Q&A: What is Eb5 visa?

Given the hype in the media over potential changes to American visa and immigration regulations, EB5 is being touted by immigration consultants and an “easy” way to get an American Green Card.

Let us start with the Official: USCIS Link EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they:

– Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and

 

– Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

The following link to GaramChai.com Eb5 visa section has a more detailed description and analysis of the EB5 program

EB5 is an American “investor” visa. The EB-5 visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area – high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S.

Assuming you are a high-net worth individual who can afford to invest US$ 0.5 to 1 million, it is still worth heeding the Investor Alert: Investment Scams Exploit Immigrant Investor Program (USCIS and SEC caution investors)

If your investment through EB-5 turns out to be in a fraudulent securities offering, you may lose both your money and your path to lawful permanent residency in the United States. Carefully vet any EB-5 offering before investing your money and your hope of becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Return to India : Articles and blogs on returning NRIs

Indians settled overseas frequently muse about “Returning to India.” Even the Indian media frequently runs articles about NRI returnees and their saga.

Here are a couple of articles are making the rounds among digerati.


You may also be interested in GaramChai.com Return to India Section

Nupur Dave, a Technical Program Manager, Google For Work posts an interesting article on LinkedinPulse, titled “Why I Moved Back To India after 10+ Years in USA”

I am, what they call, a US Return. After more than a decade living in the United States, I moved back to India for good.

When I announced I was moving back to India permanently, some of the responses I was given were
* “Are you SURE?”
*”Let’s see how long you last”.
* “I am happy to see you walk the talk”
*”OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG”
* and the insipid “Ok cool”
But why did i move back? Wasn’t it a normal, successful and happy life in the United States?
Yes, but on paper.
I had a job: I worked for Google, consistently rated #1 company to work for. I had status: active in the Indian Googler network, organizing events for thousands of Indian Googlers.

Another post by Mohan, who also contributes to GaramChai takes a more nuanced view of his experience returning to India in this blog “Return to India Musings: when a home becomes a golden egg”

The first thing that hits one after landing back from a stint abroad is the abundance of people. This mass of humanity is visible right outside the exit gates of the swanky Bangalore international airport and carries through on the ride out on the highway where the airport traffic merges with commuters and is magnified as one approaches Hebbal flyover into the city.

After making annual trips back to my hometown from my adopted homeland in America, I recently took a conscious decision to spend an extended period of time in Bangalore. My family story is not atypical of that of scores of other NRIs – aging parents unable to manage on their own due to flailing health, yearning for their offspring’s to be around. Rather than contributing to the emerging market of “old age” homes in India by coaxing my parents to spend their sunset years in one such institution, I thought spending quality time with them was more valuable. Thus my wife, son and I find ourselves back in the bedroom in a home where I spent college years.

NRI’s date with politics: Non Resident Indians participating in politics

An interesting question came up online “How can I participate in Indian politics being an NRI?” The question prompted us to research on this topic further.

Many Indian-Citizen NRIs participate indirectly in Indian politics by the use of social media. Some NRIs actively participate on overseas chapters of political organizations like Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and others.

Some NRIs are also known to travel to their Indian “home-town” to actively participate in elections and to vote.

Image result for oci indian

A times of India article features “NRI’s date with politics”

But what makes Indians living abroad to be a part of political process in India? The people of Indian heritage living across the world have a mix of characteristics: some are foreign citizens, while others are Indian citizens (NRIs). Some have nominal relationship with India, their ancestors having left Indian shores generations back, while others belong to the pool of a mobile population having active stay and ties in India. Majority of NRIs living abroad find new roots in adopted lands, raise families, work and pay taxes and enjoy the facilities and privileges as much as locals do. But there is something that makes them yearn for India! They may continue to live offshore, yet their heart lies in India. In other words, you cannot take India out of their hearts. Aligning with a charitable work is one of the common things NRIs do to give back to India. Increasingly, political participation has also become a tool for many to contribute to their motherland even while sitting afar.

Over the years, the political parties of India have also reached out to the Indians settled abroad. This has culminated in Indian parties having their foreign extensions. Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) is the most obvious case in point. Its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also has overseas presence. The global front rechristened as Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS)- has presence in several countries. The HSS provides a platform for cultural nourishment to the Indians (Hindus) far away from their land and also conduct ‘sakhsas’.

The current year marks 25 years of existence of HSS in the USA. Similarly, OFBJP has chapters in more than 15 countries, with most active presence in the USA, the UK and Canada. Behind successful organisation of political rallies for BJP’s Narendra Modi were the combined efforts of the HSS and the OFBJP. The significance of overseas chapters can be gazed from the fact that BJP has in place a full time global convener whose job is to actively work on the overseas chapters. But the most amazing story of an Indian political movement galvanising the Indian diaspora across the world is exemplified by none other than the nascent political party called Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Many Indians Oversea  (OCIs) actively participate in the politics of their host nations, especially after they attain citizenship of their host countries.

