Info-tech

By 2019, Indians will have most EB-5 visas after China

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on September 12, 2018 Published on September 12, 2018

The visas issued to Indians are already in excess of 700, and this is likely to touch about 1,100 by next year   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

The $575,000 price of the US investor immigration visa is expected to double

Lured by the fabled American dream, India is set to become the second-largest recipient of the United States’ investor-immigration programme EB-5, with as much as 1,100 visas expected to be issued in 2019.

This would also come at a time when the price for the visa is expected to at least double from the present $575,000 (nearly ₹4 crore).

More applicants

In terms of applicants, India now ranks fourth (jointly with Brazil), followed by China, Vietnam and South Korea.

The number of Indians who filed for EB-5 was 86 in 2013, 99 in 2014, 239 in 2015, 348 in 2016 and 500 in 2017.

“The visas issued to Indians are already in excess of 700, and this is likely to be about 1,100 by next year. Looking at the growth rate, the issuance should reach 1,500 by 2020 and 2,000 by 2021,” US Congressman Aaron Schock, who was also the Chief Sponsor of the ‘EB-5 Reauthorisation Bill 2012’, told BusinessLine.

Investor visa

The EB-5 is an investor visa, wherein applicants have to invest a minimum $5,00,000 (plus $75,000 for processing) to migrate to the US.

This is mainly invested in real estate, construction and other sectors to create jobs in the US, while the money is returned to the investor after a period of time.

The investor, who gets a green card, can choose any kind of work to do in the US.

Prices to double

A total of 10,000 EB-5 visas are issued every year with the limit capped at 700 per country.

However, the approval rate for Indian applicants is 64 per cent as against the global rate of 92.4 per cent.

“The demand from India is due to a range of reasons from quality education, quality life and a stable US economy. Further, the number of dollar-millionaires in India has grown by 18 per cent to 3.5 lakh last year,” said Vikram Kumar Founder and CEO of AVG America Investments, an EB-5 fund-raiser that is setting up operations in India.

The prices of EB-5 visa are expected to double next year, as the Trump administration feels it is low compared with that of other countries.

For instance, fees for similar programme in Canada is $1 million, in the UK $2 million and in Australia $4 million.

“It’s not a guess, it’s guaranteed that the prices will rise. The exact amount of the hike is still being negotiated,” Schock said.

Published on September 12, 2018
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