The headline of the 31 January 2018 article in the Economic Times proclaimed ‘Investment limits for US 'Golden Visa' likely to be hiked’. The article quoted Nysa Global’s Pankaj Joshi as predicting three new levels of EB-5 investment ranging from $800K to $1,300K. Though the recent U.S. budget passed in March by Congress did not effect this change for FY2018, legislation has been written and agreed upon by both Republicans and Democrats raising the minimum investment amount to $925,000 from the current $500,000 level. So now it’s no longer a matter of ‘what’ but ‘when’.
Frankly, politically the increase is long overdue as it hasn’t been changed since the program started in 1990 while other immigration investment programs worldwide far exceed the U.S. number in terms of minimum investment. Suffice it say that while complicated in process, the U.S. program is the best deal going. Especially considering the educational, employment, and lifestyle advantages vis-à- vis toher countries.
One aspect that was not addressed in the proposed legislation was the shortage of visas to be issued annually through the program. The program is currently limited to 10,000 visas per year and only 7% (700) from any one country. When a country exceeds its quota it must draw from a pool of those visas unused by other countries. Until date this criterion has only affected applicants from China where the waiting period is now predicted at 8-10 years due to a backlog of over 25,000 applicants and their families. However, it is anticipated that Vietnam will join the list in spring of 2018. India is not far behind having grown from 86 applicants in 2013 to 354 in 2016…an annual growth rate of 68%...from 2015 (239) to 2016 (354) alone the growth rate was 48%.
So the law of supply and demand is definitely at play here. As demand rises supply decreases and price goes up. If the American dream is in your plans, it’s vital to be on the front end of the curve.