EB-5 Program, Indian Investors Making a Beeline to a Green Card

The EB-5 Program targets high net worth foreign nationals, who may wish to fast track their application for a Green Card, by investing a minimum of $500,000 in projects approved by the United States government.

The EB-5 Program was introduced by the United States Congress in 1992.  The objective was to encourage new investments in the United States that would create new companies, support companies in trouble, and create or maintain certain targets for employment with United States workers.

In 2014, a total of 9,764 EB-5 Visas were issued, with 9,128 going to Chinese investors, and Vietnam coming in a distant second at 121 Visas.  Investors from India came in even further back with only 96 EB-5 Visas being issued to them in 2014.

The reasons for the low numbers of EB-5 Visas to Indian investors is varied, but a major challenge has been alleged fraud within the system.

A lawyer who assists many high net worth individuals said, “the EB-5 Program will be the next big thing for the Indian business start-up scene”, suggesting Indian investors will make a beeline to the EB-5 Visa as a way to fast track obtaining a Green Card.

That may be true, however, in 2015, only a total of 111 EB-5 Visas were issued to Indian investors, which was an increase of 15 Visas over 2014.

For 2016 it is estimated that up to 130 EB-5 Visas will be issued to Indian Investors, which will still leave India far behind the pack.  But, it does signal an increase of 35% from 2014.

A “beeline” may be a little misleading, but there has been a steady increase in applications since 2011, when 35 EB-5 Visas were issued to Indian investors, increasing to 38 in 2012, to the anticipated 130 for 2016.

With the EB-5 Program, Chinese investors stay well ahead of the pack and even with the increases in the numbers of investors from India, it will be a long time before they have a similar significant impact.

For more information on the EB-5 Program and its requirements, go to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Website at,  https://www.uscis.gov/eb-5