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Indians Move to Golden Visa as H-1B Visas Fold

With a crackdown on the popular H-1B US visas, hundreds of wealthy immigrant Indians have begun using another program that promises to fast track their way to getting a green card. Applications from Indians for EB-5 US visas, which provides green cards to immigrants who invest a minimum of $500,000 in projects resulting in the creation of 10 new jobs in the US, have rapidly increased in recent times.

In the year ending September 2017, the US government issued as many as 174 of the US visas, a rise of almost 17% over 2016, data from the State Department has revealed. But, interest has increased further since then, with an additional 307 applications for the so-called ‘golden visas’ received from Indians by the US in October and November last year.

New York-based immigration lawyer, Neil Weinrib, told CNNMoney that demand for EB-5 US visas in India has exploded over the last year, with the spike corresponding to the US government making it more difficult to be granted an H-1B US visa, which enabled skilled overseas workers to legally work in the US.

Over 70% of H-1B US visas have gone to Indian immigrants in the last few years and the program has been the target of repeated criticism from President Donald Trump, who alleges it has been misused to flood the US with cheap foreign labor and resulted in jobs taken away from US citizens.

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