FY 2017: First Quarter Data & Statistics
Along with the latest I-526 and I-829 submission statistics, USCIS has published information on current adjudication trends in FY 2017. These two sets of data go hand in hand and are a valuable source of information for those in the process of obtaining Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) through the EB-5 program.
In the first quarter of FY 2017 USCIS received 4,395 I-526 petitions. This compared to the same time period last fiscal year represents a 30% decrease in I-526 filings. As of February 28, 2017 USCIS began processing petitions received before September 9, 2015. This is nearly three week retrogression from the processing times published by the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) in January. Because of the current backlog, wait times are now estimated to be around 17.9 months for petitions filed before September 9, 2015. Despite this disappointing news, it has been reported that the amount of petitions adjudicated in Q1 FY2017 reached the highest level since the inception of the program. Petition approval is also at an all time high. The rate of approval increased to 93% - an encouraging 2% increase from Q4 FY 2016. However, it is important to note that the increase in adjudications and petition approvals has not decreased the number of I-526 petitions pending. As of February 28, 2017 the number of total petitions pending stands at 23,250.
Significant decreases were also seen in I-829 petition filings. In Q1 FY 2017, there were just 752 petitions filed marking a two year low. The approval rate of I-829 petitions decreased by 12% from Q4 FY 2016, a relatively low level compared to the long-term average approval rate. Similar to I-526 petitions, there was a slight regression in I-829 processing times in the first quarter. As of February 28, 2017, petitions received by USCIS before October 1, 2014 were being processed. This has brought wait times to approximately 29.4 months. Due to increasingly slow processing times, the number of total I-829 petitions pending at the end of Q1 FY 2017 was in excess of 7,000.