I-526 Processing Analysis

This article provides insights into I-526 processing data by USICS for cases received between July-September of 2018 which is the current timeframe for cases being actively being processed by USCIS.

The analysis will answer the following questions:

  • Number of cases received by USICS by month in 3Q’18.
  • % of I-526 applications processed by USICS as of Dec 1st, 2020 with Priority Date in 3Q’18.
  • Outcome of applications processed (approvals, denials, request for evidence, etc.).
  • Processing speed – how many applications are being processed weekly and daily with Priority Date between July-Sep 2018.

Notes/Disclosures:

  • Data is not 100% complete but vast majority of cases are accounted for.
  • Data was last updated on December 1st, 2020.
  • Margin of error is less than 5% for most metrics and time periods but may be higher.
  • Information provided here is meant to be informative and help further discussion. Please do not rely on this information for any formal actions including but not limited to writ of mandamus filings or actions against USCIS, nor does anything published here represent legal advice.
  • Please seek my permission prior to reposting any information presented here.
  • PD = Priority Date

  • USCIS received 267 cases in July ’18, 369 in August ’18 and 910 in Sep ’18 (Data missing some cases but the vast majority are covered).
  • 65% of July ’18 Priority Date cases have been processed. As of Nov ’20, pending July ’18 cases are not being adjudicated in any significant volumes.
  • August ’18 Priority Date stands at 55% processed. Continue to see cases adjudicated but at a slower pace. A large concentration of Aug ’18 pending cases are from the last week of August ’18.
  • September saw a surge of I-526 applications. USICS is currently processing weeks 1-3 of Sep ’18 Priority Date. Several days in September saw over 100 applications received. USICS especially seems to be skipping over applications received on September 11 (Poor choice of day to submit application).

  • I-526 immediate approval rate among applications processed with 3Q ’18 Priority Date ranges between 55-60%.
  • ~30% of processed applications received a Request of Evidence (RFE).
  • On an average, I am seeing many RFE’s being approved around 30-45 days after evidence is submitted. That said, a few applications with evidence submitted seem to be pending for over a year. I currently do not have an explanation for these instances.
  • Denial rate here is around 4-6%. This number is however artificially lower as it does not account for denials in the future among RFE’s where denial rate will be higher as well as pending applications.
  • Other refers to – Notice explaining USCIS actions (I believe NOID – notice of intent to deny), withdrawals, notices returned as undeliverable by post office.


  • On an average, USCIS is processing approximately 10-11 cases per business day with PD between July-Sep 2018.
  • In addition to the above cases, USCIS is also processing cases not within this PD time range (Expedite requests, RFE responses etc.). According to USCIS, they are processing ~300 cases a month.
  • July ’18 PD cases are not being processed in significant volumes anymore. The rest of the cases will be a combination of Chinese applicants and those who seem to have fallen through the cracks. If you are in the latter, you might want to consult with your lawyer about next steps.
  • August ’18 PD cases are still being processed, but in lower volumes than Sep ’18 cases.
  • Sep ’18 PD processing is now moving to week 2 and week 3 priority dates. Week 1 September priority date cases are still occasionally processed.
Future additions to the blog will aim to cover information on FIFO (first in first out) processing claims from USICS,  more details on processing speeds as well as updates to existing charts and supporting comments.

Please feel free to leave comments and questions in the comments section below. I hope this analysis is informative and insightful for current investors as well as those considering taking the EB5 route for immigration to the US.







Comments

MRK said…
Great Blog!! The analysis is useful for predicting the processing time.
Since the Sep'18 has larger volume, can you publish a chart with volume per day. FYI....MY PD date is 18-SEP-18. It will be helpful to see how close or far away my application is to be adjudicated.

Also, below are the China petitions that are there in Suzanne blog. If you can exclude them from you charts, that would reflect the right stats
Month China
Jul'18 77
Aug'18 107
Sep'18 165

Again, thanks for the blog as it provides valuable information

Anonymous said…
Hi! My country consider as a rest of the world, I have submitted I-526 by October 2019. I’m direct investor currently living in usa.
Do you have any data for me?

