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February 1 2020

EB-5 Investor Green Cards to be Processed Faster

USCIS says it is abolishing its First In, First Out policy for I-526 processing (there is really no such policy in practice).  For most new or recently filed I-526s, the processing time should now be much faster, and it may take from one to one and 1/2 years for immigration.


USCIS has announced it will give priority to I-526 investor green card petitions that have a current priority date (the date the I-526 was filed) over I-526s that still have to wait for a visa number after I-526 approval.


Thus, for new and prior filed I-526s for people from any country other than China, India and Vietnam, their I-526s will be given priority over the China, India and Vietnam cases (as they are “retrogressed” on the Visa Bulletin).


For example, a China or Vietnam-born person with a September 2017 I-526 filing date does not have a current priority date.  That petition will be left on the shelf at USCIS until it is close to having a current priority date.  An EB-5 petition filed in September 2019 for a person born in Canada, the Middle East or Mexico will be given priority because those investors may immigrate with a current available visa number after the I-526 is granted.


Another example: a person from India filed an I-526 in January 2018.  They now have a current priority date on the Visa Bulletin; thus USCIS should decide this case rather than leave it on the shelf.  However, a person from India who filed an I-526 in 2019 does not have a current priority date and will have to wait for some time for their I-526 to be decided.  The Visa Bulletin changes monthly and can be found at


This practice of leaving a visa petition on the shelf until it is close to having a current priority date is already used by USCIS for certain family and employment based cases.


Overall, this should speed up immigration for all EB-5 investors except those from China and Vietnam and those who filed I-526s more recently from India.