The Trump administration has increased the prices of EB-5 visa to $900,000 from $500,000 in areas where the unemployment rate is high and to $1.8 million from $1 million for the rest of the country. The hike, under the new rules issued by the Department of Homeland Security, is effective from November 21.
This is the first significant revision since 1993, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency under the Department Of Homeland Security (DHS), said.
“Indians considering submitting an EB-5 application ahead of the price increase need to be aware that proving the source of their funds takes an average of two months, which effectively reduces the time available for applicants wishing to lock in the current rate,” Mark Davies, Global Chairman at law firm Davies & Associates said.
The EB-5 is an investor visa, with applicants required to invest a minimum $500,000 (plus $75,000 for processing) to migrate to the US. The proceeds are invested mainly in real estate, construction and other sectors to create jobs in the US. The money is returned to the investor after a certain period of time.
An investor who gets a green card can choose any kind of work in the US. 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.
Rise in visa quota
“The increase in the investment amount may be coupled with EB-5 visa backlog relief for Indian nationals. The United States House of Representatives recently passed a Bill that would increase the per country annual EB-5 visa quota from 700 to 1,500 visas. This Bill received strong bipartisan support and was passed by a wide margin. It is now under review in the Senate, but the fact that it has received such strong bipartisan support bodes well for its potential to become law,” Brennen McConnell, Partner at private equity firm Paragon Partners Asia said.
“However, the long-term impact will not be significant because the EB-5 remains, even after visa retrogression, the fastest and most-reliable route to the US green card,” Vivek Tandon, founder and CEO of EB5 BRICS said.