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USCIS getting to EB-5 Rural I-526E Petitions Approvals in 4 Months

The EB-5 program has seen significant progress with numerous I-526E petitions for rural projects gaining approval in just six months. Some projects have even achieved this milestone in as little as 4.5 months. Houston EB5 is your source for updated information on expedited processing times and industry news. We invite you to learn more about The Frederick, a rural Reserved Visa project that qualifies for quicker processing. If you are in the United States, you may qualify for Concurrent Filing, allowing you to obtain your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in as little as two months.

The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA) established EB-5 rural projects as a separate Reserved Visa category, setting aside 20% of all EB-5 visas. It also ordered priority processing for I-526E petitions for rural EB-5 investors. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has been streamlining its processes, hiring aggressively, and is about to triple processing fees to secure more resources.

Historically, 95% of EB-5 Visas have been obtained through Regional Center projects. However, before the introduction of the RIA, all I-526 Petitions were required to include comprehensive project details. With a new two-step process, the project is reviewed only once with the I-956F Project application. Now, adjudicators can focus solely on the investors’ biographical and source of funds documents and no longer on several hundred pages of redundant project information. Likewise, to speed up I-526 Petitions filed before the RIA, the USCIS is assigning them to adjudicators that have already reviewed the project.

The RIA also mandated that the USCIS conduct a study to raise processing fees to achieve a 4-month turnaround target time for rural and/or TEA project I-526E petitions. Although this study is yet to be published, in a recent proposal to increase all fees, the USCIS recommended tripling the I-526 and I-526E petition fee from current US $3,675 to US $11,160. Although another fee increase might be needed for the RIA fast processing goal, the USCIS is already hiring 20% more staff at their Investor Program Office (IPO) so that they may devote an average of 20.7 hours per I-526/I-526E as opposed to the current budgeted 6.5 hours.

Also, the RIA allows EB-5 investors in the US with several visas (H1-B, F-1, E-2, M, O, TN/NAFTA, etc.) to do Concurrent Filing of the I-485 form for Adjustment of Status, I-131 Advance Parole for traveling, and I-765 for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) when filing their I-526E. The latest average USCIS published time for the EAD work authorization is 5.5 months and many EB-5 investors have received it in as little as two months. If you have entered the US with a B-1/B-2 Visa, please consult with your immigration attorney about your eligibility for concurrent filing.

Houston EB5 encourages you to be proactive and prevent potential increases in processing fees. Explore the priority processing option for rural EB-5 projects, which reserves 20% of EB-5 Visas. These visas are in high demand among EB-5 investors, especially those from countries like India and China. Don’t wait; seize your opportunity today.


Our goal is not to profit off EB-5 fundraising as a regional center, but rather aim to profit as a developer of real estate. However, in order for us to do that, we must fully pay dividends owed to EB-5 investors before we can receive a dime of profits. Further, we can only exit the project after the EB-5 investments have safely returned to our investors. This is why we’ve had a 100% success rate in repayment of EB-5 funds, an accomplishment that only the gold-standard of regional centers can say.