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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Galati

USCIS Pegs Form I-829 Processing Times at 19 Years (Seriously)

USCIS recently updated its Form I-829 processing times on its website and the results were a bit… unexpected.

As of today, published processing times are between 36.5 – 234 months. Put another way, USCIS will not entertain a case inquiry unless a Form I-829 was filed before May 15, 2001.

To put this in historical context, that case inquiry date was during the first George W. Bush administration, months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Apple opened its first store 4 days later in May 2001. Nokia’s 8250 dominated the market years before anyone had contemplated smartphones. The top-rated TV show was Friends. Gladiator had just won the Oscar for Best Picture. Facebook was not created until nearly three years later.

It was a really, really long time ago. Way before the program was popular. Before most current EB-5 practitioners started paying attention to the program. There were only a handful (at most) of regional centers at that time.

Understand that USCIS is bound by regulation to adjudicate I-829s in 90 days. Despite this, USCIS frequently cites to processing times in defending against mandamus lawsuits, even though judges are rejecting that rationale. Could they be so brazen to continue to cite processing times as accurate and defensible?

It would be hard to believe that anyone could see these processing times as accurate. EB-5 business plan writer and analyst Suzanne Lazicki postulated that the agency is manipulating processing times to shut down inquiries from members of the public and Congress. Given this most recent update, what other reason could there be?

We have helped scores of investors “break the backlog” through lawsuits aimed at holding the government accountable. For more information about E-5 mandamus, contact us today.

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