With the Trump administration moving towards closing the doors for immigration through the H-1B and L1 visa route, rich Indians are flocking to the EB-5 visa programme to obtain the coveted US Green Card.
The Immigrant Visa Program, commonly known as the EB-5 visa, is meant for high net-worth investors to earn the Green Card and permanent residency for themselves and their immediate family through a one-time investment of $500,000 into a new US business that creates 10 or more American jobs.
“Heightened awareness of the EB-5 program and the fact that there are not many other avenues available for Indian nationals to obtain their US Green Cards have contributed to the increase of EB-5 filings this year,” Jose Latour, Esq. President and Managing Director, American Venture Solutions (AVS), a Miami-based investment immigration firm, told BusinessLine.
EB-5 filings have already seen a record spike this year and India is currently the fourth largest market for EB-5 in the world.
Tightening H-1B norms
The proposed hike in salary to $130,000 from $60,000, which is under consideration by the US government in the H1-B Reform Bill, would also make the H-1B programme inaccessible for most Indian students graduating in the US. As a result, they are opting for the EB-5 programme for long-term employment opportunities.
“As the new Trump Administration considers a new legislation that could restrict traditional immigration options such as the H-1B and L1 visa programs, Indian HNIs are increasingly getting attracted to the EB-5 program. Our clients are attracted to the reliability and timeliness of the EB-5 program as well as the broad bi-partisan support the program has amongst both political parties,” said Rogelio Caceres, Co-Founder and CMO of US-based private investment firm LCR Capital Partners, which supports EB-5 programme.
Meanwhile, it seems that the US government is planning to terminate the EB-5 programme also completely by the end of April. However, it has also floated a discussion document suggesting that the mandatory $500,000 investment under the programme be increased to $1,300,000, in case the program is not terminated.
But, according to some of investment immigration firms, the Trump administration will not discontinue the EB-5 visa programme. It will continue albeit with certain key changes. “EB-5 will continue, with whatever changes are invoked. That new regulations may well be in place even before the current April termination of the pilot program extension,” added Latour of AVS.
Read more at: THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE