Trump Admin. proposes the elimination of another visa

After its attempts to put stricter rules and create lower caps for the H-1B and H-4 visa, now the Trump administration has turned its focus towards the EB-5 visa, in an attempt to scrap the program that provides legal resident permits through a green card to the foreign investors.

The government under the directions of Trump is putting pressure on the US Congress to reform or even eliminate the EB-5 visa program, amid increasing reports of misuse and fraud from foreign nationals through this program.

According to the Director of the US citizenship and Immigration Services Francis Cissna, 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 US investors, businesses and communities against fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.

“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,” Cissna told to lawmakers past week.

The top American lawmakers have also opposed the EB-5 investor visa program because of the reports of foreign citizens abusing with it. A number or 10 thousand EB-5 visas are allocated every year for foreign nationals who are ready to invest a minimum of 500 thousand dollars, and create a minimum of ten permanent jobs.

Reports show that Indian nationals are among the groups of people with most applications for this visa. 500 petitions were filed only in 2017 from Indian citizens, while another 700 is expected to be filed this year after the changes in the H-1B visa, which were highly sought by Indian nationals.

According to Cissna in the past five years alone there are indications that the programme has been used to undermine US national security with 19 cases of confirmed national security concerns.

“Some schemes have been massive, involving hundreds of millions of dollars where this – where the primary motivation of the operators may not be genuine investment, but simply making money off of the EB-5 programme,” the USCIS head said.

The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Chuck Grassley too, said that the cases of fraud and corruption have increased along with the interest of foreigners to apply for the EB-5 program. He took as an example the ex-wife of China’s third most powerful official at the government, which was found guilty for submitting false documents in an attempt to obtain EB-5 visa, as part of a scheme to escape to the US with stolen funds.

The category 5 was created by the US in 1990 in order to stimulate the economy by creating new jobs and increasing capital investment. While in 2008 there were only 25 Regional Program Centers, as of 2018, there are a total of 903 centers across America.