By Varun Singh
The number of Indians exploring their American dream of permanent residency and green cards through EB-5 Visa has been amplifying in recent years. Especially last year, when the US government renewed the popular green card by investment program i.e. the EB-5 Visa Program. Since 2019, the ratio of Indians choosing the USA EB-5 Visa has increased by around 75 percent as it is not only one of the quickest but also the most reliable ways to receive a U.S. green card.
The most recent figures on citizenship renunciations issued by the Indian government show a rise among Indians yearning for a better future in the West. 2.25 lakh Indians chose US citizenship in 2022 alone out of which nearly half or 78,284 Indians out of 1.63 lakh who renounced their citizenship had opted for the US, followed by Australia, Canada and UK citizenship.
In order to obtain an EB-5 visa, which holds parity with a Green Card, Indian investors have particularly shown more significant interest, the overall demand for EB-5 Visas increased by around 400 percent between 2016 and the beginning of 2019.
The EB-5 visa program allows investors to obtain a conditional green card, which is initially valid for a period of two years. To qualify for the conditional green card, the investor must invest a specified amount of capital, typically Rs 8.6 crore or Rs 6.4 crore in a targeted employment area (TEA), and create or preserve a certain number of jobs in the United States.
After holding the conditional green card for two years, the EB-5 visa holder can apply to have the conditions removed by filing an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This process involves demonstrating that the investment has been sustained and the required jobs have been created or maintained. If the application is approved, the investor will receive a permanent green card, which is valid for ten years and grants them permanent residency in the United States.
The EB-5 visa holders are not subjected to restrictions in terms of the area where they can study or work and they are also eligible to start up their businesses in any part of the country. Moreover, the program has become very accessible and alluring, thanks to the option of filing the EB-5 visa petition concurrently.
According to experts, another reason for growing numbers of Indians turning to the investment visa program is the assurance of long-term residency in the United States of America as the possibility of neutralization via several years of employment is becoming more and more remote.
To stay updated with all the developments can be a bit of a task that’s why it is advised to work with reputable and knowledgeable immigration consultants who are experienced in the EB-5 visa program. Conducting due diligence, checking their credentials, and seeking referrals or reviews can help ensure that the consultant is qualified and trustworthy. They can also speed up your visa application process by having a thorough awareness of current market trends and precise visa criteria.
The USA EB-5 visa program offers a unique opportunity for Indians who want to immigrate to the United States and enjoy the benefits of permanent residency and citizenship. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn, and the regulatory changes, the demand for EB-5 visas among Indians remains high.
This is because the EB-5 visa program not only provides a faster, easier, and more secure way of obtaining a green card than other visa options but also allows Indians to invest in projects that create jobs and contribute to the U.S. economy. By choosing the EB-5 visa program, Indians can achieve their personal and professional goals and secure a better future for themselves and their families.
(Author is MD, XIPHIAS Immigration)