Prospective immigrant investors seeking EB-5 visas may need to pay more to get into the United States if a proposal being mooted by the government is passed.
EB-5 is a visa for overseas investors who invest a minimum of $500,000 in a US business and employ a minimum of 10 full-time American workers. If the investors satisfy these said conditions, they can apply for legal status subject to certain conditions. If the project they invest in is successful, they become eligible for citizenship.
The EB-5 programme gained traction in the past few years as affluent migrants from China invested significantly in Southern California.
Increase in this visa fees is part of a wider plan, which was proposed by the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) last week, in the Federal Register. In the wake of these developments, other service costs related to EB-5 visa could go up too. It is expected that the application fee for US citizenship could go up by about eight percent from the present $595 to $640.
These are said to be the most exorbitant hikes proposed to the EB-5 visa-related services. This USCIS proposal would see the probable immigrant entrepreneurs paying $3,675, up from the current $1,500.
The proposed hikes, which are subject to a 60-day comment period, would come into effect only after the Federal Register publishes a final rule.
The US Congress is likely to vote for an amendment on this visa in September as the EB-5 program would be reviewed then.
Analysts feel that EB-5 visa applicants will not be deterred by these increases. They, in fact, reportedly spend more money on economists and other investment-related projects.
Indian entrepreneurs can, however, still apply for EB-5 visas if they are looking to migrate to the US.