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.
- 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.