EB-5 Visa Statistics for Forms I-526 and I-829 for Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2023 Released by USCIS

EB-5 Visa Statistics for Form I-526 and Form I-829 were released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and reflect the volume of US EB5 Visa petitions received and adjudicated and the remaining pending applications for Quarter 1 (Q1) of Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. EB 5 Visa Statistics for I-526 and I-829 for Quarter 1 (Q1) of Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 indicate an increased demand for the USA EB-5 Visa owing to the improvements set by the Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) of 2022. The provision of visa set-asides, reauthorization of the Regional Center Program, and increased transparency were some of the primary changes from the EB 5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA).

EB5 Visa Statistics for FY 2023 Q1 show reduced adjudication for I526 and I829 approvals and denials, however, the processing volume for this quarter is still significantly higher than the petitions processed in FY 2022 Q1. The increased filing of I 526 petitions caused a rise in the pending number of petitions while the sharp drop of I 829 filings since FY 2022 Q3 was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and suspension of the Regional Center Program. EB 5 experts expect a further rise in EB 5 Immigrant Investor Visa applications given the current EB-5 Statistics and the opportunities made available by the RIA, especially for immigrant investors from China and India.

What are the EB-5 Visa Statistics for USCIS Form I-526 and Form I-829 for Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2023?

EB-5 Visa Statistics for Forms I-526 and I-829 for Quarter 1 (Q1) of the fiscal year (FY) 2023 reflect the number of petitions received, approved, and denied by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). EB-5 Visa Statistics for Forms I-526 and I-829 for Quarter 1 of the fiscal year 2023 include the number of pending EB5 petitions as well as statistics for the new Form I-526E (Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor) which initiates the EB5 Visa application process for regional center investors. Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor) is used by direct project investors to initiate the EB 5 Visa process. Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status) is filed during the last stage of EB 5 Visa processing to obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR) in the United States. 

Overall, the EB5 Statistics for I-526 and I-829 petitions show an increased demand for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa for Quarter 1 (Q1) of the fiscal year (FY) 2023 due to the changes mandated by the 2022 EB 5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA). Below are the key improvements made to the EB5 Visa Program under the Reform and Integrity Act (RIA).

  • Availability of reserved visas for investors in Targeted Employment Area (TEA) projects. Targeted Employment Area (TEA) investors are allotted 32% visa set-asides from the annual total EB-5 Visas available each year and are eligible for I-526 priority processing. A TEA project is located in either a high-unemployment region or a rural area and requires a lowered minimum investment of $800,000.
  • EB5 Reauthorization of the Regional Center Program. The Regional Center Program is reauthorized to operate until September 30, 2027. An EB 5 Regional Center pools capital from multiple immigrant investors to be deployed to new commercial enterprises (NCEs) and job-creating entities (JCEs). The majority of foreign investors apply for the US EB 5 Investor Visa through the Regional Center Program since direct, indirect, and induced jobs are all counted towards the employment creation requirement of the EB5 Program. 
  • Improved transparency and investor security through more rigorous forms, requirement for fund administration, and implementation of the EB-5 Integrity Fund.

 EB5 Visa Statistics for FY 2023 Q1 reflect reduced adjudication for I-526 and I-829 approvals and denials, however, the processing volume for this quarter is still significantly higher than the petitions processed in FY 2022 Q1. The next sections discuss data released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for EB 5 Visa petitions from October to December 2022 which covers Q1 of FY 2023. 

What are the EB-5 Visa Statistics for Form I-526 for Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2023?

EB 5 Statistics for I526 received for FY 2023 Q1 show that the number of EB5 immigrant petitions filed with USCIS has still not reached pre-pandemic levels. Pending I526 petitions also increased at a quarterly level between FY 2022 Q4 and FY 2023 Q1. The increase in the I 526 backlog reflects USCIS’s reduced capacity to process EB 5 Visa petitions. 

I-526 Petitions by Quarter for FY 2019 to FY 2023 Q1

Quarter 1 FY 2019 Quarter 2 FY 2019 Quarter 3 FY 2019 Quarter 4 FY 2019 Quarter 1 FY 2020 Quarter 2 FY 2020 Quarter 3 FY 2020 Quarter 4 FY 2020 Quarter 1 FY 2021 Quarter 2 FY 2021 Quarter 3 FY 2021 Quarter 4 FY 2021 Quarter 1 FY 2022 Quarter 2 FY 2022 Quarter 3 FY 2022 Quarter 4 FY 2022 Quarter 1 FY 2023
I-526 Petitions Received 1, 808 580 615 1, 191 4, 264 21 40 53 91 98 169 456 189 420 32 189 556
Quarterly Change for I-526 Petitions Received (%) 35 -68 6 94 258 -100 90 33 72 8 72 170 -59 122 -92 488 196
I-526 Petitions Approved 2, 175 795 333 356 383 714 576 904 1, 004 752 592 50 16 50 264 259 273
Approval Rate (%) 85 82 58 65 84 79 62 79 89 85 81 16 26 33 58 48 68
I-526 Denied 398 180 246 190 72 190 346 236 119 130 135 266 45 102 191 276 207
Denial Rate (%) 15 18 42 35 16 21 38 21 11 15 19 84 74 67 42 52 43
I-526 Petitions Pending 13, 508 13, 105 13, 070 13, 763 17, 468 16, 633 15, 955 15, 063 13, 746 13, 044 12, 798 13, 008 13, 132 12, 385 12, 988 13, 062 13, 232
Quarterly Change for I-526 Petitions Pending (%) -6 -3 0 5 27 -5 -4 -6 -9 -5 -2 2 1 2 -3 1 1

Data from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The increase in I 526 filing, however, is a potential source of reinforced processing capacity for USCIS, especially with the proposed filing fee increase of USCIS forms. 