Thank you
FCL said…
Thank you very much for that hard work ! Very useful for me (PD sept 20 2018, so fingers crossed !!)
Unknown said…
Hi Suzanne, it seems quite a number of I-526 petitions filed during late Sept 2018 were being pushed to FY 2019, with case numbers started with WAC1990XXXXXX. Your analysis did not cover such cases, right? Thx
Anonymous said…
Excellent. Thank you for your hard work.
Web said…
Hi All,

Thanks for your comments and questions.

@MRK: I will add a version excluding China from the current pool to better reflect the immediate pending cases in a future iteration of the blog.

I will also provide a trended chart in the coming days of applications in September'18 by day.

@Anonymous: I do not currently have data for Oct'19 PD. However, given the slow processing volume and the large number of applications ahead of you, I would not expect a USCIS response before the end of next year and that is assuming they significantly speed up processing from now.

@FCL: Glad you found this useful!

@Unknown: A large number of applications starting Sep 26th came in with WAC1990XXXXXX which is different from the current. These cases which were received in Sep'18 were included in this analysis.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for your analysis. Would you have any data on I-485 (status adjustment) processing that you can share?
Anonymous said…
Thank you for your analysis, when do you expect PD of Sep 30, 2018 will be processed?
Suzanne Lazicki said…
To clarify
--In your first chart, "Processed" just means "got an action of some kind by December 1" (either approval, denial, RFE, or other), not "got a decision," right?
--In your second chart, does the "outcome" specifically represent the status as of December 1? (Such that if a case previously recorded an RFE but approved as of now, it's part of the approved % and not the RFE %?)
--"~30% of processed applications received a Request of Evidence (RFE)": in this sentence, what does "processed" mean? Do you mean that of the petitions in your sample now recorded as approved or denied about 30% had had an RFE? Or...?
--In your last chart, the numbers refer to number of cases seeing some sort of action, not specifically number of decisions, right?
Thanks for sharing your work.
Anonymous said…
Web,
Thank you very much!, do have any I-526 data by country?

Thank you
Web said…
@Suzanne
Answers below:
1. Yes processed refers to USCIS having made some form of action on the application which would have atleast required them to look at it. It is mostly made up of approved, denied/rejected, RFE sent, Response to RFE received, withdrawals, Notice sent by USCIS which I think is a NOID or undeliverable USCIS notices (negligible).
2.Good question. I have not updated cases from the first available notice on them. Which means its possible that some RFE's could now be approved. However based on a quick check of a sample, these are very few cases, mostly impacting July a little as there has been too little time for USCIS to have processed RFE responses. Infact most RFE's from even July have still not reflected even any responses received by USCIS.
3. Processed here has the same meaning as in 1. 30% refers to the applications which first received an RFE before anything changed. They could be either still with the RFE sent status (vast majority), approved, denied, or response to request for evidence received. My data does not reflect any changes to the initial status so a very small % of the 30% could now be approved or denied and is not reflected here.
4. Correct. Any status other than case was received, name was updated or birth date was updated would be counted as a case processed but not necessarily approved or denied.
Anonymous said…
Hi Web,

I am an investor from India with a PD of week2-Sept 2018. Considering that the processing of Wk 3 of Sept 2018 has begun, does it mean that my file has been left behind? Or is there still hope?
Anonymous said…
Hi Web
By when do you think an application PD20 Nov 18 would be adjudicated?
Anonymous said…
Hi Web,

Thanks for your excellent analysis! I am an investor (born in India) and have a May 2019 PD. However since Sep the case enquiry tool says "Name was updated". What does it mean - have they actually taken up my case for processing?

