Will the ‘American dream’ slip away further for Indians?
"The change in the policy of EB5 which is likely to come into force from this October will have an adverse effect on Indians. If US Govt raises minimum investment required from present USD 5,00,000 to USD 1.35 million, it may reduce Indian applicants by 80 to 90 per cent", said Vivek R. Rao, an EB5 expert, investment and immigration consultant
Rao, who is in Hyderabad in connection with a seminar "EB-5 Business Gateway to the US, US Immigration" at Grand Kakatiya on 22nd June, said interacting with the media that it might also pose another challenge to Indians, issues from the regulatory body from RBI. EB-5 is an immigrant investment program is an alternative way for some wealthy Indians to live their American dream. Those who otherwise don't have a chance to get an American Green Card, until now found it a good opportunity as it enables people to migrate to the US through a government-sponsored 'invest in the US and get a green card scheme'. In other words, it is a "paid invitation" for non-Americans to invest and live the 'American Dream'.
So far is fine, but, the big concern for India now is that the US Government plans to increase the investment from USD 5,00,000 to USD1.35million from next fiscal. Trump administration thinks that the present limit is very low compared to other countries. The fees for a similar programme in Canada is USD 1 million, Australia is 4 million and in the UK USD2 million.
Higher EB-5 investment requirements may reduce the number of Indian going for it. Indian administration may raise their eyebrows as such a huge investment going abroad is not so good for the nation. There may be regulatory issues from RBI observed Vivek R Rao, an EB5 expert who has over 4 years of EB5 experience and vast knowledge of the intricacies of the EB5 process.
Throwing light on the consequences on Indians, how it affects Indians chances of getting EB-5 Visa etc and others, Rao, India head and Director of MCFI--Maryland Centre for Foreign Investments, LLC said there were a lot of Indian business professionals willing to invest or start a new business in the US- Indian children studying or working in the USA and wanted to settle in the USA.
"There are many medical students aiming to pursue MD or any higher education in the USA universities. An equally good number of Indian Individuals from India would like to settle in the USA. Any major changes in the policies will adversely affect the interests of these individuals, hence there are greater consequences", he added.
Indians likely to hit quota for EB-5 visas for 1st time or it is already hit. The popularity of EB5 caught so much that it skyrocketed in India after our H1-B has come under the lens of Trump administration and send caution signals. Today there are more Indians than in the past chasing their American Dreams. H1B, which was on top priority until now. But, Trump tightening the norms, EB5 is being taken very seriously. But, with increase investment likely to come from this October, even that opportunity is also over.
The multi-decade wait time has sparked the interest of Indian nationals for preferring EB-5 as a viable option to their immigration woes.
Off late, India has become a major EB5 investor market. The Indian investors' share of the EB-5 investor market has grown substantially. The number of Indians who filed for EB-5 was eighty-six in 2013, ninety-nine in 2014, two hundred and thirty-nine in 2015, three hundred forty-eight in 2016 and five hundred in 2017. It surpassed Vietnam some time ago and now it is the second largest EB-5 market after China. Eleven hundred visas are expected to be issued in 2019. In terms of applicants, India ranks fourth (jointly with Brazil), followed by China, Vietnam and South Korea.
The EB5 visa is likely to go up and reach fifteen hundred by 2020 and two thousand by 2021.
"Although it's market share is just five per cent, but, its potential given the vastness and potential of the Hi-net worth individuals cannot be ignored", said Vivek R Rao who represents MCFI--Maryland Centre for Foreign Investments, LLC in India.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by IIG editorial desk and is published from a syndicated feed.)