Business

EB-5 Visa Major CanAm To Open Offices In India As Demand Jumps

With Indians expected to emerge as major applicants for the EB-5 visa to get permanent residency in the US, CanAm Investor Services, one of the leading provider of this immigration-linked investment programme, is planning to set up operations here.

The firm is expecting to raise $100 million from Indian investors seeking EB 5 visas this year — five times more than $20 million it had garnered in 2014.

The employment-based fifth preference category (EB-5) visa is meant for high networth investors to earn the Green Card which offers permanent residency in the US for themselves and their immediate family through a one-time minimum investment of $5,00,000 into a new US business that creates 10 or more jobs for the Americans.

“We are in the process of setting up operations in India and will most likely have offices in Mumbai and Delhi,” CanAm Investor Services CEO Jeff DeCicco told PTI here.

“Currently, our sales staff travel back and forth from the US,” he added.

DeCicco noted that CanAm has sees “tremendous” response from here in the last three years with the number of investors growing twofold each year from 2014.

“This year, we believe total amount coming from India into the EB-5 programme will be well over $100 million. In 2014, that number was less than $20 million,” he added.

The firm is currently receiving around 200 applications from Indians annually compared to under 30 during 2007-14. It receives EB-5 applications from young educated professionals in the 25-35 age bracket as well as many upper class parents who want their wards to settle down in the US with lucrative careers, DeCicco said.

He said the recently introduced H1B visa curbs by the Trump administration have affected many Indians who were having long term plans to stay in the US.

Accordingly, he said, “The EB5 industry is fighting to increase the number of visas available for the programme.”

At the same time, he noted that the US government is likely to hike investment cap from $5,00,000 to $8,00,000 under the programme next year.

“Raising the investment amount may slow down demand for EB-5 visas. But, we believe this will still grow dramatically in India as the programme is just beginning to gain in popularity,” DeCicco said.

Till very recently, Chinese investors used to account for around 90 per cent of all participants under the EB-5 visa programme. But, with growth in India, Vietnam and other countries, that has declined to less than 70 per cent for CanAm.

Kuwait Local News

Kuwaiti caught growing ‘marijuana’ in his home

General Department of Public Relations and Security Media at Ministry of Interior, in a press release, revealed that officers from the Drugs Control General Department arrested a Kuwaiti citizen who cultivated marijuana in his house. When information about the citizen’s illicit activities was received, intensive investigations were launched during which the citizen was put under surveillance for two weeks.

After taking necessary legal measures, securitymen arrested the suspect near his house, which they raided to find a special laboratory and two greenhouses fully equipped with modern and sophisticated equipment used for agriculture. Inside each greenhouse, large number of plastic pots of different sizes and shapes planted with marijuana, estimated to be about 1,000 plants, were discovered.

In addition, large quantity of marijuana seeds and a sensitive weighing scale were also confiscated. Before he was transferred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action, the suspect had admitted to trafficking marijuana.

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Holiday Declared on Thursday on account of Islamic new year

Ministries and all government institutions nationwide will be closed on Thursday September 21 to mark the Hijri New Year’s holiday, Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission (CSC) announced Tuesday.

Meanwhile, workplaces of unconventional and special nature will determine their holidays as they see fit, a statement issued by the CSC noted

Kuwait Local News

Spread of ‘Strawberry’ pills in schools draw concern

The Ministry of Education announced it is following with great interest what is being published in social media about the spread of ‘strawberry’ pills in schools, but at the same time said no such case has yet been reported from any school, reports Al-Anba daily.

The Director of the Social and Psychological Services Department in the Ministry of Education, Faisal Al-Ustaz said all social workers, psychologists and supervisors in the educational zones, about 150 of them, will be called for a meeting to discuss many issues of concern during the current academic year.

This is in addition to putting in place a plan. The topic high on the agenda will be what has been published by the social media – the spread of strawberry pills in schools, and if so how to confront this menace. Al-Ustaz added if any such case is reported, the Ministry of Interior will be notified immediately.

Kuwait Local News

Bedoun youth arrested with drugs

A Bedoun youth was arrested in Farwaniya area in possession of narcotic pills locally known as “Lareeka” and a sachet of marijuana. According to security sources, officers of private taskforce were patrolling Farwaniya area when they suspected a Japanese-made vehicle and ordered the driver to pull over. They checked his details and discovered he is a Bedoun. After asking him to step out of the vehicle, they checked it to find narcotic pills and marijuana. He was arrested and referred with the confiscated drugs to the Drugs Control General Department for necessary legal action.

