 1920 visas to clear indina application till sept 17 which would be 3 years backlogged , if all unused visa goes to china only but again I will let Suzanne confirm how unused visa gets distributed among these 3 countries.

      • Kishore says:

        Where did you get the 1700 visas for india in 2016? There were 149 i- 526 approvals from india in 2016. Visa numbers only matter at i-485 filing stage.

      • Indian says:

        Please look at Suzanne excel file. Exact count is 1735 for FY16 for India.

      • Kishore says:

        Those 1735 count is not accurate. Indians with a multiple of 4.9 is more 3.0 average. This 4.9x number is skewed considering china’s multipe is 3.0( considering china’s population is more than India) I-526 petitions are the only numbers to look at as the numbers matter only at i-485 stage. At the same time unless i-526 filing increase drastically for India to the range of 2-3k there wont be a cutoff date. we are looking at least 5 years away from a cutoff date for India.

      • TeshChan says:

        4100 visa calculation is not right. You are assuming 100% approval rate for Indians while infact in 2016 it was only 66%. Also, affluent families and H1B families dont have 5 people. Lets assume 75% approval for Indians, family size of 3.5 and 345 applications in 2016, 500 in 2017, 250 until now in 2018. So it would be (345 + 500 + 250) * 0.75 * 3.5 which is 2875 visas. So whoever files today needs to wait 2875 / 700 = 4.1 years at the max.

      • Kishore says:

        The filings for india i-526 are 345 for 2016 and 174 for 2017. Lets give it a 75% approval rate and 3.5 multiple gives a waitlist of 1810. These i-526 approvals will be spaced out. Considering india will get around 700 visas gives a wait time of around 2.5 years but that is on assumption that all Indian’s i-526 get approved at the same time to create a backlog

        Perhaps by 2022 if more indians start filing EB5 due to EB2/3 backlog.

      • TeshChan says:

        Kishore,
        In 2017, Indians received 174 EB5 visas. This is different from the number of I-526 petitions filed. In 2016, it was 345, so 2017 it will be definitely more than that (this information not publicly available). So I assumed 500 . It is predicted that India will have a backlog by 2020 ie 2019FY. But the dates should move forward quickly once the next FY 2020 starts in October.

      • Kishore says:

        unless the i-485 filing cross the 7% threshold for country limit per year, ROW will not have a cutoff date. With the incredible slow processing of i-526 times it will take a long time for India to have a cutoff date. So in essence i-526 filing really does not matter for ROW unless USCIS reduces processing time for i-526

      • D.P says:

        I’m a little confused as to which countries will get a backlog and when can someone clarify. Someone mentioned Vietnam’s will get a backlog next month does anyone know how long that backlog is and there are varying opinions on when and how long India’s back log will be. Will a person filing and i526 today who was born in India be subject to a backlog and potentially how long ? And same question for Vietnam

      • VTG says:

        Can you indicate the source where we can deduce your quote “…That means at any given time china cant have more than 85% of total visa. I guess if multiple countries get backlogged than 85% will not be relevant since China can’t cross 85% condition”.

  4. LA says:

    This information if true is not good for the Vietnam and Indian EB5 applicants who are submitting their I-526 applications now. The I-526 will not get approved for 10 years or more due to a huge backlog for the Chinese applicants.

  5. M Asif Chhipa says:

    Hi
    I read all of your posts and it seems you guys have vast reading of eb-5. It will be nice if you can comment on my query as well.. I am an Indian investor and I applied in June 2016 and my case got approved a month ago thats 23rd Feb 2018. Now I am waiting for NVC response.
    The first question is how long will NVC take to process further and schedule an interview.
    And second is bit complicated.
    I read the latest bulletin of April in which there are two charts A and B
    Chart B shows “current” for regional centre as I understand that it is shows tht after NVC receives the file investor should be immediately notified to submit the documents as there is no priority date for Indian investors.
    But my confusion is chart A which was current last month of march bulletin and now it shows U which means unauthorised or in available …what does that mean? Does that mean even after the NVC finishes the processing and send the file to consulate …visa OS not available ? Is it over subscribed? Or not available ?
    Pls explain
    Thanks

    • Tai says:

      Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):

      The continuing resolution signed on February 9, 2018 extended this immigrant investor pilot program until March 23, 2018. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on March 23, 2018, and may be issued for the full validity period. No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after March 23, 2018.

