U.S. President Donald Trump, center, pauses as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, applaud during a joint session of Congress in Washington. (Photographer: Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via Bloomberg)

Reform Or Eliminate EB-5 Investors Visas Programme: Trump Administration To Congress

The Trump administration has urged the U.S. Congress to either reform or eliminate the EB-5 investor visa programme, which provides green cards to foreigners investing at least $1 million in the U.S. and creating at least 10 permanent full-time jobs.

Top American lawmakers have been opposing the EB-5 visa amid cases of fraud and misuse of this one-of-its kind investors visa programme.

"The EB-5 regional center programme, which is set to expire on September 30 of this year, is in dire need of reforms to better protect U.S. investors, businesses and communities against fraud, abuse, and mismanagement," L Francis Cissna, Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing this week.

More importantly, reforms are needed to protect against national security risks that allow foreign nationals to invest for the purpose of laundering money or conducting espionage against us.
L Francis Cissna, Director, U.S. CIS 

Also read: Every Tech Billionaire in India Takes Hit From Trump Visa Reform

EB-5 investor visa programme allocates up to 10,000 visas annually to foreign nationals, with a per-country cap of seven percent.

While India is the third highest filer of EB-5 visa applications after China and Vietnam, the majority of fraud and complaints of misuse have been coming from China.

Last year, 500 EB-5 petitions were filed by Indians, and this year 700 are expected to be filed.

The rate of rejection of applications for Indians under EB-5 stands at around 20 percent, while the general denial rate is 10 percent because of issues related to documentation and source of funds.