For the longest time, the USCIS published I-526 processing times in its Quarterly Stakeholder presentation slides. But the last time they mentioned something in writing was in June 2011 when the slides said that the Target Processing Times for I-526s were 5 months and Actual Times were 5.5 months. Since then, the delays have been getting longer and longer, and the USCIS seems to have discontinued its usual practice of telling us in writing its Target vs. Actual processing times for EB-5 related applications. For about a year now, I’ve been telling my clients to think of it as a 9 month process and that seems to have been holding true for a lot of applicants (and some even longer).
Anyone can check processing times for immigration applications on the USCIS website. Go to the USCIS Processing Time Information page on the website (or just click here) and then click on the “Service Center Processing Dates” button for the California Service Center (CSC) – though if you are reading this blog post after the EB-5 Team moves from California to Washington D.C. sometime in the spring of 2013, this will not work.
Scroll down to I-526 and you will see that as of November 30, 2012 (which was when this page was last updated), they were processing I-526s that were filed on March 16, 2012. From this we can deduce that the USCIS is officially saying that it takes about 8.5 months for a petition to reach someone’s desk.