Regards,
RS
Unknown said…
Thank you for the hard work and excellent post ! People like you and Suzanne are a real help in figuring out what is happening at IPO, we would totally be in the dark otherwise. Thanks again. Shruti
Anonymous said…
Hey Web, really appreciate your hard work and technical approach to get details. Do u have any recent update on what date i526 Is getting approved? Thanks in advance for replying
Shakti said…
Excellent work!
Anonymous said…
Great work. Thanks for providing an insight into the processing times. If USCIS has processed petitions upto Q3'18 as in Q4'2020. One can assume they are almost 2 years behind? Also no. of petitions were significantly more in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Q4'19 & Q1'19 I-526 processing should take next 6-9 months.
Singh is King said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
JS said…
Hi Web,

Both you and Suzzane have been providing excellent sources of information, which makes the long and uncertain wait time a little less frustrating.

I am an India Born application and my PD is 27th Sept. 2018. I applied through the exemplar approved the large project with ~400 applicants. Everyone, in this project so far has got i526 approved. Can you please give some idea on how long the wait times possibly could be especially now when the country Greencard cap may come to end anytime soon and I am part of a large project?

Will highly appreciate your response.

Thank you so much.

JS
FCL said…
Hi web
thanks again for all this work
would be able to give us an update about the situation of 09/2018 I526 by date ? where is IPO in september 2018 ? Thank you SOOO Much
Anonymous said…
Hi Web

Great blog! I had a question about the possibility of children ageing out. Are there any provisions to safeguard the applicant from this not happening? My children were 161/2 and 18 1/2 when I applied for the family ( June 2018) I just submitted a reply to the RFE I received in first week of November 2020. I am an Indian applicant, currently living in the US on H-1. I am confused about the ageing out rule and with the new bill on the table, its even more confusing. Could you throw some light on this?
Shakti said…
Any approvals after December 15? Many thanks
Anonymous said…
my PD is 18Dec2018. any idea when can I expect my I-526 processing.
Anonymous said…
Hi Suzanne,
This blog is so useful - I am an investor from India with a PD of 19-dec-2018 - and was totally in dark as of now
As to what was going on with the processing.

Given my priority date of 19-dec-2018 - when can I expect the approval to come thru this year?

Many thanks!!
James said…
Thanks for all the data. You are one of the few covering eb5 data
Yash said…
Hi Web,

Looks like things are moving slowly but surely.

Would it be possible to have a latest update on where/which month of 2018 is current processing happening?

Anonymous said…
Hi Yash.
I got approved this week with a priority date third week of september 2018. And a few cases around me (same priorrity dates) also got approved or RFEs this week. So They are working on 3rd and last Week of september 2018.
good luck
FCL
Anonymous said…
Hi FCL,
Thanks for your reply - helps a lot!

Cheers and good luck!
Anonymous said…
Hello, what is a priority date? I am from Brazil and I submited on september 27th
Do you think It will be aprooved bu this month? Thank you
Rush said…
Hi,

Update from my end. I am an Investor with country of origin as India. My priority date is Sept 25th 2018. I just received an RFE this morning. Is there a timeline of how much time will I get a decision after I reply to the RFE ?. I don't know yet what the RFE is about. My attorney hasn't received the physical RFE yet.
Anonymous said…
30-45 days as said above i guess it would be depending on what documentation is required
Yash said…
Thanks Rush for the update.

Anybody else in last week of Sept 2018 or October 2018 got approval or RFE??

Anonymous said…
Hi Rush
Thanks for your update, may I know if yours was a direct investment or RC? Also the RC if it wasn’t direct?
Thanks
Anonymous said…
Thanks for your update Rush - it would be immense if all of us who get processed keep posting here with their priority dates! We all benefit from some clarity and plan our next steps in advance!

Best Regards,
Anonymous said…
My PD was July 2018. I got my I-526 approval in October 2020. Country - India. I filed for status adjustment in November 2020. I’m still waiting for a receipt.
Anonymous said…
Hi Web,

do you have new USCIS processing data, if you have is it possible to share/post it.

Thanks

SAM
Vik said…
Wow I wonder whether it usual timing that after approval you are still waiting for the receipt almost 3 months down!
Anyone can throw some light on this?

