EB-5 Visa plan, a good option for Indians wishing to move to the US

EB-5 Visa plan, a good option for Indians wishing to move to the US

Indians are fifth largest investors in the program: US official

NEW DELHI | March 1

More takers The number of USIF Indian investors under the visa program quadrupled from 2016 to 2017 – Getty Images/iStockphoto

The EB-5 Visa Program could be a good alternative for Indians wishing to migrate to the US, especially at a time when H1-B Visa rules are being tightened.

“The current administration isn’t against immigration, they are against illegal immigration. And they want to make the entire visa system more of a merit based system as opposed to a lottery. The EB-5 Visa is merit based as people are sacrificing something to get their green card,” said Andrew Graves, Director, Business Development, US Immigration Fund (USIF).

The EB-5 Program was created by the US Congress in 1990 and allows high net worth foreign investors to get a US visa for the investor and their immediate family through an investment of about $5,00,000 in a US business that will benefit the economy by creating a minimum of 10 permanent US jobs. Graves, who heads the India operations of USIF, said at present Indians are the fifth largest investors in the program but given the demographic size, they can turn into the second largest group in a few years.

“If you look at the demographics of India, it is an extremely large country and has lots of wealth. It has the second largest immigrant group to the US behind Mexico. The second largest international student base to the US is also from India,” he told BusinessLine, adding that most applicants use EB-5 for their children’s education in the US.

In 2017, there were only 307 applications under the EB-5 Visa from India as compared to 26,725 applications from those born in mainland China.

The number of USIF Indian investors quadrupled from 2016 to 2017 and Graves expressed confidence that it will increase further in 2018.

Graves however, said that changes are expected in the EB-5 Visa Program too. The US Congress may hike the minimum investment amount for EB-5 from $500,000 to close to $1 million and from $1 million to $1.8 million per applicant respectively.