USCIS Revises Visa Availability Approach for Form I-526 Petitions: Aiming for Greater Efficiency and Productivity

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a significant change to its visa availability approach for managing Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, as part of a continuous effort to boost productivity and improve efficiency in the processing of these petitions.

From July 2023, the USCIS Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) will adopt a new strategy in handling the workflow of Form I-526 petitions. The office plans to group petitions by new commercial enterprise (NCE) with filing dates on or before Nov. 30, 2019, within the workflow queue. This approach will be applicable to petitions where the project has already been reviewed, and there is a visa either available or soon to be available.

The updated process primarily aims at enabling the IPO to gain greater processing efficiencies, reducing backlog, improving Form I-526 completion times, and ensuring consistency and accuracy in adjudications. The update brings with it a new, more efficient grouping process which is particularly relevant for cases where adjudicators are handling multiple petitions associated with the same NCE. Given the overlap in project documents and issues presented, it makes the adjudication process smoother and faster.

This approach applies to Form I-526 petitions predating the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, prioritizing the assignment of such petitions for investors with a visa that is either available or will soon be available.

It’s worth noting that the large volume of petitions filed shortly before the implementation of the EB-5 modernization rule in November 2019 makes this update a practical move. USCIS remains committed to reducing the Form I-526 petition backlog and completion times, with this new approach marking a promising step towards achieving this goal.

For a more detailed understanding of the updated visa availability approach for Form I-526, you can visit the USCIS’s official announcement. As always, we’ll continue to bring you the latest updates on immigration and visa policies, helping you navigate the path to permanent residency in the United States more effectively.

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