FY 2019 stat review: I-526 processing lags, while I-829 numbers fairly strong

  • Posted on January 29, 2020 | Updated on February 19, 2020 | 5 min read

IIUSA has released a report on I-526 & I-829 processing for the past fiscal year. I-526 processing is down to 2013 numbers, with approvals lower than in recent years. I-829 adjudication is much more efficient and shows nearly 19 in 20 investors getting approved.

I 526 historical stats 2020

Received: This is the lowest number in the past 7 years — just 29% of the seven-year high of 14,373 in FY 2015. Good news for investors is that fewer petitions received will mean fewer to process down the line.

Adjudicated: The lowest number since FY 2013. Curiously, the highest number of adjudications was just in the prior year, FY 2018. One would hope the steep plunge is temporary and impacted by the new EB5 green card program changes.

Approved: lowest number during that seven-year span. This number is directly related, however, to the number adjudicated. A more telling statistic is the approval rate of 78% — lower than the two previous fiscal years but very close to the FY 2013, 2014, and 2016.

Pending: The lowest number since FY 2014, and just 55% of the seven-year high of 24,992 in FY 2017. A smaller backlog is positive for investors and mitigates some of the wait time associated with the sudden (and we hope temporary) processing-rate slowdown.

Outlook: Lower processing rates are lagging greatly — but as this is a very recent phenomenon; one hopes a return to recent efficiency can be at least partially achieved soon as the program overhaul is now in effect. Approval rates are lower but not historically concerning, so investors should feel that with a smart investment selection and a good immigration lawyer their chances will be better than the average. Finally, with a lower backlog than in many years, that’s another reason for investors to get into EB-5 now.

I 829 historical stats 2020

Received: Converse to the I-526 numbers, the most recent stats for I-829 petitions received are at their highest level in the past seven years. 3,756 petitions received represents a 14% increase from FY2018.

Adjudicated: 981 fewer (a 36% decline) than FY 2018 but this should not be of significant concern as this is the median number for all seven years and nowhere near the very recent drop in efficiency in I-526 processing.

Approved: Again, a drop from the previous three years but the FY 2019 figure is the median number during that seven-year span. The approval rate of 94% is the second-lowest of the period but that number still means virtually 19 in 20 investors receive I-829 approval.

Pending: 9,799 is the highest number of this seven-year period and is the result of the numbers increasing each and every year, rather than an anomaly.

Outlook: I-829 numbers are growing, in receipts and backlog, and this is to be expected with program popularity increasing until fairly recently. Approval rates are of critical importance to investors and the vast majority of EB-5 investors should feel very confident about their chances of having their Green Card conditions removed.

See the IIUSA I-526 report [members only]

See the IIUSA I-829 report [members only]

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