US President Donald Trump has been all about clamping down on workers stealing away jobs from the Americans. With the future of the H1-B visa programme treading the troubled waters, an American investment-facilitating firm has now come targeting wealthy Indians with the EB5 visa, popularly known as the "Golden Visa", that promises a faster route to US citizenship.

An American firm - the US Immigration Fund (USIF), which expanded its India operations last year, is now going after the affluent who have the means to invest half a million dollars or more in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) -- creating 10 or more jobs -- under the EB5 visa programme.

The 'golden visa' which is quite popular with the Chinese nationals, has seen a steady peak in interest among the Indians since US President Trump's call for stricter norms for issuance of H1-B visas, which is mostly availed by Indian IT firms

"With the H1-B environment becoming tougher and tougher, demand for EB5 has gone up," Andrew Graves, USIF's Director of Business Development in India, told IANS. "Indians are becoming more aware of the EB5 visa programme," he said.


But here are few things you should know about the 'golden visa' programme:


* The EB5 visa programme was introduced by the US Congress in 1990  to "stimulate" the American economy according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

FBI agents inspect the offices of the California Investment Immigration Fund after serving search warrants in an investigation into an alleged USD 50 million high-end visa fraud scheme involving as many as 100 Chinese nationals in San Gabriel, California on April 5, 2017. The scheme allegedly involved the EB-5 visa program which offers foreign nationals legal residency in the United States in exchange for investments of at least USD 500,000 in US businesses that create a minimum of 10 American jobs. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON

* It allows an individual to invest $500,000 in either in a high unemployment area in a US city or a rural town outside of a metro -- or $1 million in a non-TEA area to create 10 or more jobs.

* The most popular aspect with the golden visa programme is that it promises to give US citizenship in a shorter time compared to the H1-B visa programme. Under the visa rules, roughly 10,000 EB-5 visas can be authorised in a year.

* The golden visa programme is found quite some popularity with Indians graduating from US universities.

* One of the main advantages is the citizenship guarantee it offers. An H1-B visa holder may have to leave the country if he/she is fired from a job, along with family. But the golden visa ensure that the applicant can live in the US.

* The visa program has made quite negative press and is being regarded as "controversial." 

* The American press has severely been critical of the visa programme as it lets wealthy foreign investors earn a fast-track to permanent US residency.
* There has been a quite some public outcry in the US after media reports exposed the involvement of  Nicole Kushner Meyer, who is the sister of Jared, President Trump's son-in-law and adviser.There also have been reports that claimed that Jared Kushner's sister allegedly brought her influential brother's name while promoting the visa program in China.