Thanks for posting your info - good luck!
Anonymous said…
Just a reflection of an inefficient process as we know it to be. There's no reason why a case shouldn't be issued a receipt for so long...it slows down the entire process of biometrics, interview etc. I suppose it's a way of buying time because they're so backlogged.
Vik said…
Hmm thanks!
I was wondering though how much has covid been a factor for this delay! If anyone sees thia who got approved prior to March 2020 might be able to shed some light on it!
Anonymous said…
Hi Web,
I’m an applicant from India and I have a PD of 28 Sep 18 still awaiting approval. Just wanted to confirm if any applicants around this date have got an update on their petition?
Anonymous said…
Seen approvals between sept 11 to sept 27,20q8 recently. There are about 300 pending applications in that range and 280 more on sept 28th,2018. They will probably be working on September 2018 until April 2021. Good luck everyone
Anonymous said…
Do you know if all those pending between 11 Sept and 27 Sept exclude or include China and the same for the period of 28 Sept 2018?
Sid said…
Yeah these numbers are really scary if someone with pd of sep 2018 gets processed in April! When I applied in dec 2018 then the processing time for I526 was shown as 14 months only for origin country India!

Anonymous said…
I haven't excluded Chinese applications from sept 2018 numbers. May be excluding those it looks little better. I also observed some approvals on oct1,5,9 of 2018 in last couple of days. They are not strictly going by FIFO. Haven't seen any processing beyond october 10,2018 though
Anonymous said…
In case this info is useful to some of you guys, my PD is sept 26, 2018. Got RFE this week.
Sid said…
Thanks for sharing - and good luck! What is your country of origin?

Also, Since it’s all anonymous here - would you mind sharing what kind of evidences they have asked for?
Anonymous said…
Thanks. My country of origin is India. I am yet to receive the RFE letter. So don't know what exactly they are looking for.
Anonymous said…
My pd is dec 2018 - origin country India - wondering whether I should expect that my application would be
Processed in the next 3 months or is that too much to expect!!
powerofdreams said…
My PD is Sept 27, 2018 - an investor from India, and happy to report that I got approved on my 526 yesterday! Hang in there folks - responses seem to have picked up. It's been a long time and thanks for everyone who contributed here and on Suzie's blog!
Anonymous said…
Happy to report that my 526 is approved, PD 9/28/2018.
Indian investor
Anonymous said…
This is great news - and congrats to the guys who r getting approved. could you guys also post here when you get your visa appointment dates in India! It would be a great help since I am hearing delays over there too! That no dates are being given prior to oct - Nov 2021 time frame!
Anonymous said…
Congrats to everybody who got approved recently! Does anybody heard abt any approvals from other countries, except India? My PD is 28 Sep 18, Russia. Nothing yet.
Web said…
Hi all,

I will be updating this blog with new numbers next week. Currently they are processing sep 27th and sep 28th applications. Around 25% of September 27th have been processed and around 5% of September 28th. Processing speed has dropped from last year. Currently processing around 30-35 applications per week. I expect them to get through September 2018 by mid- end of March. That said there is no strict First in First out and they have processed some random applications from October 2018 as well.
Anonymous said…
Hi Web
Re comment about only 5% of 9/28 are adjudicated, could it be possible that the rest may be from backlogged countries and so USCIS didn’t pick them as they are processing using visa availability approach?
Web said…
It’s highly unlikely that the 95% are backlogged. In my estimation for all of September only around 15-20% are from backlogged countries (China being the only backlogged country from I526 processing standpoint). So unless all the Chinese applicants applied only on September 28th that would not be the case.
Anonymous said…
Backing Web’s post, I’m an Indian investor still awaiting approval with PD 09/28
Anonymous said…
I am Brazilian investor PD Sep 27th 2018 still waiting approval. Good luck to everyone! And thank you for the updates
Anonymous said…
Hi Web - looking forward to your next update!!

If anyone has any information about the visa interview scheduling timelines for India then please post it here!

Ricardo said…
Hi web....I´m from Brazil and my PD is october 11, 2019.
Do you think i will get my conditional green card this year ?
Anonymous said…
Hi. When will PD NOV 2019 application from India be approved?
Estimated time line please !!
Web said…
Hi Ricardo and anonymous: October and November 2019 PD dates are unfortunately very far off. This year is extremely unlikely. Unless with the new administration, processing becomes much faster you are looking at 2nd half of 2022.

