EB-5: USCIS Releases Data on Program Usage

USCIS has released EB-5 program statistics for fiscal year (“FY”) 2010 and Q1 through Q2 of FY 2011, showing a marked increase in program usage.

As of June 30, 2011, USCIS reports that there are 147 approved Regional Centers operating in 39 states and 83 pending Regional Center proposals. In all of 2010, there were 110 new Regional Center applications filed, yet by the end of Q2 for fiscal year 2011 alone, there have been 146 new applications, which is a significant increase.

For FY2010 USCIS received 1,955 initial investor petitions, and by the end of Q2 of FY2011 the USCIS had already received 1,601 initial investor petitions. The released data shows an 89 percent approval rate in FY 2010 for initial investor petitions, and an 81 percent approval rate for initial investor petitions in Q1 and Q2 of 2011.

USCIS reports that for FY2010, 41 percent of EB-5 visas were used by persons born in mainland China, 16 percent by persons born in South Korea, 7 percent by persons born in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 5 percent by persons born in Taiwan, 3 percent by persons born in India, and the remaining 28 percent by persons from all other countries.

As to adjudication timeframes, once a foreign national investor files his or her initial petition, USCIS reports a five and a half month adjudication period from filing to decision. That time period must be adjusted upward to account for the USCIS’ Requests for Evidence (“RFE”), which sometimes are issued before USCIS makes a decision in the case. After receiving an RFE response, the USCIS strives to conclude case adjudication within 30 days after receipt of the requested evidence, but that time period is not the typical time period. Current time periods vary, with some investors waiting many times that period, making the actual adjudication time period much longer for some investors using the program.

Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Dallas-based Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney, please visit http://www.rabinowitzrabinowitz.com.