UAE Branch

1st Floor, Al Shmookh Building, UAQ FTZ, P.O.Box 7073, United Arab Emirates.
P: +97158-8984275

Hyderabad Branch

Salarpuria Sattva Knowledge City Level 1, Unit 2 Sy. No. 83/1, Plot no.2 Inorbit Mall Road, Raidurg Village HITEC City, Hyderabad 500081
P: +91 91379 25505

Mumbai Branch

Level 7, B-wing, The Capital, G-Block, BKC, Bandra(E), Mumbai-400 050, India
P: +91-91379 15535 / +91-91379 25505

Chennai Branch

Prestige Palladium Bayan, Level 5 129-140 Greams Road Chennai 600006, India
P: +91 91379 25505

Pune Branch

Business Bay, Level 6, Wing 1, Tower A Survey No.103, Hissa No.2, Airport Road Yerwada, Pune 411006, India
P: +91-91379 15535 / +91-91379 25505

Bangalore Branch

UB City, Level 11 24 Vittal Mallya Road Bangalore 560001, India
P: +91 91379 25505

Gurgaon Branch

One Horizon Center, Level 18 Golf Course Road DLF Phase V, Sector 43 Gurgaon 122002, India
P: +91 91379 15535

Investment route for US residency to get costlier

Investment route for US residency to get costlier. Indians wishing to obtain a quick, even if expensive route, to the US as permanent residents, can breathe a sigh of relief. The investment link visa route or the EB-5 is likely to continue but will get more expensive, by as much as Rs 5 crore.

Recent steps by US authorities of extreme vetting of visa applications, especially of the H-1B visas+ for entry level employees, have boosted the popularity of EB-5 visa among rich Indians. A child wishing to study and later work in the US is gifted the requisite investment money to enable him to become a US resident under this route.

The number of such visas given to Indians has increased from 90 in 2016 (twelve month period ending September 2016) to 174 as of September 2017. In all, 10,000 such visas are issued each year. From India, the number of applications for such visas has increased exponentially in recent months, say immigration experts. A series of recent tweets by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), allays fears that this program will come to an end. One of the tweets states: “EB-5 visas provide lawful permanent residence to foreign nationals who promote economic growth in the United States. We’re working to fix the programme.”

Graphic: Countries that offer residence visas in exchange for investment

The USCIS points out to draft rules, released last January, which were reported by TOI. These proposals had hiked the investment limit and were open for public comment up to April 2017. “Our proposed rule would increase investment levels and end gerrymandering. The changes would help true high unemployment and rural areas,” states the USCIS.

As per the draft rules, the minimum threshold investment limit was proposed to be raised from $1 million (Rs6.4 crore) to $1.8 million (Rs11.4 crore). This is a hike of Rs 5 crore. At present, investors are permitted to invest a reduced sum of half a million for business operations in specified rural areas or those with higher unemployment limits, known as targeted employment areas (TEAs) Here the proposed investment had been hiked to $1.35 million (Rs 8.6 crore).

Under the EB-5 programme, also dubbed as “cash for visa”, individuals can apply for lawful permanent residence (this is not citizenship) in the US if they make the necessary investments and create at least 10 permanent full time jobs for US workers. They are granted conditional permanent residence for themselves, spouse and children below 21.

After two years, they have to apply for lifting of the “conditions”. If approved, they and their family can permanently live and work in the US. If the child turns over 21, the investor can petition for his child as an unmarried child over 21 of a lawful permanent resident. However, as this petition involves a long waiting period of many years, it is more common for rich families to gift the investment amount to their child who applies for the visa in his or her own name.

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