More Indians Applying for EB-5 Visa for Faster ‘Green Card’; 300% Jump in EB-5 Application

EB-5 Visa application is increasing among Indians
EB-5 Visa application is increasing among Indians

Amidst the heat of the dramatic downfall in approvals of H1B visa under the Trump administration, it turns out that deep pocketed and the ones who can afford, have shifted swiftly towards applying for EB-5 visas, for obtaining permanent residency, or ‘green card’ in the US.

The number of Indians getting and applying for EB-5 visas has jumped almost four-fold since 2017, according to the US Department of State.

Why Are Indians Exponentially Applying for EB-5 Visa for Permanent Residency?

The US EB-5 Immigrant Visa, issued by the Immigration Act of 1990, promises a green card to immigrants, in exchange of investing at least $500,000 (about Rs. 3.5 crore) in a government approved commercial business that creates at least 10 US jobs. 

The main reason for Indians fleeing in masses towards applying for this visa is that the applicant can get a green card in 18-24 months. While in case of H1B visa holders, the wait takes around 5 years to obtain a green card. With the US govt tightening the rules and issuance of H1B visa programme, an increasing number of H1B visa holders have started applying through the EB5 category to get a green card faster.

Individuals holding a H1B or non-immigrant visa do not have access to certain perks as opposed to a green card holder. A green card provides not only permanent residency to the immigrants but also many benefits from the govt, including health and education. They are not allowed to start any businesses of their own. However, there are no such limitations for green card holders.

US Might Soon Reduce the Number of EB-5 Approvals Too

The only downfall to EB-5 visa is its small number. US grants a total of 10,000 EB-5 visas annually, starting October 1, of which the maximum a country can get is 700. India is said to hit this quota for the first time, this month.

The demand for EB-5 visa gained ground around 2017-18. In fact, since 2017, there has an exceptional four-fold jump in the number of Indians approving for EB-5 visas. Reports have shown that 30-40% Indians are migrating to EB-5 visas from H1B visas. The number of successful EB-5 applicants has jumped 236% between 2017 and 2018.

At least 585 EB-5 Visas were issued to Indians during the 12-month period ending September 2018, against 174 in 2017, as reported by TOI. Compared to 149 in 2016, that is a massive hike of 293% over a two-year period.

This sudden bombardment of H1B visa holder Indians, towards EB-5 visa is sure to create retrogression for the coming fiscal year. Soon, even the Indians who can afford to apply for EB-5 visa wouldn’t be able to grab one.

Indians can migrate to other parts of the world as well, with far easier entries and equal opportunities for a wealthy lifestyle.

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