Hyderabad: India which is among the top nations globally from where maximum applications are coming for the US’s EB-5 visa programme will continue to remain so in the coming years. Not just metros, there is increasing interest from investors from the tier-2 cities of India, say experts.
Mark Davies, chairman of Davies & Associates told Telangana Today, “Initially, most of the investors used to be from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. The recent trends had been different with investor interest emerging from Hyderabad, Pune, Surat, Rajkot and other cities. Another major change we see is that as the visa processing time could become longer, parents who used to plan visa for their children when they reach college are now thinking about it when their children are in school.”
India had been taking the top spot in terms of applications and approvals received followed by China, Vietnam, Korea, Brazil and Taiwan. In 2013, the applications that went from India were just 100, while this number jumped to 1,000 in 2018 because of domestic and political factors. EB-5 visas are issued every year with the limit capped at 700 per nation. With 700 visas expected to be issued to Indians in 2019, Davies says at least 500 visas are going to be given to Indians in the following years, even though there is investment hike in the later part of this year.
He added, “It is speculated that the regulation to increase the minimum investment for EB-5 visa programme has reached the enactment stage for the first time from $500,000 to $1.30 million. This change may happen around September this year. Though there is pressure building up not to increase the investment so significantly, there are estimates that it will surely touch over $800,000 mark. Also owing to the investment aspect of the programme, there are many frauds and scams that are perpetuated due to the lack of the proper due diligence. Thus due diligence is gaining attention.”
Talking further on due diligence, he says, every failed investment proposal has been due to lack of due diligence. The mistake that investors do is that they are hiring immigration lawyers, while EB-5 visa programme needs a different exposure. Besides due diligence, the track record of regional centres had been another key factor for failure of projects.
As EB-5 programme is real estate centric, it is important that regional centres study the track record of developers an investor is putting money into. Besides real estate, Indian investors had also been investing in pharma and logistics sectors, depending on their exposure.