Indians turn to America’s golden visa as H-1B route shuts

 Thursday, April 26, 2018 


H-1B visaConfronting with a fierce crackdown on their favorite visa to enter the United States, a large number of wealthy Indians are flocking towards another program that fast tracks immigrants to a green card.


Applications from India for EB-5 visas that offer immigrants green card if they invest $500,000 and create 10 jobs in the US have risen in the last few months.


The US government has issued 174 such visas to Indians in the year that ended September 2017 marking an increase of nearly 17% over the previous year as per the State Department data.


Interest has taken off since then.


In October and November the United States received additional 307 applications from India for what it is often referred to as the ‘golden visa’. Indian demand for EB-5 visas has turned out to be quite explosive in the last 12 months according to Neil Weinrib who is an immigration lawyer based in New York who mentioned it to a leading news media platform.


The spike comes after the US government makes it more challenging to acquire H-1B visas that had permitted skilled foreign workers to be employed in the United States.


Over 70% of H-1B visas have been awarded to Indians in recent years.


President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the program for flooding the United States with cheaper foreign workers and taking jobs away from Americans, especially in the tech sector.


Changes to the program including greater scrutiny of applications and a probable shortening of the three-year visa period have been threatening large Indian outsourcing firms like the Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys (INFY) and Wipro (WIT) that employ and send large number of tech workers to brands in Silicon Valley. Those companies are currently dialing back H-1B applications and hiring more Americans.


The Trump administration is also eager to alter a rule that had allowed spouses of H-1B holders to work in the United States, further pressurizing the system of work visa approvals for Indians.


The EB-5 program that has its investment threshold and emphasizes on job creation is aligned with Trump’s new policy of ‘Buy American, Hire American.’


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