Indians now eyeing EB-5 visa

Opt for permanent visa and green card system through EB-5 Program due to increasing H-1B restrictions

By   |  Published: 1st Oct 2020  12:01 amUpdated: 1st Oct 2020  12:48 am
India is one of the most significant nationalities that apply for EB-5, having had considerable growth in the last two years, and being the largest source of visa applications in 2019.

Hyderabad: Critics of the H-1B visa system for years have been contending that IT companies were using it to replace local workers in the US. With the Department of Labor recently announcing H-1B One Workforce Grant Program to skill American workers to take up middle-to high-skilled occupations, it could further tighten restrictions on the H-1B visa and make more Indian nationals opt for EB-5 visa, according to an expert.

US President Donald Trump has also recently passed an executive order that barred foreign nationals on H-1B specialty occupation visas from entering the US till the end of the year. The EB-5 Program had been excluded from the executive order.

Suresh Rajan, executive chairman and founder of LCR Capital Partners, told Telangana Today, “The measures of the current administration has put some pressure on visas such as H-1B and L-1 which is driving people to move to the permanent visa and green card through the EB-5 Program. We know for a fact that there are going to be more EB-5 visas available in 2021.” LCR is a global private investment and advisory services firm.

India is one of the most significant nationalities that apply for EB-5, having had considerable growth in the last two years, and being the largest source of visa applications in 2019. In 2018, 585 Indians received EB-5 visas, and this number went up to 760 in 2019. India has surpassed China in terms of number of applications filed for the first time ever. “This shows the strength of the Indian market and I am sure this will be reinforced in the next few months, as we start seeing business picking up again,” Rajan added.

EB-5 allows more freedom to professionals who would like to explore better career opportunities and would not have their visa tied up to one firm. Regional Centres have adjusted to the recent changes in the programme regulations. The EB-5 system has moved from being a Chinese Agent model to a more diversified global programme.

When asked about the near-term visa outlook, Rajan said, “Immigration will remain a hot topic in US politics and what happens next is going to depend on the results of the next presidential election.” In a period of time when job creation and economic recovery is one of the main goals for the US, there will be pressure to increase the attractiveness of the EB-5 Program, he noted.

The pandemic has brought many challenges to global families and investors and it has also shown the positive impact of having an alternative residence in times of crisis.

Hard time

  • US taking measures to boost American jobs enabling locals take up middle-to high-skilled H-1B occupations
  • Trump recently barred foreign nationals on H-1B specialty occupation visas from entering US till end of 2020
  • People moving to permanent visa and green card system through EB-5 Program due to increasing H-1B restrictions
  • Minimum investment amount for EB-5 gone up from $500,000 to $900,000 in Nov 2019
    India, which surpassed China in terms of EB-5 applications, has seen steady growth in visa approvals since 2011

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