US House of Representatives on Friday voted to extend the EB-5 Visa until January 19, 2018. The House passed the Senate amendment to HR 1370 (an Act to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002) to extend Continuing Appropriations for government services and programs.
The move has been welcomed by immigration consultants and service providers.
“Four weeks of extension is good news for all the EB-5 applicants. However, this should be the last time we are hearing about such a decision,” Tanuj Patel, managing director at LD Capital Bridge to USA, in a press statement. Patel points out that the current administration is “very active” in changing the immigration laws.
“At present India stands in the sixth position for EB-5 and with more awareness spreading about the various programs, EB-5 applications from India shall rise,” Patel added.
EB-5 immigrant investor program allows entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they satisfy two conditions: Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and, plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified US workers.
Started in 1990, the program was created “to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors,” the USCIS website specifies. In general, an investor is required to invest $1 million in the US. However, if investing in a high-unemployment area or rural area, then the minimum investment required is $500,000.
The Economic Times reports that the EB-5 applications from India have increased by three times in the last three years. “This is despite a fairly high denial rate (34% in 2016) among Indian applicants on account of poor documentation and inappropriate project selection,” it added.
While mentioning the extension on its website, Murthy Law Firm, a DC-area based immigration law firm, points out that the Congress is yet to provide a solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.