Constantly frustrated by the long processing time, unfavorable rule changes, and the overall negative rhetoric surrounding the H1-B visa, Indian applicants are now drawn to the easier and more convenient EB-5 visa program. This program is currently the country’s most efficient way of acquiring a green card in the USA.
The US and Indian Nationals
More Indian nationals are compelled to look for a far better way of getting their green card because of the negative publicity surrounding the misuse of the H1-B visa. This includes the restrictions on the ability of the applicants’ spouses to work in the country.
Then there’s the EB-5 visa program. This is issued to the applicant once he or she has fully complied with the minimum investment requirement. Presently, this option has become, the more dignified and rather stable alternative that was protected from risk of any political backlash or unnecessary, frequent changes in the rules.
Furthermore, this method gives permanent residency not just to the applicant, but also to his or her spouse as well as their dependent children. In short, both the couple have the right to live and work in the United States while their kids can study in different schools and universities in the USA without any restrictions. Plus, they may also be given career opportunities in the future.
The preference for the EB-5 visa is obvious, considering over half of those who are filing for the visa had been previously pursuing the H1-B visa method in getting their U.S green card.
Another factor that influenced this steady growth in demand is the prevailing expectation that the U.S government shall, as part of the much-needed reforms to the investment immigration program, will announce a significant increase in the minimum investment requirements. This program has been unchanged since 1990, and because of this, even its supporters have acknowledged that the current $500,000 to $1 million investment requirement is too low to qualify an applicant for permanent residency in the United States.
In addition, the EB-5 visa has a clearly-defined process as compared to the H1-B visa or other similar options. This process ensures that applicants won’t experience the never-ending delays for the green card application once the rules are revamped. Presently, the EB-5 visa program handles applications over a 18-24 month period with an additional 6 to 9 months for processing of green cards post the approval.
Although, processing delays are not a problem since the investor receives a conditional right to live in the country once the initial investment has been made. This is confirmed once all the conditions related to the investment and job creation are met within a span of 5 years.
Once they’ve received their permanent residency, EB-5 program applicants can seek citizenship in due course at par with all the other green card holders.
Overall, the absence of negative publicity, short processing time, a reasonably affordable investment requirement, well at least for the near future – as well as the lack of plausible options are just some of the reasons why EB-5 visa applications from Indian nationals are rising. Although again, interested applicants must move quickly to avoid the long waiting period once the quota cap for the year is hit.
700 Application - Quota Cap for India
India passed its quote for the EB-5 visa program for the first time in 2018. This means there may be some delays in the processing. This means there may be a longer waiting period for interested applicants and the risk of retrogression may occur (Disclaimer: It’s still too early to talk about this issue right now). Regrettably, these Indian nationals would be very late in joining the EB-5 visa queue. As a matter of fact, in 2014 there were only 99 Indians who filed for the 10,000 permanent residency. This is a low number considering that this investment program has been around since 1990.
Luckily, over the past few years, Indian nationals have decided to explore the EB-5 visa route since it also provides permanent residency to those who will invest $500,000 to 1 million to any eligible American company for a period of at least five years along with the mandatory requirement of generating ten permanent jobs. EB5 BRICS are EB5 Visa Consultants helping Indians with the complexity of the US immigration program.
In 2017, there are 307 EB-5 visa petitions coming from India. This represented 178% growth as of 2015. Still, this growing interest can be a double-edged sword, since it may result to India hitting the annual quota cap.