Client Alert: Potential Use of a Writ of Mandamus for Form I-526, I-829 or I-924

May 11, 2020

Dear Valued Clients,

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has posted the long-awaited Form I-526 data for Q1 of Fiscal Year 2020. As such, USCIS only adjudicated 455 cases (383 approvals and 72 denials) between October to December 2019. Kindly see below the published adjudication statistics for Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor for Fiscal Year 2020 Quarter 1:

Furthermore, the average​ posted processing time for a Form I-526 petition has significantly increased from 31 months to 50.5 months, and online case inquiries are only accepted for petitions filed before March 2, 2016. However, Meyer Law Group (MLG) has recently received approvals for Form I-526 petition​s filed as late as September 2018​, but conversely still has ​pending cases filed as early as August 2016.  Form I-829 processing times have likewise exploded to a time in excess of 54 months, even though USCIS is required to adjudicate I-829s within 90 days of filing.  Current posted processing times for I-924 exemplars and Regional Center applications are somewhere between five and ten years!!!!

Effective March 31, 2020, ​ USCIS has established a new adjudications process that will prioritize the processing of Form I-526 petitions where visas are immediately available or soon to be available. This new adjudication policy will result in extended processing delays for applicants from oversubscribed countries, ​such as China, India, and Vietnam, including those currently in the pipeline.  To date, MLG has seen no evidence that USCIS has actually begun implementing this new adjudication process.

These ​ongoing excessive processing delays are not reasonable and are likely to cause an adverse impact on those who are nervously waiting for I-526, I-829 or I-924 approvals. Therefore, at a time when the processing of immigration applications is severely backlogged, a complaint for a Writ of Mandamus may be the most effective way to force USCIS into making a decision.  In our many years of experience in EB-5, we have successfully brought actions for a Writ of Mandamus.

A Writ of Mandamus is a legal action brought in Federal Court to compel USCIS to act and either approve or deny an immigration application. MLG is now recommending that applicants strongly consider pursuing a Writ of Mandamus if they have filed their Form I-526 on or before December 31, 2018, filed a Form I-829 on or before June 15, 2019, or filed a project exemplar Form I-924 on or before March 15, 2019. We believe that a Writ of Mandamus is an important tool that ​the EB-5 community can rely on when USCIS unreasonably delays in performing its duties. We recommend you speak with MLG about the potential for using a Writ of Mandamus to accelerate action on your I-526, I-829, or I-924 and look forward to discussing any questions you may have. 

Yours sincerely,
Meyer Law Group

Brandon Meyer
Managing Partner