Chinese having sufficient wealth were paying a great amount of dollars to successfully obtain legal US residency. This method is now adopted by Indians. The US grants permanent residency, to overseas nationals wishing to invest $500,000 into the economy of US. This investor visa is the EB5.
Chinese Investors have received these visas in great numbers in the last ten years. Presently, the growth in applications from nationals of China has stopped owing to the overwhelming backlogs in visa. India has now become the focus of efforts carried out by US businesses and real estate developers, for securing foreign investment.
As per the US Department of State report 307 Indian investors were waiting for their turn for EB-5 visa in Nov 2017. They had applied and are presently waiting for approval. There are companies presently working with 200 Indian clients. Moreover there is an estimate that around 800 Indians will submit applications seeking EB-5 visas in the present year, and the figure is likely to go up in 2019 also.
Growth among Indians and visa backlogs for Chinese
The market did not witness growth until 2017. The popularity of EB-5 visas among Chinese was declining. Furthermore, real estate developers in US directed their marketing efforts to attract investors from several countries while seeking investment for their existing projects.
USA Issues EB-5 visas with an annual cap at 10,000. Applicants of a single country can receive 700 from this target. In case a country fails to reach its cap, the visas not taken up face redistribution to people from other countries. Chinese nationals born Mainland possessing new wealth as a result of the economic progress welcomed this program. They had a share of 75% of EB-5 visas issuing during the period of 2008 - 2017. In this practice, there was a huge application backlog.
Officials of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at US Department of State, have an estimate that an EB-5 application of Chinese nationals will have a 15 years waiting time for processing. This delay discourages Chinese investors and is a major factor to slow the progress of applications from Chinese nationals.
Moreover, there is a low number of existing Indian EB-5 investors. Moreover, the investment firms and real estate developers, see an opportunity, and India has the potential, to be the next big market, for popularizing EB-5 investment.
Applicants from India are different from Chinese
Chinese and Indians have a great interest to migrate to the USA. Furthermore, the Indian EB-5 visa investors are different from the Chinese investors.
A Chinese investor resides in China and sends the visa application through the US consulate. All Chinese EB-5 visa applicants send the visa application, while remaining outside the US in 2016.
Half of Indians who applied for EB-5 visa in 2016 already hold a US visa. They were students at US educational institutions arriving on student visas. Their parents, hoping for their academic success, showed an interest to give requisite funds for securing a Green Card. Some of them were skilled workers under the employment of US companies on H-1B visas. There is an estimate that it will take 70 years for Indian nationals in converting the H-1B work visa into the Green Card. EB-5 program serves as a quick option. Currently there is no backlog for Indians and they can apply with the hope to get a Green Card within two years.