A bipartisan bill that seeks to change the EB-5 visa (investor) program was introduced in the US Congress a week ago before it lapses end-June.
The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2021, introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (Republican) and Patrick Leahy (Democrat), calls for the change and reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Centers program for a time of five years.
Over the last few years, Indians have emerged as prominent investors under this provision. Which gives a direct path to US Citizenship for individuals investing a certain sum in dedicated projects in specified areas.
The demand for EB-5 visas has risen 400% between 2016 and 2019 among Indians, as indicated by Invest in USA (IIUSA), a not-for-profit trade association.
“Large numbers of these Indian nationals have been in the United States for a long time on non-immigrant visas like the H1-B or L1A and…the EB-5 Green Card gives immigration certainty to them and their families…,” said Aaron Grau, executive director, IIUSA, which endorsed the Bill.
Bill to reform the EB-5 visa program
“The bipartisan bill… supports the long-term reauthorization and change of the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Which in turn will ease Indian investors’ anxiety of this visa program being canceled,” Grau said.
As indicated by information from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Indian nationals were given more than 300 EB-5 visas in FY20, the second-highest after Chinese nationals.
While the direct EB-5 program has been permanently authorized. This Bill is about continuing with the EB-5 Regional Centre program, said Mark Davies, global chairman, Davies & Associates, an immigration firm.
This is the route utilized by almost 90% of investors.
Davies expects that the Bill should be passed by Congress. However, there might be a small interruption in the EB-5 RC Program.
“Obviously, no new EB-5 RC cases would have the option to be filed while the program lapsed. However, Direct EB-5 cases would continue to be filed. While it is possible that current Regional Center EB-5 Applicants will be negatively impacted. My personal belief is that it is incredibly unlikely that the US government would adopt that approach,” he said.
Since its inception, the EB-5 visa program has drawn in capital investment of more than $41 billion from across the globe. To help American businesses and has created at least 820,000 job opportunities for US workers.