India, 6 February 2017: Davies & Associates, LLC, a leading US law firm representing a significant number of Indian EB-5 investors has reported a record breaking spike in filing Indian EB-5 petitions in 2017. This hike is attributed to concerns about a Bill that would terminate the EB-5 program if passed. The EB5 program enables foreign investors to attain lawful permanent residency by investing a certain sum in the U.S. Economy.
Mark Davies, Global Chairman of Davies & Associates, LLC, said: “This is the first time we have seen a Bill to completely end the EB-5 program. While we feel it unlikely that S. 232 will pass, the Regional Center EB5 program is due to end at the end of April 2017 anyway unless extended by Congress. If the EB5 program is extended in April there is a much higher chance than ever before that the investment requirement will be substantially increased in the near future.”
In addition to concerns with the future of the EB5 program, clients are also flocking to the EB5 program given the increase in the H1-B salary requirements in the H1-B Reform Bill. The potential increase in salary to USD 130,000.00 would place the H1-B program beyond the reach of most Indian students graduating in the US and force them to use the EB5 program in order to obtain long-term US employment.
“By filing an I-526 before April clients are trying to protect themselves from either the termination of the program or a substantial increase in the required capital. Given the likely H1-B salary hike, some clients are rushing to use this window to insure their children are well equipped to pursue post-graduation employment in the US” he further added.
Senate Bill S. 232 has been introduced and if passed, it would end the EB-5 Investor Visa Program. The idea behind the bill is to distribute the percentage of EB-5 visas amongst the remaining visa program namely the EB-1 (priority workers), EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees/exceptional abilities), EB-3 (skilled/unskilled workers), and EB-4 (certain special immigrants who have served the U.S. Government).
The United States Government has sent out a discussion document that suggests that the required USD 500,000 investment will be increased to USD 1,300,000 in case the program is not terminated. The EB-5 visa has proven to be hugely advantageous for the U.S. economy as it allows foreign investments to create jobs in Target Employment Areas (TEAs). Eliminating the EB-5 program entirely would mean losing out on the revenue generated and employment opportunities in key areas for the US population