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Business News/ News / World/  EB5 visa: ‘Partial investment option can reduce financial burden,’ expert as US Golden visas get costlier

EB5 visa: ‘Partial investment option can reduce financial burden,’ expert as US Golden visas get costlier

US to significantly raise fees for non-immigrant visas, including EB-5, impacting immigration policies and international relations. EB-5 visa fees to jump from $3,675 to $11,160.

EB5 visaPremium
EB5 visa

From April 1, fees for non-immigrant US visas, including EB-5, have been raised significantly indicating an overhaul in visa services, potentially impacting immigration policies and international relations. 

As per USCIS, the EB-5 visas, popularly known as investors visas fees has jumped from USD 3,675 (over 3,00,000) to USD 11,160 (over 9,00,000). 

Nicholas A. Mastroianni, President and CMO, US Immigration Fund in an exclusive interview to Livemint elaborates on how it will impact ‘volume of visa applications from India’, the future outlook of the visa category in India and other details. 

From April 1, 2024, USCIS has implemented fee adjustments across a range of immigration and naturalization benefits, directly affecting the EB-5 Investor Visa process. How USIF can help here?

In response to the upcoming USCIS fee hike, our strategy involves a partial investment option for EB-5 applicants to minimize immediate financial burdens. By allowing an initial investment of $200,000, we enable investors to file their application before the fee increase takes effect, providing a window to arrange the remaining $600,000. This approach is designed not only to circumvent the fee hike but also to offer a more manageable financial pathway into the EB-5 program.

Post the fee hike, our commitment to supporting EB-5 applicants will intensify. We plan to offer comprehensive advisory services tailored to the new fee structure. Our support will encompass financial planning, investment strategy guidance, and personalized assistance throughout the updated process. By equipping investors with the necessary information and strategies, we aim to ensure that they remain well-prepared and can navigate the fee adjustments effectively. Our goal is to maintain the accessibility of the EB-5 visa process, ensuring a smooth transition for investors despite the financial changes brought about by the fee increase.

Recently, USCIS also revised its policy on the minimum investment period required for EB-5 visa applicants. What is the investment period now and how does it impact the investors?

The October 2023 policy revision by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) marks a pivotal change in the EB-5 investment framework, introducing a definite two-year investment duration requirement from the moment funds are deployed into a job-creating venture. This regulation provides much-needed precision and steadiness, assuring investors that they can qualify for a Green Card after a two-year period of job creation. It represents a considerable advancement in improving the program's effectiveness and upholding its integrity.

By aligning with the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, this update clarifies the duration an investment must be maintained to be eligible for a Green Card through the EB-5 program. It ensures that provided an investment lead to the creation of at least ten jobs, the investor is allowed to retrieve their investment after two years while still maintaining their eligibility for U.S. permanent residency. This clarification is a crucial step in ongoing efforts to boost the efficiency and integrity of the EB-5 program, making it more attractive and accessible to potential investors.

What is the future outlook for EB5 adoption in India; people of what profile and income group are interested in this programme? The country has how many EB5 investors so far?

The EB-5 program in India is on an upward trajectory, primarily attracting high-net-worth individuals and affluent families seeking U.S. residency. These are usually business professionals or individuals aiming for enhanced opportunities in education and careers for their families. With around 676 EB-5 visas issued to Indians in FY 2023, the program's popularity is evident. The current investment requirement of $800,000 caters to this specific economic segment in India. 

As per the USICS report ending December 2023, 2393, I-526 applications were filed and approved for Indian investors, awaiting visa dates.

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Sanchari Ghosh
Sanchari Ghosh is a Chief Content Producer with LiveMint. She covers news, human interest, epidemiology and personal finance stories
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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Published: 02 Apr 2024, 10:17 PM IST
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