Visa Crunch

USA: Indians, Foreign Investors Sue USCIS For Non-Processing Of EB-5 Visas

A group of international investors, including several Indian citizens, who have invested at least $500,000 in the EB-5 investor visa program have filed a federal lawsuit in a US district court, questioning the lapse of the ‘Regional Center Program’ and the refusal of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process their visas.

Individuals can qualify for lawful permanent residence (aka green card) in the United States under the EB-5 program if they make the appropriate investments and create at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for American workers. Investors must invest $500,000 in a project in a rural or low-employment area, or $1 million otherwise.

Although the direct investment path (in which the investor establishes his or her own firm) remains available under the EB-5 program, the more popular way of investing through recognized regional centres (which in turn sponsor business entities) expired on June 30, 2021. The investors have been in uncertainty since then.

Traditionally, 90% or more of investments were made through the now-defunct EB visa 5 Regional Center Program. The worry of losing their money, combined with the possibility of their immigration plans going astray, is giving these investors nightmares.

In recent times, the EB-5 investor visa program has gained popularity among high-net-worth individuals in India, as well as H-1B visa holders working in the United States. It provided a faster path to acquiring a green card than the decades-long wait for employment-based green cards.

“The main claim is that the government forgot to read its own statute and created a lapse in the program where none should have occurred,” said Jonathan Wasden, partner at Wasden Banias, who is representing the plaintiffs.

The EB-5 program lays out a step-by-step process for getting a green card. Initially, investors are allowed conditional permanent residence for themselves, their spouses, and their children under the age of 21.

Following two years of having the conditional green card, they must apply for the requirements to be lifted. If they are granted, they will be given a green card and will be able to live and work in the United States permanently.

In summary, instead of a decades-long wait for an employment-linked green card, Indian nationals can receive one through the EB-5 method in about ten years. Applicants who have made the necessary investments and had their Form I-526 (for a conditional green card) granted have laid forth their case in the court complaint.

One of them, an Indian national, has invested $500,000 in a new business enterprise in the United States via an authorized regional centre, for example. On February 9, 2019, the USCIS granted his visa application. On March 19, 2021, he applied for modification of status to lawful permanent resident. His pending application has been denied by the USCIS.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

Read all the Latest News here. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

Subscribe to get the latest news and updates.

No Spam, we promise.

1 comment

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular

Most discussed


Book your appoinment today!