Indian nationals are being sold the prospect of a fast-track to U.S. citizenship through the scandal-plagued EB-5 visa just as the Trump Administration initiated an investigation into the H-1B foreign guest worker program.
Under the EB-5 visa, foreign nationals can claim that they will invest at least $500,000 and thus receive Green Cards for their family for at least two years, with pathways to citizenship available as well. The only requirement is that the EB-5 holder create 10 U.S. jobs. Currently, 10,000 foreign nationals and their families are allowed to enter the U.S. every year on the EB-5 visa.
A new report from Economic Times depicts a financial industry that is turning toward the EB-5 since the H-1B’s future remains unknown.
One investment firm, the U.S. Immigration Fund (USIF), which facilitates the process for wealthy foreign nationals who want to come to the U.S. on the EB-5 are pushing the program in India.
“With the H1-B environment becoming tougher and tougher, demand for EB5 has gone up,” Andrew Graves, USIF’s Director of Business Development in India, told IANS.
“Indians are becoming more aware of the EB5 visa programme,” he said.
When foreign nationals come to the U.S. on the EB-5 visa, it only takes them two years of being in the country before they and their families can apply for permanent legal residency. From there, they can later apply for U.S. citizenship.
Critics of the EB-5 visa, like Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) fellow David North, who has testified before Congress on the corruption involved in the EB-5 process, says the visa is a way for U.S. citizenship to essentially be sold.
North also previously told Breitbart Texas that although the EB-5 visa claims investors must invest at least $500,000 in “Targeted Employment Areas” (TEAs), which are meant to be down-trodden regions of the U.S. needing help, the system has been re-purposed so that investors can continue pouring money into high-priced, upper-class areas like Manhattan and Los Angeles.
Aside from the EB-5 visa, more than 100,000 foreigners are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa. Most recently, that number has ballooned to potentially hundreds of thousands each year, as universities and non-profits are exempt from the cap. With more entering the U.S. through the visa, Americans are often fired, replaced and forced to train their foreign replacements.
An extension of the EB-5 visa was slipped into a recent spending bill passed by the House, as Breitbart Texas reported. EB-5 immigrant visa-holders primarily come to the U.S. from China, with more than 75 percent of visa-holders being Chinese. The program has endured public embarrassment for years, as more fraud cases involving the program come to light.
Additionally, despite widespread fraud issues, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wants to nearly triple the number of foreign nationals who enter the U.S. every year on the EB-5 visa, potentially raising the cap to more than 25,000 foreign nationals a year, as Breitbart Texas reported.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.