Dollar visa is a kind of mutual agreement between government of America and the rich entrepreneurs .if any entrepreneur invest in just over half a million dollars in the U.S. and ensure that the funds help generate at least ten full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers then through this scheme rich entrepreneurs — as well as their spouses and unmarried children below the age of 21 — an opportunity to bag the coveted U.S. Green Card (or status of permanent residence) and Citizenship.
The visa, given in exchange for investments, grants the holder a conditional permanent residence status. After two years, the conditions may be removed, when it becomes permanent green card that can lead to citizenship, provided it has resulted in the creation of 10 jobs.
The programme is named EB-5 as it is the fifth preference category under the Employment-Based (EB) immigration visas. In order to be considered for permanent residency status in the U.S., the Programme mandates a qualified foreign investor to invest at least $1 million — or a minimum of $500,000 if the investment is made in certain rural areas or regions with high unemployment — and show that ten or more full-time positions were generated or preserved directly or indirectly as a result of that investment.
The EB-5 programme was created in 1990 with the approval of the US Congress — America’s highest law-making body.
- It aims to boost the American economy by attracting investment from foreign nationals and generating employment for locals.
- In 1992, its scope was widened through an Immigrant Investor Programme, or the Regional Centre Programme.
- Regional Centres are certain designated organisations permitted to collect money from overseas investors seeking the EB-5 visas, and then pump such foreign investment (which is usually much cheaper than other forms of funds including bank credit) into officially approved projects.
- These EB-5 investments can be stand-alone or made through Regional Centres, with the former (direct investments) carrying a greater risk than investments made through over 860 approved Regional Centres that have more on-the-ground knowledge.
The Chinese have been way ahead of others in taking advantage of the EB-5 opportunities so far. This was followed by Vietnam (280), China/Taiwan-born (139), South Korea (116), India (111), Russia (88), UK (84), Mexico (77) and Iran (62).
The United States of America’s EB-5 Programme, labelled in a lighter vein as the ‘Green Card for greenback’ scheme set to be ended by US .
In 2015, the U.S. authorities issued 111 EB-5 visas to Indians — that is 15 more than the previous year, and 74 more than the number of such immigrant visas issued in 2011.
The rapid rise in the number of EB-5 visas to Indians in the last few years had led to the filing of over a thousand applications under that category from India this year.
In the backdrop of allegations of fraud and corruption — including against Indian-origin individuals — related to the programme, the U.S. Congress will soon have to consider whether to renew it or to pay heed to growing criticism and wind it up altogether.
Finally, It is all likely on U.S. Congress to do a balancing act especially since it is estimated that if the programme fails to get re-authorised, it could not only adversely impact over $20 billion worth of investments, but also lead to many court cases in addition to a loss of an estimated over three lakh jobs .