Some exciting news for pending or prospective South African EB-5 investors: Starting March 31, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Immigrant Investor Program Office will begin to prioritize the processing of Form I-526 petitions from investors who are chargeable to countries with visas that are immediately available, like South Africa, and put applications by investors from backlogged countries, like China, on the back burner.
While each petition is adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, this may provide comfort to those who are frustrated with EB-5 processing times.
In a public engagement session on March 13, 2020, USCIS unfortunately did not clarify how the stated processing times on USCIS’ website will be impacted (or if there will be two processing times listed – one for backlogged countries, and one for countries with available visas). However, new data will be posted on USCIS’ website in the coming months that should provide some insight.