Despite US EB-5 visa issuance surge in FY24 so far, Indian applicants witnessed a 22% productivity decline

Despite US EB-5 visa issuance surge in FY24 so far, Indian applicants witnessed a 22% productivity decline

The US EB-5 program has been a highly sought-after gateway to American Green Cards for many, including Indian applicants. With the rising number of investors, India has especially become one of the most crucial players in this visa class. India, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and South Korea collectively accounted for almost 92% of all EB-5 visa issuances of the current fiscal year up to May.

According to the Department of State’s data, 512 EB-5 visas were issued to Indian applicants in FY24 so far, which accounted for a 22% productivity decline. (Representational Image)

According to USCIS, this investor program opens the doors for those seeking permanent residence in the US if they “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.”

The latest FY2024 numbers, between October 1, 2023, and May 31, 2024, have shown considerable growth in the overall issuance of EB-5 visas. However, Indian investors received less than expected during these eight months.

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EB-5 visa issuance numbers for Indian applicants

According to the Department of State’s data, 7,173 EB-5 visas were issued through consular processing. Although this marked a 42% growth compared to the same period in FY2023, the number of EB-5 visas issued to Indian applicants during this period represented a 22% decline.

Even with visa processing picking up pace in December 2023, the monthly visa issuance to Indian investors at the US Consulate in the Indian state of Mumbai witnessed a falling graph. Here, 50-60 visas were processed monthly, resulting in only 4 EB-5 visas being issued in May.

For the FY2024 figures thus far, only 392 EB-5 visas issued to Indian investors were processed at the Mumbai Consular Office, which means that 120 Indian applicants who got their EB-5 visas during the first eight months of FY24 reside outside India.

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Ultimately, 512 visas in this category were sent out to Indian applicants from Oct 1, 2023, to May 31, 2024. However, these numbers merely indicate EB-5 visas issued via consular processing. On the contrary, a grand percentage of Indian investors secure their green cards through adjustment of status (AOS), but that data isn’t accounted for. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily indicate an overall low issuance of EB-5 visas among Indian cases.

On further observation, the DOS data also revealed that May 2024 demonstrated the second-highest monthly visa issuance rate so far in FY2024, as that month alone issued 1,222 EB-5 (via consular processing). Out of the total 7,173 EB-5 visas issued during the first eight months of FY24, more than 1,990 belong to the adjustment of status side, all under the Unreserved category.

 

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