Kuwait Local News

Wanted man nabbed

A Kuwaiti citizen who was sentenced in absentia to prison for a term of three and a half months was arrested in Farwaniya area, says Al-Seyassah. According to security sources, Farwaniya securitymen were patrolling the area when they noticed a man speeding as soon as he noticed the patrol team.

When they ordered him to pull over, he ignored them and sped off, forcing securitymen to chase him. Eventually they managed to force him to stop and checked his details to discover he is a Kuwaiti citizen who was sentenced to a jail term of three and a half months. He was arrested and referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action.

Kuwait Local News

Crime doesn’t pay – Syrian acquired Kuwaiti citizenship 22 years ago

A Syrian who acquired the citizenship of Kuwait through illegal means has been arrested after his angry wife reported him to the authorities in Kuwait. The suspect who was granted the citizenship 22 years ago reportedly worked in the public sector, later got married and has children.

However, in a fit of anger his wife, last week reportedly informed the authorities that her husband is Syrian and had acquired the citizenship after forging the documents.

The DNA test confirmed the suspect is not a Kuwaiti and that he had entered the country on a Syrian passport. His fingerprints were not taken when he entered the country. The wife told the police her husband had lied to her when he proposed to marry her by claiming he was a member of a well-known Kuwaiti tribe. She went on to say, when she discovered the truth about his identity, she preferred to remain silent until he started belittling the Kuwaitis.

The wife added, she no longer could stomach the man’s insults against the Kuwaitis and decided to inform the authorities. She has reportedly said she does not mind her children also losing their nationalities as per the rules governing the revocation of forged citizenships.

Kuwait Local News

Hike in health fees violates law, say some

The decision of the Minister of Health to increase health fees for expatriates ‘is suspected of violating the law’, reports Al-Anba daily quoting legal sources.

The sources pointed out the Minister of Health may be quizzed under the dome of the National Assembly or a complaint by, what the sources called; an interested party may be filed with the judiciary to cancel the decision.

The sources added, through the judiciary, it is possible to appeal the illegality of the decision directly first as well as the unconstitutionality of the decision.

In response to a question on Law No. 79 of 1995 on fees, does it include expatriates and citizens or is it the right of the government to apply fees on expatriates what it deems fit?

According to the sources, the laws apply to everyone. The sources added that Law No. 79 of 1995 on fees and financial costs for the use of utilities and public services is clear and explicit.

Article 1 of the law states the following: It shall be permissible only by law to increase the fees and financial costs to be paid in exchange for the use of utilities and public services provided by the State at their value as on Dec 31, 1994.

Kuwait Local News

‘19 executive measures adopted to reduce ministry’s expenditure’

Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Muhammad Al-Fares was quoted as saying he adopted 19 executive measures to reduce the ministry’s expenditure in line with State policy and decisions of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

In response to parliamentary questions concerning excessive expenditure of the ministry, Al-Fares said the ministry reviews report of State Audit Bureau concerning contracting companies violating regulations and terms of contracts in order to deduct relevant fines.

Al-Fares pointed out that the ministry collects debts in coordination with the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) by asking for address of the debtor before contacting Civil Service Commission and the Public Institute for Social Security to deduct the balance due from the debtor’s indemnity.

He added relevant official bodies are also notified about the deduction of arrears from debtor’s salary and transferring the sum to the ministry’s account. He noted the ministry addresses the Government and Manpower Reconstruction Program for the same purpose before deducting and transferring debts to the ministry’s account.

He reiterated the ministry notifies the Fatwa and Legislation Department to take necessary steps to file lawsuits against debtors in case the above-stated authorities decline to act. He added the ministry implemented measures to prevent accumulation of new debts as per Decision No. 19/2016. He pointed out that strict decisions have since been taken to activate the criteria of selecting the beneficiaries of excellent performance allowance.

Kuwait Local News

Philippine Embassy sets up assistance desk

The Philippine Embassy’s Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATN) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Kuwait recently activated a Joint Assistance Desk (JAD) which responds to requests for assistance from Overseas Filipinos in Kuwait, Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa disclosed on Tuesday. “The Joint Assistance Desk (JAD) has been set up to serve Filipinos in Kuwait better and faster.

They may ask for help on Assistance to Nationals (ATN) concerns as well as labor and employment matters,” stated Villa. He explained that ATN concerns may cover assistance in criminal cases; immigration cases, detention; shipment of remains; ascertaining whereabouts; medical referrals; and repatriation.

Filipinos who wish to avail themselves of assistance on ATN concerns, may contact the following mobile numbers and email address.