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EB-5 Visa Requests from India may Decline - US Planning Increased Investment limit

January 2018, 17
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An expert has said that the number of Indians, intending to apply for US EB-5 visas, which had been increasing, is likely to decline, because the USA intends to raise minimum investment level for these visas to $1.3 million.  There is an expectation that, applications from India, will fall by 80%, when the minimum investment limit, is lifted from the present $500,000, to $1.3 million.

EB-5 visa is regarded as the 'Golden Visa' and provides permanent US residency for the applicants and their families when they invest a minimum of $500,000 and create 10 US Based jobs. The time required for obtaining a green card/permanent residency in the US, by using the EB-5 route is two and half years, while it takes more than 12 years, for other visa holders, like the H-1B to get a Green Card. 

Currently, the US Congress has planned to consider a proposal for increasing the minimum investment in order to be eligible for obtaining EB-5 visas to a range between $800,000, to $1.3 million.  The number of applications for an EB-5 visa from India has increased greatly after 2014 and it is expected to go beyond Vietnam in this fiscal year to be placed at the second large applicant country behind China.

In 2016-17, 500 Indians applied for EB-5 visas whereas there were only 354 applicants in 2015-16. The major attractions for the Indian investors were real estate, hotels and restaurants Sectors in the US by using the EB-5 route. Indians also look at the Silicon Valley for setting up a business using the EB-5 as reaching out to the investor groups gets easy. H-1B visas permit companies to take up foreign workers in specialty professions in the country, and India is a major beneficiary in this program. 

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