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USCIS adjusts process for processing EB-5 immigrant investor petitions

  1. Original Date Announced

    January 29, 2020

    USCIS announces Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, will now be processed on a visa availability approach, rather than a first-in, first-out basis. [ID #581]

    USCIS Adjusts Process for Managing EB-5 Visa Petition Investor
  2. Effective Date

    March 31, 2020
  4. Biden Administration Action: Modified

    June 1, 2022

    Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor

    USCIS released the 6/1/2022 edition of Form I-526 which has been modified and retitled as the Immigrant Petition for Standalone Investor. The new form is split into two versions (Form I-526 and Form I-526E) to accommodate the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, which made significant changes to both the filing and eligibility requirements for investors under the EB-5 program.

    View Document
  5. Biden Administration Action: Modified

    July 12, 2022

    7.12.22 - USCIS Releases Revised Form I-526

    USCIS announces that starting July 12, 2022, USCIS is accepting the new Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by a Standalone Investor. Starting September 12, 2022, USCIS will only accept the 06/01/22 edition. Until then, stakeholders can also use the 04/15/19 E, 04/15/19, and 11/21/19 editions.

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  6. Biden Administration Action: Modified

    July 18, 2023

    USCIS Update to Visa Availability Approach for Form I-526

    On July 18, 2023, USCIS updated the visa availability approach for managing the inventory of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor. This update modifies the I-526 processing and "first-in, first-out" visa ability approach described in the original post.

    The USCIS Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) now determines visa availability by grouping I-526 petitions into three “queues” for adjudication. The first queue contains petitions for which a visa is not yet available (and will not be available soon). The second queue contains petitions related to projects that IPO has not previously reviewed. The third queue contains Form I-526 petitions for which a visa is available (or soon to be available) because they pertain to a reviewed project or “non-pooled” (single investor) standalone project. Form I-526 petitions from this queue are assigned to officers for adjudication, generally in first-in, first-out order.

    USCIS asserts this update will allow the IPO to process Form I-526 petitions more efficiently because they will handle multiple petitions associated with the same new commercial enterprise (NCE), making it easier to simultaneously review petitions that have overlapping project documentation.

    View Document

Current Status

Partially in effect

Most Recent Action

July 18, 2023 Action: Modified USCIS Update to Visa Availability Approach for Form I-526
June 1, 2022
Acted on by Biden Administration
July 12, 2022
Acted on by Biden Administration
July 18, 2023
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Agency Directive
Agencies Affected: USCIS

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • March 17, 2020

    Under the prior "First In, First Out" (FIFO) process, generally USCIS processed Form I-526 petitions in the order received. Under the FIFO process, consequently, petitioners without immigrant visa numbers available would tend to be processed ahead of those with visa numbers available, given that the oldest Form I-526 petitions are primarily from countries that are now oversubscribed. (i.e.. the country’s immigrant visa demand exceeds the supply of visa numbers available for allocation in a given classification from the State Dept.).

    Questions and Answers: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Visa Availability Approach

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