U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) held a teleconference on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 1:30 p.m.– 3:00 p.m. EST to discuss the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Mr.Nicholas Colucci, Director of the USCIS Immigrant Investor Program Office, provided these updates on the EB-5 program among others:
- The current processing time for an I-526 petition is around nine months; processing time for I-924 petition is around 12 months.
- The office is being reorganized, presently there is a shortage of adjudication officers, however they are actively recruiting new officers,so the process time is expected to be longer in the near future.
- The USCIS California Service Center will forward Forms I-526 to be adjudicated at the new office in Washington D.C. from now on.
- In the beginning of Filing Year 2013, 504 Form I-924 applications were in pending status, the USCIS approved 218 I-924s and denied 32 I-924s; 5018 Form I-526 applications were in pending status, the USCIS approved 3699 I-526s and denied 943 I-526s.
- USCIS’ is focusing more on issues of fraud and national interest in the EB-5 program and as such, USCIS has hired economists, law school graduates as well as some former information officers to investigate these issues.
- USCIS is also planning on coming up with a policy guidance manual and new EB-5 regulations to streamline the EB-5 adjudication process in the coming future.