Indian nationals are turning to EB-5, a visa for immigrant investors in the US, to migrate the land of opportunities, as it much easier to obtain than H1-B or L-1visas.
Instituted by the US in 1990, it requires an investment of $500,000, or around INR33, 000,000. Though the cost may be a deterrent, it assures applicants of this visa citizenship of the US within 18 months, besides getting them a permanent work permit.
Sachin Chandavarkar, Essel Group Vice-President, New Initiatives, was quoted as telling the Business Line that IT professionals, entrepreneurs HNIs (high net worth individuals) and a few students too are considering EB-5 option rather than opting for the H1-B or the L-1 visas. In addition, the EB-5 visa lets professionals work for any employer, unlike the H1-B visa.
For instance, an Indian, with a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in mechanical engineering, was not able to work for a US defence contractor. According to him, some ‘sensitive’ components of the project he was to work for were open only to US citizens. He could have landed the job through a Green Card. But to get one, it takes multiple H1 or L1 applications and a period of seven years. So, he decided to apply for the EB-5 visa.
According to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) data, the first quarter of 2016 saw close to 25,000 people applying for these visas.
Rajkamal Rao of Rao Advisors LLC, an education consulting firm, said that the US remains the most sought after destination for overseas students, with Indian applicants alone making up for 29.4 percent of the total 132,888 applications received by the USCIS in 2015.
As the US badly needs professionals in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) segment, most skilled workers from India having these skills find this visa option attractive.
The US allows 10,000 immigrants to enter its shores ever year via the EB-5 visas. Although this number is small when compared to the H1 or L1 visas, the US is said to have received about 250,000 applications, an increase of more than 20,000 compared to 2015. This demand is reportedly due to an increase in jobs to 228,000 as per a recent job data, the US Labour Department revealed.
If you are planning to migrate to the US, approach Y-Axis to get help and assistance to file for a visa from one of our 19 offices, which are located in India’s eight major cities.