Thanks,
Web
Anonymous said…
Hi Web, thank you for your blog and informations.
I am from Brazil PD 27 sep 2018 wac1990000xxx do you think my case will be processed until Feb? And I will get the conditional Green Card this semester?
Thanks Web
Anonymous said…
Hi Web,
I am an Indian investor with Feb 2019 PD. Can you please tell how much time approximately it might take to have my I526 approved? Thanks!
Anonymous said…
My PD is 28 Sep 2018. Got RFE this week. Is there statistics on approvals/denials after RFE?
Vik said…
Hi Web,
Eagerly waiting for your post based on the new numbers!

Vik
Anonymous said…
Hi Guys, glad to inform that I have received my i526 approval today, PD 28/09 Indian investor. What would be the timeline in terms of getting my conditional green card if I’m applying from India.
Anonymous said…
Wow - congrats - please update your earliest possible visa interview date once you have it - will give all of us some sense on the prevailing timeslines in the current covid situation!
Anonymous said…
Got the approval for 9/28/18 submission date. Anyone know if CP is available in India? Also is there a link handy for documents required?
Jaimin. said…
For further processing requirement go to following link.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/step-1-submit-a-petition/step-2-begin-nvc-processing.html
Anonymous said…
My PD is Sep 27, 2018; got RFE status today (2/19/2021) so it took 2 years/5 months for I-526 case to be picked up; yet to see the RFE details and will share more details on this thread.
Anonymous said…
Great - thanks for sharing and good luck!
Anonymous said…
Any approval/RFE for P.D. OCT/NOV/DEC,2018?
Thanks for sharing.
Anonymous said…
Received rfe oct 12,2018 PD, still need to receive the notice
Week said…
I got approval on March 2nd . PD 18 October 2018
Anonymous said…
Does anyone know how long it takes to transfer the file to NVC after I526 approval?
An approximate idea maybe!!!
Anonymous said…
HI Web,
Could you please update us as to where USCIS is in processing applications?
Thank you
Anonymous said…
Yes eagerly waiting - also is there a data on which projects the uscis is currently evaluating (as far as the regional center route is concerned)!
Anonymous said…
Hey guys - I have dec 2018 PD. Anyone who has been processed for Nov PDs yet?

Anonymous said…
Hi Web,

Just wondering when will you be able to update the blog with new data. My priority date is December. Any idea when can I expect a response on my 526.
Anonymous said…
What date of december is your PD?
George said…
Hey everyone!

My PD is December 21, 2018. Any idea when I can expect a response?

Thank you
Anonymous said…
My PD is Dec 12 2018
Anonymous said…
My PD 5 nov 2018 got approved 16 March 2021
Anonymous said…
thanks for letting us know on this blog here - great to see nov 2018 being processed!
Anonymous said…
My son's I 526 with PD 29th October 2018 got approved on 1st April 2021.
Anonymous said…
My I-526 with PD – Nov 19 2018 was approved on Apr 5.I am an Indian investor based out in US.
Thanks,
MK
Anonymous said…
Great - thanks for all who are posting their processed statuses over here!
Anonymous said…
Thank you everyone for updating/posting their status here. This is really helpful, i hope people will continue to do the same
Anonymous said…
My I-526, PD Nov 19th 2018 approved on 7th April. Am an Indian investor based in the US. Thanks !
Yash said…
Hey MK and others,

Upon getting the 526 approvals, are you guys immediately filing for your change of status? If so, any news on how long it takes to receive the EAD -travel card? aka combo card?
Anonymous said…
My I-526 PD 2nd week of September 2018; received an RFE in Week 2 Dec 2020 and submitted my response in week 4 Dec 2020. Any idea how long it will take? Indian investor.
Anonymous said…
Any DEC PD approvals yet?
Anonymous said…
Hi All,

I am a South African and my PD is 18 Nov 2019. From the feedback in this blog, it’s likely that I will until sometime next year. Is my estimation correct? I’m optimistic that processing times will improve this year.

