The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa offers a solution for high net-worth individuals to permanently immigrate to the United States. The program has no language or education requirements, and more importantly, does not require any family ties for sponsorship. Provided the foreign national has the requisite funds for the investment, he or she has an opportunity to obtain a green card.
Gone are the glory days of EB-5 when I-526 Petitions were approved in 2-5 months. The past few years have seen a steady increase in processing times of EB-5 Petitions. It’s not uncommon to hear of investors waiting over 12 months for their approval. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. USCIS has recognized that processing times over a year are unreasonable, and have taken steps to remedy the situation.
The processing of I-526 Petitions are becoming more streamlined with the recent move of EB-5 adjudication from California to Washington, DC. In the past few months USCIS advertised on the government jobs website, usajobs.gov for multiple EB-5 Adjudicator position openings. New hires should complete training and be adjudicating petitions shortly.
What does this all mean for EB-5 Investors? The good news is that processing times are decreasing. With USCIS hiring multiple adjudicators for the program, we should begin to see the processing times drop. Current processing times (as of August 14, 2014) are listed at 13.4 months. Although this is a small start, we should expect faster processing in the near future.