Many Indians are ready to spend a million dollars to begin business activities in the US following the Invest and Migrate Scheme which is sponsored by the Government.
The EB-5 Visa Program has been designed as a paid invitation to non-Americans, to make an investment in the US, and obtain a ‘Green Card’ for the investor and members of his/her family.
It has two routes the first being investing directly involving the start of a new business and creating 10 full-time local jobs. The other is the indirect route where investment can be made in an EB-5 project which is approved by the government.
As per the data from NYSA, the consultants specializing in EB-5 visa program the number of Indian EB-5 Visa Applications has tripled in the previous three years and reached 354 in 2016.
Indian applicants are prone to poor documentation and have an inappropriate selection resulting in a high denial rate of 34% in 2016. Pankaj Joshi, Managing Director, NYSA said that Proper documentation and opting for the right partner and project is vital for all investing individuals. When it is done it leads to the generation of the necessary employment and gives a return on investment. In the applications filed from India during 2016, 25% were meant for the ‘direct’ route EB-5 project, as per NYSA data.
Indians prefer to be entrepreneurs in the US. Apart from the individuals sometimes a group of 4-5 Indians unites and puts in $1 million equity to set up an important business.
This has become the quickest way to obtain a Green Card in the US besides marrying an American. The driving motive is to set up a global footprint or look for a better life.
The investors are drawn from high-end individuals, senior corporate from Bangalore Mumbai and Delhi. When the investment is made in a targeted employment area or a rural area having much unemployment, the investment threshold is reduced to half-a-million dollar.
When the investment is made in a non-targeted area, investors must invest one million dollars. The time required to obtain a Green Card through the EB-5 is two-and-a-half years compared to nearly 15 years through H-1B/other routes.
Nicholas Mastroianni, CEO, US Immigration Fund said that the increase in Indian EB-5 investors was caused, owing to the lengthy waiting lists, required in for EB-2 EB-3 employment visas, for Indian professionals.
Department of State Visa Bulletin says that Presently, Indian applicants have to wait for nine years to get the EB-2 advanced degree class, and have to wait for 11years to get the EB-3 skilled worker category.
The policies of the present US administration to reform the H-1B program for special occupations has also reduced the desire to get new H-1B visas. Jeff DeCicco, CEO CanAm Investor Services, said that the economic growth in China, India, and Vietnam, in recent years has created several high net-worth individuals. Increased knowledge of the EB-5 program has resulted in increased visa application from India. Applications from India, are likely to double in 2017-18.
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