By H Siddique
July 4, 2018
New Delhi: The Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) investor visa has become attractive for Indians looking towards the US, as getting a green card through this path can be much quicker compared to around 15-years wait for getting a green card through the H-1B visa route.
Individuals can apply for lawful permanent residence in the US for themselves, their spouse and unmarried children below 21 years, by making the necessary investment and creating at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for US workers. The current minimum threshold investment limit is $500,000, says Pankaj Joshi, Managing Director, Nysa Capital
NYSA Capital— a financial advisory and management consultancy group with offices based in the US, Singapore, and New Delhi, provides turn-key facilitation service under the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) EB-5 program linking quality investments with qualified investors.
”Traditionally under the EB-5 program, it takes two years or more to get the Green Card, but we have exclusive rights in India for a project of US National Interest under which applicants receive expedited processing. Applicants to the Nysa project have received Green Card approval in less than 60 days on average,” Joshi said talking to India News Stream.
Due to the politically unpopular nature of H-1B employment visa and the long wait for applicants that exceeds 10 years to getting a green card, the EB-5 investor visa has become the best route for Indian families seeking permanent residency in the US.
These EB-5 results in far better, more flexible employment options at higher compensation levels which are market rate rather than dictated by the employer. Green card holders enjoy virtually the same rights as American citizens including the freedom to travel, work and live anywhere in the US. Many people with H1B Visas in the US are now converting to the EB-5 to take advantage of the shorter time to a permanent residency and because the continuity of the H1-B visa has become tenuous at best.
Over the last 5 years the demand for the EB-5 Visa has accelerated in India. In 2013 it was 86 applicants and in 2017 it is 500 plus.
The EB-5 program is most often driven by Indian parents for their children. The vast majority of people applying for the EB5 Visa do so, so that their children can attend American colleges and universities and later obtain jobs with equal status to American born applicants.
Under the H-1B, the employer has total control of the terms of employment; i.e. if the H-1B loses his job for any reason he must find another employer to sponsor him or return to his country of origin. Under the EB-5, the individual (employee) controls his own destiny. He can freely navigate the job marketplace as any American would do. The processing time to obtain the green card is much faster under the EB-5.
The EB-5 program is currently only approved through Sept 30, 2018. After that date the program at worst could be discontinued all together. While it is important to get the green card, so is the security of the investment. So we conduct the necessary due diligence required to minimize investment risk.
”Given the job requirement aspects of the program, almost all EB-5 projects in the US are real estate development projects. We have worked with both large and small projects from a $32 million dollar hotel project in Michigan to a multi-billion dollar mixed use project in Texas. Our current project has already received Exemplar project approval and has received expedited processing status as it is a project of national interest. For our project, our investors have received approval in as little 32 days to as long as 62 days,” Joshi said.
Replying to a question, he said only 10,000 visas are issued each year under the EB-5 program. Under the regulations, one country can account for no more than 7% (700) of the total visas available. If there are any remaining unused visas at the end of the year, a country can receive the surplus in addition to its 7% allocation.
Vietnam has now also begun to exceed the 7% limit so Vietnamese applicants will start to suffer retrogression, though perhaps not for as long a period as the Chinese.
India, with 500 some investors in 2017, has not yet reached the 7% limit but is predicted to do so in the very near future, perhaps as early as mid 2019.