More and more Asian high net worth investors turn their gaze to the EB-5-type visa to the US, as it provides more guarantees and a quicker route to the US than the H-1B visa. Last year, over 350 applications were filed by Indians who are expected to invest in the US economy at least $500,000 (about ₹3.3 crore) each. Obviously, Chinese nationals comprise the largest group of applicants, but citizens of Vietnam and India are close behind.
As per the EB-5 visa requirements, non-resident nationals “loan” their legally-earned funds to the US in exchange for a Green Card and even get their investment back once the exchange is fully completed.
The investors are to undergo a due diligence check and have the sources of their funds checked as well; most importantly, they are to choose a project in a government-approved area that needs the investment, and create at least 10 jobs for US citizens. After successfully obtaining the EB-5 visa, investors get more job opportunities and higher job security, and an easier access to the resources needed to establish a business in the US.
EB-5 visa in numbers
Though the procedure is not the easiest one, it is also transparent and safe, which inspires many Asian investors to apply. According to the official data, in 2016-2017, close to 11,000 Chinese nationals were allowed to relocate to the US under the EB-5 visa program, which is, interestingly, less than 13,500 Chinese economic immigrants the year before. The Vietnamese, on the contrary, are becoming more enthusiastic, which is evidenced by 288 migrants in 2015-2016 and 404 in 2016-2017.
What about Indians? In the said years, the number of EB-5 visa applicants increased by almost half, from 239 to 354.
Motivations of EB-5 visa investors
Statistics show that the Chinese seek to relocate to the US in hopes of securing their wealth and for political reasons; additionally, there is a steadily substantial yearly influx of Chinese students and young professionals.
Indians are migrating for similar reasons, most notably, IT professionals, medical and financial specialists.
More and more professionals, high net worth individuals, businesspersons and investors with families are realizing that the US are providing unique opportunity to secure a Green Card through a one-time investment.
Rising EB-5 visa costs raise the stakes
Foreign investors of means have always viewed the EB-5 visa program as one of the most prompt and secure ways to get permanent residency status for themselves and their families.
In 2018, the hype around the visa seems to have reached its peak – although the program conditions haven’t been changed since its inception over 25 years ago, this year, the Trump administration may raise the investment amount significantly, with the proposed minimum investment amount reaching $1,000,000.
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