NEET 2017 FAQ for NRI, OCI, and foreign national aspirants

Here is a recent announcement from India’s  Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) regarding NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CUM ENTRANCE TEST (NEET)

As per regulations framed under the Indian Medical Council Act-1956 as amended in 2016 and the Dentists Act-1948 as amended in 2016, NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CUM ENTRANCE TEST (UG) – 2017 [NEET(UG)-2017] will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), for admission to MBBS/BDS Courses in India in Medical/Dental Colleges run with the approval of Medical Council of India/Dental Council of India under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India except for the institutions established through an Act of Parliament e.g. AIIMS and JIPMER Puducherry.

The NEET (UG)-2017 will be conducted on Sunday, the 7th May, 2017. The responsibility of the CBSE is limited to the conduct of the entrance examination, declaration of result and providing All India Rank to the Directorate General Health Services, Government of India for the conduct of counselling for 15% All India Quota Seats and for supplying the result to state/other Counselling Authorities.

A lot of students go abroad to study medicine. Those who have studied medicine in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are exempted from the screening test. (Representational image)
Googled Image of Test takers

 

This year foreign national aspirants need to take NEET, according to Supreme Court orders passed last year. Here are some key points that Non-Resident Indians (NRI), Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and foreign nationals need to keep in mind before applying for NEET 2017.

A few additional clarifications for NRIs and Foreign nationals

What is the minimum qualification for appearing in NEET-UG, 2017 for candidates of Foreign Nationals?

  • Any examination which in scope and standard (Last 02 years of 10+2 Study comprising of Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Bio-technology; Which shall include practical test in these subjects) is found to be equivalent to the Intermediate Science Examination of an Indian University/Board, taking Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Bio-technology including practical tests in each of these subjects and English.
  • Provided that to be eligible for competitive entrance examination, candidate must have passed any of the qualifying examinations as enumerated in Bulletin or appearing in the qualifying examination in 2017.
  • Provided further that the students educated abroad seeking admission into medical colleges in India must have passed in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Bio-technology and English up to the 12th standard level with 50% marks and their equivalency determined as per regulations of the Medical Council of India and the concerned University.

 

What are the eligibility criteria for appearing in NEET-UG, 2017?

Indian Nationals, Non Resident Indians (NRIs), Oversees Citizen of India (OCIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) & Foreign Nationals are eligible to appear in NEET (UG)-2017.

  • He/she has completed age of 17 years at the time of admission or will complete the age on or before 31st December of the year of his/her admission to the 1styear MBBS/BDS Course.
  • The upper age limit for NEET-UG is 25 years as on the date of examination with relaxation of 5 years for the candidates belonging to SC/ST/ OBC category.

Who can appear in NEET-UG, 2017 for 15% All India Quota seats?

  • Indian Nationals
  • Non Resident Indians (NRIs)
  • Oversees Citizen of India (OCIs)
  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)
  • Foreign Nationals are eligible to appear in NEET (UG)-2017 for 15% All India Quota Seats.

From which city foreign nationals, OCIs & PIOs can appear in NEET-UG, 2017?

They can choose any three cities as given in Appendix-II.


Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017: Musings and Pictorial Observations

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is a major annual event orchestrated by the Indian Government’s Ministry of External Affairs “to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.” It is a way for Indian government to show its global diaspora – that remitted nearly $68 billion to motherland – that it cares.

As an Indian-American with an OCI who has lived and worked in a dozen countries, I had read about the event held in the years past. This year I happen to be in Bangalore, and had an opportunity to attend the event and to see firsthand the Rock Star status Mr. Narendra Modi commands even among the Indian diaspora.

Getting there to BIEC: Navigating Bangalore Traffic on an Ola using Digital App. Most NRIs would dread driving on Indian roads!

A warm, Desi cultural welcome to the delegates

The Black Cat NSG commandos awaiting the arrival of VVIPs

Settling in with a Selfie before Mr. Modi Speaks!

Prime Minister Modi “Whether knowledge, time or money, we welcome your contributions that strengthen India’s partnership with overseas community”  Other Modi bytes :

  • “We don’t see the colour of the passport, our relationship is based on blood.”
  • “Earlier there used to be talk of ‘brain drain’. With your help, we want to turn that drain into ‘brain gain’.”
  • “There are over 30 million Indians living abroad. They are respected not just for their strength in numbers, but for the contributions they make to India and the country they live in.”

A lot of food for thought ….. and some good food too (catered by #TajBangalore)

A few heads Nodding off at a session after lunch. The NRI/OCI diaspora is diverse and varied. Not surprisingly, their issues too are varied and wide ranging. The techie from Houston can’t relate to the issues of the migrant workers in Saudi Arabia or the Girmityas in Mauritius or Fiji. … but the officials at PBD took pains to show they care!

A fellow OCI asks the Minister a question on an issue close to her heart!

A global event in Bangalore wouldn’t be complete without techies showcasing their digital Apps. Mr. Modi quipped “….And Sorry, did I mention our well known Information Technology Professionals?”


Pictures and narrative by Mohan K


Other links on the event