USCIS Announces Non-Mainland China I-526 Approved EB-5 Applicants Can File I-485 Regardless of Priority Date in October 2019
In the latest visa bulletin, USCIS announced that in October 2019, EB-5 applicants from all countries except Mainland China who are living in the U.S. and have I-526 approval can file I-485 regardless of their petition priority date.
The Visa Bulletin has two charts for EB visas: Chart A Final Action Dates and Chart B Dates for Filing. USCIS has agreed to use the Dates for Filing cart in the October 2019 Visa Bulletin. At the time of this article’s posting, all countries except Mainland China are Current in Chart B.
While this does not affect the total amount time to actually get a conditional green card, having the I-485 filed will allow EB-5 petitioners to apply for an I-765 EAD / AP Combo Card known as a “red combo card”. Issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the “combo card” combines an Employment Authorization Document (also known as a work permit or EAD) with Advance Parole permission (allowing you to travel and return to the U.S. without abandoning your green card application-in-progress.)
If USCIS determines there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, they will open up Chart B for individuals with approved I-526 currently living in the US. The fiscal year starts in October with 700 visas available to each country, and for Vietnam and India it appears there are not yet 700 individuals ready to claim those visas. In all likelihood, this is a result of slow I-526 processing times. USCIS is only advancing about 200 worldwide I-526 petitions a month, and much of the effective line for EB-5 visas is still awaiting I-526 approval.
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Please note: Information in this post has been sourced from EB-5 expert Suzanne Lazicki’s blog, Lucid Text, article “Reauthorization, Country Caps, S.2540, Visa Bulletin“, originally posted September 30th, 2019. Read the original article in full here: https://blog.lucidtext.com/2019/09/30/reauthorization-country-caps-s-2540-visa-bulletin/