With a high number of applicants and limited availability of visa appointment slots, obtaining an H-1B visa from India has become increasingly difficult. This uncertainty has led to a surge in interest in the EB-5 visa program among Indians and other nationals as well.
The EB-5 visa program is a path to permanent residency in the United States for foreign investors, and it offers a viable alternative for those who may not qualify for an H1B visa. This program has its own set of requirements and limitations, but it provides a more permanent solution for foreign investors.
What is EB-5 Visa?
The EB-5 visa program is a United States immigration program that offers a path to permanent residency (a green card) to foreign investors who invest in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
The minimum investment amount is currently $900,000 for investments made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is an area with high unemployment or in a rural area, or $1.8 million for investments made outside a TEA.
The Demand for EB-5 Visas Among Indians
According to U.S. Immigration Fund (USIF), the demand for EB-5 visas for Indian investors rose 400% between 2016 and 2019. Although the program lapsed during the Covid pandemic, it is now back, and the number of applications has almost doubled from what it was in 2019.
Also Read US to Increase Fees for H-1B, EB-5 Visa Application: Check Proposed Fees Here
Factors Contributing to the Surge in Demand
Nicholas A. Mastroianni, III, President and Chief Marketing Officer of USIF, cites multiple factors for the surge in interest from Indians. Firstly, the H-1B program has become more restrictive, making it difficult for Indians to qualify for it.
Additionally, H-1B workers are at the mercy of their employers, and if they lose their job, they have to uproot their entire life and move back to their home country. This uncertainty has made the EB-5 program, which offers a permanent solution, more attractive to Indians.
Another factor contributing to the surge in interest from Indians is the presence of a significant Indian population in the United States. Many Indians are already in the country on F1 student visas or H-1B work visas, and the EB-5 program offers them a chance to obtain permanent residency.
In terms of the states that Indians are preferring to invest in, there is no clear trend. However, there has been a substantial level of inquiry from Hyderabad, and Delhi and Mumbai have always been significant sources of clients for EB-5 companies.
Spouses of H-1B workers are often unable to work in the United States, and in that case, EB5 can be a better solution. Amid such uncertainties, the EB-5 program presents an attractive alternative for those seeking a path to permanent residency in the US.
Follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Google News for the latest travel news and updates!