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More Indians Are Migrating – Where Are They Going in 2023?

posted 1 year ago

ARE AFFLUENT INDIANS LEAVING INDIA IN RECORD NUMBERS THIS YEAR?

The number of affluent Indians migrating overseas in 2022 has been increasing rapidly. Derived from surveys and various sources in 2022, it is predicted that the annual rate of high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) leaving India may double this year from the 4,000 per year pre-COVID to 8,000.

WHY ARE HNWI LEAVING INDIA?

They are departing because of three main reasons. Firstly, they see the country’s tax regime as severe. Secondly, they seek overseas passports with greater travel mobility.

Third is the higher standard of living in some countries, including better education and health care, more reliable infrastructure, cleaner air, and a batter all-round lifestyle.

WHERE ARE THEY GOING? 

The pattern of destinations has changed significantly over the last few years. We can talk about three groups of countries.

WHAT ARE THE TRADITIONAL DESTINATIONS FOR INDIAN MIGRANTS?

The first group is made up of the more traditional destinations, which have been popular for  decades.  This includes the United States, the United KingdomFrance, the UAE, SingaporeCanada, and Australia. However, most of these have made migration more difficult and more expensive in recent years. 

IS IT WORTH MOVING TO THE USA AS AN INDIAN NATIONAL?

The United States is still a major draw, but direct migration is dwindling due to US restrictions. However, there are still pathways available.  

WHAT IS AN EB-2 VISA TO THE UNITED STATES?

With the emergence of young entrepreneurs in India the exploration of global business and investment opportunities abroad have generated interest. 

One option is the EB-2 Visa. It requires an investment of USD 300,000 and grants “unconditional Green Card” status (the right to permanent residency in the United States).  

There are, though, a number of conditions. You must be an entrepreneur with a business idea that has “substantial merit,” is of “national importance,” and will be “beneficial to the U.S.”

WHAT OTHER REQUIREMENTS ARE THERE FOR AN EB-2 VISA FOR THE UNITED STATES?

You must also have at least a Bachelor’s degree and five years or more of relevant work experience, including management experience. You must then allocate the funds in specific ways and hire an approved incubator. This is followed by several more requirements.

CAN I GO FROM GRENADA TO THE UNITED STATES?

Another pathway considered by Indian nationals is through Grenadian citizenship. Grenada has held an E-2 Visa treaty with the United States therefore you can acquire Grenada citizenship then move to the United States through the E-2 investor visa program

After five years of legal residency, you can, under certain conditions, apply for permanent residency and citizenship in the US.

HOW DO I GAIN CITIZENSHIP OF GRENADA?

To gain Grenadian citizenship, there are two options. First is a donation to the government of at least USD 150,000 to USD 200,000, the amount depending on whether it is a single applicant or a family of up to four. You will need to donate additional money if there are more than four people.  

The second option is a real estate investment, either by direct purchase (a minimum of USD 350,000) or by the purchase of a share in an approved real estate project (minimum value USD220,000).  

ARE THERE OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR A GRENADIAN PASSPORT?

The advantage of this route is that there are no management, education, or even residency requirements by Grenada and the processing usually takes only four to eight months.   

HOW CAN I APPLY TO LIVE IN THE USA ONCE I HAVE GRENADIAN CITIZENSHIP?

With Grenadian citizenship, you can then apply for you and your family to live, work, and study in the United States under an E-2 Visa. This requires an investment of USD250,000-300,000.  

DOES THIS PATH HAVE THE SAME REQUIREMENTS TO LIVE IN THE USA?

Through the Grenada Citizenship pathway, there are no education, career, or even language requirements.

There is also more flexibility in how you invest – it can be building a new business, buying a franchise, or buying an existing business.  

Provided you create at least two jobs in the United States, there are no requirements in terms of allocation of funds, incubators, businesses of substantial benefit to the US, and similar limitations.  

DOES AN E-2 VISA GRANT ME AND MY FAMILY THE RIGHT TO LIVE, WORK, AND STUDY IN THE USA?

To be clear, the E-2 Visa is explicitly a Non-Immigrant Visa (it is not a Green Card).  It gives the right to live, work and study for up to five years. You can renew the visa at that time.  

There are also pathways, after the initial granting of the visa, to apply for permanent residency (a “Green Card”) and citizenship.  

WHO CAN I ASK WITH QUESTIONS ON LEAVING INDIA? WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON MIGRATING FROM INDIA?

This field is complex. We recommend you get professional advice. In the United States, only qualified lawyers are legally able to give such advice.  

Harvey Law Group is an international law firm with more than 20 offices and 30 years’ experience in the immigration field. You can contact their Mumbai office by emailing  [email protected]. Or you can see more information at https://harveylawcorporation.com/citizenship-and-residency-programmes/

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