Rich Indians to Face Hitches in Getting EB-5 Visa over Annual Cap IssueImmigration

June 01, 2019 17:24
Rich Indians to Face Hitches in Getting EB-5 Visa over Annual Cap Issue

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With each passing day, the United States is making it tough for Indians to enter the country by announcing stringent rules on immigrant visas.

After H-1B, EB-5 visa, which is an employment-based fifth preference category visa, has reached the stage of inaccessibility to Indians with big pockets to spend, as they are set to breach the annual cap this year, suggest reports.

Alongside an increase in the number of applicants, Indians applicants are about to hit its allotted quota for the EB 5-visa, which is a method to obtain a green card for foreign nationals who invest in a "new commercial enterprise" in the United States.

An estimated over 1,000 high net worth individuals of Indian origin filed EB-5 visa application early this year to move to the U.S.

EB-5 visa, which is one of the five Employment-Based (EB) preference programs in the United States, is for those who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

An EB-5 applicant is required to invest $500,000 (about Rs 3.25 crore) in a commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 U.S. jobs. In return, the applicant can get a green card in one-and-half to two years.

The U.S. government allocates 10,000 visas for foreigners who invest through the EB-5 program each fiscal year commencing October 1, with a country cap of 7.1 percent or 700 visas.

However, EB-5 visa filings from India have increased from 99 in 2014 to more than 500 in 2017. India is set to hit its allocated quota of EB-5 for the first time this month, the Economic Times reported.

"India is exceeding its annual EB-5 cap for the first time and is about to face retrogression/backlog for FY19-20," Vivek Tandon, founder, and the chief executive officer of advisory firm EB5 BRICS told Economic Times.

He added that H-1B and L-1 visas were right now the toughest to get, while EB-5 was one of the easier ones to acquire. However, the cap for EB-5 is likely to reach by June.

The demand for EB-5 visas is seeing rise from Asian countries. India and China, the two toppers in the list of foreign students studying in the U.S., have been opting for the EB-5 immigrant investor program owing to stricter regulations on other visa categories such as H-1B and H-4.

EB-5 service providers claim that at least 30-40 percent of Indians are turning from H-1B and L-1 visas to EB-5.

By Sowmya Sangam

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Indians  EB5 visa  immigration