      The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Unavailable” for April. If there is legislative action extending them for FY-2018, the final action dates would immediately become “Current” for April for all countries except China-mainland born, which would be subject to a July 22, 2014 date.

      • M Asif Chhipa says:

        Thanks a lot for your explanation..I really appreciate ..so as per your explanation the eb-5 program is already extended up to 30th sept 2018 so it would become current again…right?
        That means there is no backlog for visa for India at least.
        And also pls share your view about my first question that how long will it take NVC to schedule the interview as I mentioned my petition is approved last month February 26th 2018. So when should I expect to hear from NVC and submit the documents and how long it may take to schedule my Interview?
        It would be really nice if I can get any comment from u on this ..
        Regards
        Thanks again.

    • Kishore says:

      Your priority date has to be current at two points. One when you fiel i-485 and second when the officer is sdjudicating or assigning a visa number to approve your i-485. If yuor pd is not current during sdjudication it will be put on hold until visa number becomes available

    • Mayank says:

      I am an Indian investor and I am waiting for my interview now. All the NVC process is done and I got the letter from nvc that I am awaiting for the date of interview from Mumbai consulate. So if visa bulletin goes current for the month of April, I might get the date very soon. After I526 approval it took 5 months to get me to the interview. I got approval in October 2017.

      • LA says:

        Hello Mayank,
        I presume you are Indian. When did you submit your I-526 application ? Just wondering how long it took for you to get your I-526 approval ? Thanks.

      • M Asif Chhipa says:

        Hi Mayank
        That’s great to know that you NVC process is done..I am also from India and waiting for my process done thru NVC…if you don’t mind it will great if you can share your contact details …or u can contact me on +91-9825708619.
        Will wait for your reply
        Regards
        Aasif

      • EB5_Ind says:

        Hi Mayank,

        Even I got an NVC Case Complete in Mid February. But I haven’t received an interview date yet. Since the program has been extended, I hope we can get an interview date soon. Please let us know when you receive your interview date.

      • Mayank says:

        Hello everyone,

        I filed my i526 on 8th August 2016 and it took exactly 14 month to get approved. NVC case took longer because I had to provide them documentation from UK as well as I had a resident in London as well, so getting all the documents took some time.

        Eb5_indsays : Just like April, February was also Unauthorised for visa issuance. But I believe there are no changes as of now in eb5, as it states that if there will an clean extension then it will go to current straight away. The visa bulletin is not updated yet. So, in a few days time, I think we can get the date.

        Thanks,

      • Kishore says:

        EB5 has been extended until Sep 30th. As the omnibus bill passed last week, USCIS should come up with an updated visa bulletin to reflect that.

  6. LA says:

    Is it faster to get the adjustment of status in US or temporary green card outside US once the I-526 is approved ?

    • d866382 says:

      this is a good question. my lawyer told me that it’s faster if you back to your country and wait for visa interview rather than stay in America and wait for the adjustment of status. if Suzanne has the time to explain how it works and based on what factors, that will be great!

  7. Bewildered says:

    Why does the USCIS split the I-526 waiting list into only Chinese and non-Chinese? Why not give numbers for every country, or at least the bigger countries? Without the information on how many Indians are waiting in the I-526 queue, it is very difficult to estimate the waiting time for an investor who files today.

    • Kishore says:

      Cause chinese file 90% of petitions for the last 5 years. The ROW is too small to be considered. It lists out the top 10-15 countries by name and than the rest fall into a single file.

      • Bewildered says:

        With that situation about to change immediately for Vietnam and later for India, I think it is high time the USCIS started splitting out by country. Plus they should declare all the relevant info, such as quarterly I-526 filings, approvals, denials, visa issuance, etc. by country, and provide a priority date also by country – at least separately for Indian and Vietnam.

      • Kishore says:

        Yup its about time cause the chinese flood the petitions on day 1 (October 1st) and the line is clogged for everyone else.

