Wealthy Indians are being told to forget employment and family-based immigration programs and instead look to investment immigration programs if they want a US green card quickly.
While permanent residency for the more traditional immigration streams can take up to 20 years to materialize, the green card should arrive in two to four years under the EB-5 investment program.
The popularity of the EB-5 is growing, meaning the wait time is only likely to rise, but the unpredictable delays of other immigration programs means investment is the fastest way to achieve permanent residence status for the foreseeable future.
US EB-5 Investment Requirements
- An EB-5 investor must invest in a new commercial enterprise.
- The investor must invest at least $1 million when investing in a general area of business or at least $500,000 when investing in a targeted employment area (“Regional Centres”).
- Within two years of admission as a Conditional Permanent Resident, the investor must create or preserve at least 10 full-time, direct or indirect jobs belonging to qualified US workers.
- See Tax Implications of Gaining Permanent Residence Through US EB-5 Visa
With the terms of the EB-5 likely to change in September 2016 – raising the investment requirement from $500,000 to near $1 million is one of the moves being considered – Indians are being advised to get in quickly.
Many are motivated by the change to put their children through higher education in the U.S.
An article in The Hindu newspaper points out that ‘About 200 projects in the U.S. including 10 by people of Indian origin are offering investment opportunities to foreign investors across the globe’.
The same article also suggested a US Green Card will be forthcoming within 15 months of an application, but in reality the wait time is significantly longer than that.
Recently it was highlighted that Chinese immigrants are asking to put children as primary candidates on their applications over fears they may exceed the dependent age of 21 by the time approval comes around.
Under the current EB-5, investment of $500,000 in a regional centre project that creates 10 jobs in a targeted employment area will see the applicant, spouse and any children under 21 all awarded the coveted green card.
The targeted regional centre employment area route – which requires lower investment – accounts for more than 98 per cent of EB-5 applications, according to an Indian developer looking to attract EB-5 investment.
The investment is also passive, which means there is no obligation to be part of the business and the applicant can live anywhere in the USA once the green card is awarded.
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