I-526 Petitions Received, Approved and Denied

A total of 556 I-526 petitions were received by USCIS for Q1 of FY 2023 wherein 480 applications were processed (approved and denied). 

I-526 Petition Processing by Quarter for FY 2019 to FY 2023 Q1

Data from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The number of I526 filings for Q1 of FY 2023 is the highest quarterly number since Q1 of FY 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic affected immigrant applications. EB-5 experts predict a further increase in the number of I 526 petitions filed particularly for immigrant investors from China and India. Investors from these backlogged countries benefit from the RIA provision of priority processing of I-526 and visa set-asides. 

The rate of approval has decreased substantially for I 526 forms since Q4 of FY 2021 with the lowest number of I-526 form approvals recorded at only 16 in Q1 of FY 2022. The number of I526 form approvals for Q1 of FY 2023 saw only a minimal increase in Q4 of FY 2022 from 259 to 273. The number of I-526 Form application denials, however, was reduced slightly from 276 in Q4 of FY 2022 to 207 in Q1 of FY 2023. 

What are the EB-5 Visa Statistics for Form I-829 for Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2023?

EB5 Statistics for FY 2023 Q1 show a reduced number of pending petitions by only 2% compared to the previous quarter. The number of I 829 petitions filed in Q1 for FY 2023 was 81 and 336 were approved and denied. 

I-829 Petitions by Quarter for FY 2019 to FY 2023 Q1

Quarter 1 FY 2019 Quarter 2 FY 2019 Quarter 3 FY 2019 Quarter 4 FY 2019 Quarter 1 FY 2020 Quarter 2 FY 2020 Quarter 3 FY 2020 Quarter 4 FY 2020 Quarter 1 FY 2021 Quarter 2 FY 2021 Quarter 3 FY 2021 Quarter 4 FY 2021 Quarter 1 FY 2022 Quarter 2 FY 2022 Quarter 3 FY 2022 Quarter 4 FY 2022 Quarter 1 FY 2023
I-829 Petitions Received 797 921 1, 171 867 1, 013 604 739 740 205 1, 053 1, 249 794 618 383 200 69 81
Quarterly Change for I-829 Petitions Received (%) 71 16 27 -26 17 -40 22 0 -72 414 19 -36 -22 -38 -48 -66 17
I-829 Petitions Approved 443 270 574 349 436 730 725 732 641 566 402 404 299 396 340 418 307
Approval Rate (%) 93 95 94 97 99 93 97 92 94 94 90 82 92 89 87 91 91
I-829 Denied 31 15 39 12 6 57 23 62 41 37 46 87 27 51 49 41 29
Denial Rate (%) 7 5 6 3 1 7 3 8 6 6 10 18 8 11 13 9 9
I-829 Petitions Pending 8, 119 8, 821 9, 925 9, 799 10, 373 10, 309 10, 332 10, 304 9, 894 10, 356 11, 160 11, 448 11, 731 11, 690 11, 523 11, 150 10, 906
Quarterly Change for I-829 Petitions Pending (%) 6 9 5 5 6 -1 0 0 -4 5 8 3 2 0 -1 -3 -2

Data from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

I-829 Petitions Received, Approved and Denied

A minimal increase of 17% was observed for I829 form receipt for Q1 of FY 2023 compared to Q4 of FY 2022. The total approvals and denials of the I 829 form were reduced in FY 2023 Q1 in comparison to the previous quarter while approval and denial rates remained the same.

I-829 Petition Processing by Quarter for FY 2019 to FY 2023 Q1

Data from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The effects of COVID-19 and the suspension of the EB 5 Regional Center Program contributed to the sharp drop in I-829 Form petition filings from Q3 of FY 2022. 

How do EB-5 Visa Statistics for Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2023 Affect I-526 and I-829 Pending Petition Backlogs?

EB 5 Visa Statistics for FY 2023 Q1 indicate an increased demand for the USA EB-5 Visa as shown in the rise of I526 form filing which also contributed to the increase in I 526 pending petitions. The volume of I829 form filings and processing remains at steady levels with no significant effects on the pending backlogged petitions. 

Processed and Pending I-526 and I-829 Petitions for FY 2013 to FY 2023 Q1

Data from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Processed and Pending I-526 and I-829 Petitions for Fiscal Year 2023 to Date

Data from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Currently, the average USCIS processing time for Form I 526 is 60 months. Immigrant investors from China experience longer Form I526 processing times at an average of 80.5 months. Qualifying for TEA investments allows foreign investors from backlogged countries such as China and India to avoid lengthy Form I-526 processing.

How Much EB-5 Capital Was Raised for Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2023?

At least $444,800,000 USD in EB-5 capital was raised for quarter 1 of the fiscal year 2023 from the 556 immigrant investors who filed Form I-526 petitions from October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. Industry experts predict EB-5 Capital Raised for the First Half of Fiscal Year 2023 will continue to increase due to the development of priority categories for infrastructure, high unemployment, and rural projects with the enactment of the EB-5 RIA.

What is the Difference Between the EB-5 Statistics for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of Fiscal Year 2023?

The main difference between the EB-5 statistics from quarter 1 and quarter 2 for FY 2023 is the inclusion of separate data for I-526 and I-526E filings and data on the new regional center forms introduced under the RIA. Overall the EB-5 Statistics for Quarter 2 of FY 2023 showed increased adjudication of I-526, I-526E, and I-829 petitions. However, these numbers remain low compared to the total remaining number of pending petitions left to be adjudicated.