  8. Rui An says:

    I like your Processing Time – ‘my spreadsheet’ sharing. However it Looks like this new calculation method is in favor of IPO not petitioners, because thinking in the old processing time mode we can raise case inquiry if our case filed older than the ‘case as of date’ which is Feb29,2016 on your I819 spreadsheet, however right now we can only contact IPO if our case exceed 130% more than the previous allowed asking day?! The other confusing is this processing time doesn’t count how long IPO to process our Request For Evidence response, take my case as example, I see other investors in a same project as mine but filed I819 later than me got approved months earlier than me, some of them submitted their RFE and then got approved within 2-3 weeks, but me and some others are still waiting for the decision after we submitted RFE, again we are in a same project same RFE questions, but why others who submitted later than me but got reviewed so quick while we should be waiting? Except waiting and keep asking IPO, what other ways can wake up them to process my case as same pace as they process others?

  9. Rui An says:

    I am an I829 petitioner, most of petitioners in my same project got approved in the past 5 months, and a few got RFE and some of them received approval within 2-3 weeks upon their response submitted. I am the very few lucky selections to save “their backlog” right now. After I submitted my RFE at the early of Feb I am still waiting, simple RFE, strong evidence same as others who got the RFE and approved within 2-3 weeks. I will be waiting until I reached 90 days to raise an “Escalation”.

  10. Rui An says:

    I filed on Mar23,2016. I received a RFE request on Jan26 – simple doc with strong evidence from us. Attorney mailed RFE on Feb07 (USCIS received date – from the courier tracking number). I got other applicants in my same project same RFE approved within 2-3 weeks, but mine and several others still waiting? Yesterday I just realized the I819 receipt number previously inactive right now changed to ‘received by local office on Mar08,2018’. Then I called my lawer right away to ask what does that mean, my lawyer told me all I819 receipts changed the status to be received on Mar08,2018 by local offices which were previously inactive. I am really confusing!!! I called the 800 customer service number to check our ASC receipt numbers, the agent told me we were approved but cannot see when we were approved. I doubt then I called the 800 twice, they said they didn’t see ‘approved’ which is still pending. I am really confusing but nothing we can do just wait.

  11. Rui An says:

    Can anybody advise any ideas that why all I829 receipt numbers previous inactive but suddenly changed to ‘Received at your local office’ and all on Mar08,2018? Does this mean all I819 are actually processed at local USCIS offices not Washington? If we are processed at our local office, I am thinking to schedule an infopass to ask status because nowhere can tell me if my RFE was received or not, and if they are processing my case.

  12. Rui An says:

    Hopefully, this is a good system conversion for us. I will anyway schedule an infopass because I think infopass can provide much more accurate information than what ever resources answer – 800, tier 1, tier 2, and even writing to IPO. Because when I did infopass in Jan, they clearly told me the exact day they mailed me RFE and that is just one day update, very quick and accurate information. I will rely on them now…

  13. Rui An says:

    and maybe our RFE review delay also thanks to this system conversion?

    • I haven’t heard anything except that one EB5 Insights article, but sound like you’re wise to keep following up, and the lawyer should be helpful.

      • Rui An says:

        Could be our case already approved but USCIS couldn’t mail the notice out and couldn’t update their system due to their system problem right now? Could that be possible? I think I will schedule an infopass to check a back and while. Hopefully they tell me a positive answer ):

  14. Rui An says:

    I mean if it be possible even the letter couldn’t be mailed out like the situation of the I819 receipts?

  15. An says:

    Some new find out today, the case status checking is migrating to a new website – https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov/

    • Let us know if this new page offers any new information regarding your case.

      • An says:

        Okay, this new page showing two receiving day for my I829 form – the initial receiving date and the Mar08 receiving day. I know all I829 forms showing a status ‘received by local office on Mar08’. The old page only showing Mar08 one receiving day. Obviously they are migrating their system – could be the so-called ‘system conversion’ posted in some websites?

    • Dan says:

      With the old status check, you didn’t have to have an account, just WAC number right?

  16. An says:

    I see some forum people says, not EB5 category, their case statuses are also minor difference between the old and new page.

  17. An says:

    You must have an account with the old system. I don’t know if the new system will replace the old one or not, since no official announcement from USCIS. Both pages work now, just minor difference. Anyone has any idea?

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