I need to visit the US later this year and my existing 10year tourist visa has expired. Has anyone attempted to apply for a tourist visa after submitting their i526.

Please advise.

Thank you for this blog and for everyone’s comments and feedback. Most helpful.

Best regards
Anonymous said…
Hi,
I got my i526 approval on 1stFeb. But still have not heard from NVC for the consular processing for Mumbai post.

Did any Jan/feb approvals hear from NVC yet?

Thanks
Rishi
Anonymous said…
Rishi - thanks for posting the info - is the delay due to covid? What has ur attorney got to say about it?

Additionally - I was told that the processing is done based on which construction projects the uscis picks up for evaluation. If people coudl start putting in their project names here which have got processed along with the PD then it could be more beneficial for all of us.

Mine PD is decemeber 2018 and prject is civitas dallas.
Anonymous said…
Any dec 2018 PD processed yet?
Anonymous said…
Not for me sadly
Anonymous said…
Does anyone have times on the process from USCIS approval till NVC welcome letter.
Anonymous said…
I read somewhere that it should be two months!
Anonymous said…
Hello, is there any 2019 pd I-526 processed? My PD OCT 4th 2019, EB5 direct investor, based in USA
Thank you
Anonymous said…
Has anyone received any update for Dec 2018 PD. My PD is Dec 12 2018
Anonymous said…
I received RFE last week. PD DEC 2018
Unknown said…
Hello and thank you for your comment,
May I know your nationality and date you file at December 2018?

Thank you
Rush said…
Update on my RFE.

PD sept 25th 2018. Country of Birth India
RFE RECEIVED on 31ST JAN 2021
RFE REPLIED ON APRIL 14TH 2021
I526 APPROVED ON MAY 11TH 2021
Anonymous said…
Hey guys - anyone from origin country India with PD of dec 2018 processed yet?

Thanks for your response!!
Anonymous said…
My PD is December 7,2018 ( Exemplar Project) , no news so far. Not sure what's happening.
Anonymous said…
what will be the affect on direct Eb-5 (i526 application) if the regional center program expires?
Anonymous said…
Hi Guys, I have my Priority Date in Feb 2019. Is someone starting to see replies for Jan 2019 petitions?
Anonymous said…
Hi All,
Does anyone have a resent timeline on
1. Getting Welcome letter from NVC
2. Getting Documentary qualified
3. Getting an interview date.

Really appreciate any info.
Anonymous said…
PD sept 27th 2018. Country of birth Brasil
RFE received on Feb 10th 2021
RFE replied on May 7th 2021
I526 APPROVED on June 15th 2021
Good Luck to everyone!!
Anonymous said…
Any news for Dec 2018 PD
Anonymous said…
Dec 19, 2018 PD, country India - still waiting for any news!
Shakti said…
PD- Dec 7, 2018
I 526 Approved June 28 2021
Anonymous said…
Great - congrats and thanks for updating here!
Anonymous said…
Thats great!!you got it just in time,
Shakti said…
There were some approvals on July 1 too. Keeping fingers crossed. Hope the program is reauthorized soon.
Best,

Unknown said…
Hello Shakti,
Congratulations! On your I-526 approval.
As you said there few more apropos on July 1st. Do you know the priority date?

Thank you
Emran
Shakti said…
see analysis (not done by me) https://t.me/eb5stats/

Mostly 2018, oct-dec
6 from may-nov 2019
Unknown said…
Shakti,
Thank you very much for sharing and wish good luck to get visa soon.
Emran
Anonymous said…
Anyone with January or February 2019 approvals?
Anonymous said…
Guys has anyone seen anything about a reauthorization of the eb5 regional center program? PD dec 2018 and still waiting here
Anonymous said…
Hello, after i 526 approval, what would be the next steps?
Best regards
Anonymous said…
Hello, does anybody knows what will happen with EB5 investors ?
When our processes will be reopened ate they all frozen right now?
Unknown said…
Hello guys, is there any recent I-526 approval?
My PD oct4th 2019. Didn’t heard anything yet.
I’m direct investor living in usa.

Thank you
Emran