US EB5 visas (Golden Visas) could be extended, say analysts
Posted on December 5, 2017
The popular EB5 visa scheme, also referred to as the ‘Golden Visa’, which is supposed to expire on 8 December, may be extended, analysts in the US say.
A New York-based analyst was quoted by IANS as telling it in an email interview that although discussions about EB5 visa scheme’s revisions are long overdue, it has not stopped investors from applying for these visas, which provide an attractive route to permanent residency in the US.
Even as the present US administration is keen to reform immigration laws, the analyst said that it seemed unlikely that this scheme would be abolished, but the amount needed to be invested will in all probability be hiked. He said they opined that the expected increase would not be enforced anytime soon. The Congress would give a notice of a month or two before enforcing the new laws, he added.
The EB5 Visa scheme, which was introduced by the US Congress in 1990, lets an individual invest $500,000 in one of the two TEAs (Targeted Employment Areas) — an area with high unemployment levels in a major US city or in a regional area — or $1 million in a non-TEA area where 10 or more jobs can be created, and US citizenship could be received much faster than it would be for H1-B visa holders.
After Donald Trump, the US President, wanted stricter rules to be introduced for the issuance of H1-B visas, major beneficiaries of which are Indian IT companies, the demand for the EB5 visas has risen substantially.
An analyst of a Connecticut-based company said that Charles Grassley, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and John Cornyn, Senate Majority Whip, crucial members in the US Senate, who have been asking for a liberal reform bill of EB5, have made substantial advancements.
He said that it very likely, based on their talks with their team in Washington, DC, that the chief negotiators would arrive at an understanding in December in principle, which together with amendments, would offer the scheme a five-year reauthorisation.
Another NY-based company employee said most analysts were of the belief that the 8 December deadline was a deflection, and these pooled with a likely increase in the amount and retrogression make it very attractive for Indian entrepreneurs to invest in EB5 visas soon.
When questioned about the demographic descriptions of people from India intending to apply for the EB5 visa, he said that they were students pursuing higher education in the US, professionals already working in the US with H1B Visas, owners of businesses wanting to extend their reach to the US and families desiring to shift to America.
One of the analysts that IANS spoke to said that with the Trump administration vetting all visas, tougher rules have been put in place for aspiring immigrants. He felt that the US administration, however, supports the EB5 scheme because it creates thousands of new US jobs every year, without burdening the taxpayer.
According to one analyst, 74 percent of Indians investing under EB5 scheme choose real estate projects, just like people from other nations. Others were evincing interest in hospitality industries and restaurant franchises.
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