The EB-5 visa, or the United States‘ version of the golden visa, is unlikely to reach pre-COVID-19 levels before 2023-end, according to LCR Capital Partners, an investment firm that facilitates EB-5 visas for high net worth individuals and ultra-high net worth individuals in India.
“The programme was effectively in hibernation for the last couple of years due to Covid and delay in renewal,” said LCR Capital Partners founder and executive chairman Suresh Rajan, adding that they have not been able to engage with the market and the prospects for a number of years.
In 1990, the US Congress created the EB-5 immigrant visa programme to create jobs in the economy by procuring funds from foreign investors. The first programme was enacted as a pilot in 1992. While the programme has been under a regular three-year renewal, US President Joe Biden extended the same for five years in March 2022.
“We operate under this five-year window to build our business and bring in as many investors as we can over the next few years,” Rajan said. Broadly, the EB-5 investor visa programme enables immigrant investors to obtain US green cards and permanent residency through a one-time minimum investment of $800,000 into a new US business that creates 10 or more jobs.
The EB-5 programme also has an investment level of 10,50,000 dollars.“The application process has several components to it. The most significant part of it is the source of funds analysis. The investor has to demonstrate where the $800,000 investment has come from. It needs to be from legal sources,” Rajan said. “It needs to have been treated by the home country in appropriate ways. It needs to be transmitted to the US in appropriate ways. This component of the compliance is generally more difficult for investors to overcome.”
In addition to this, the firm is also offering entry into the Portugal golden visa programme. The investment manager has a client base of around 1,000 investors or 450-500 families. Around 44% of its client base is from the Indian diaspora. It also provides investment advisory services to its US-based clients.