[dropcap]In[/dropcap] just the past several months, the EB-5 Program has seen a dramatic increase in the number of Indian EB-5 visa applications filed. What was once a little-known visa program a few years ago, the EB-5 Program is now the go to pathway for foreign nationals to immigrate to the U.S.A.
Applicants from Mainland China have been quietly taking advantage of the unique program for years, but due to immigration crackdowns and over-subscription to other visa categories, a number of other countries, including India, have recently turned to the EB-5 Program as a more secure way to obtain a U.S. visa.
EB-5 Program applicants who invest $1 million in a new commercial enterprise (NCE), or more commonly $500,000 in NCE located in a targeted employment area, and creates 10 qualified jobs, are eligible for lawful permanent residence in the U.S. for themselves, their spouse and their unmarried children under the age of twenty-one.
One country in particular that has seen a sharp rise in EB-5 applications is India. At the end of the 2017 Fiscal Year, India nationals were issued 174 EB-5 visas, a 17% increase from the previous year. There are several possible reasons for this rapid increase in popularity and they are mostly centered around the disadvantages of the H-1B visa.
The H-1B Program is facing changes. The H-1B visa used to be a popular choice for Indians. They made up more than 70% of the H-1B visa holders. However, potential changes have made Indians question whether they should apply.
1. One reason why is because H-1B applications are being scrutinized more closely.
2. Another reason why is because one reform being talked about is the shortening of the H-1B visa term. 3. Probably the biggest reason Indian nationals are turning to the EB-5 visa over the H-1B visa is that the H-1B visa is facing a backlog and slow processing times. 4. The H-1B visa also may not appeal to wealthier applicants who can apply to the EB-5 Program and obtain more benefits. The H-1B visa requires an employer sponsorship, which means that applicants are limited to where they can live and work, whereas, the EB-5 visa has no such limitations. 5. Additionally, a new push for hiring Americans, by the Trump administration has led many employers to turn away from programs such as the H-1B program in favor of hiring U.S. workers. This has drawn applicants to apply to the EB-5 Programs because of their requirement that investors create jobs for U.S. workers as opposed to taking jobs from U.S. workers like they would if they applied for the H-1B Program.
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