RBI’s Capital Curbs the Dreams of Rich Indians for Green Cards


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the government’s central bank, has reduced the amount of annual remittances from $200,000 to $75,000, which will have a significant impact on Indians looking to invest in foreign countries.

Many foreign governments allow investors permanent residency if they are able to pass a certain cash threshold.

For instance, in the United States, if a foreign investor can contribute $500,000 to a business in the country they would be granted a Green Card. Green Cards being the documentary proof of permanent residency in the United States.

Remittances are sums of money paid to remote locations and the RBI has set regulations on the amount that can be sent out of the country to control the stability of the country.
Other countries that offer permanent residency through investments include:

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  • The Bahamas, where a property purchase worth over $500,000 will also result in a grant of permanent residency
  • Australia, where investors must contribute at least five million Australian dollars to become eligible for an investor class visa. (five million Australian dollars is equivalent to 4,506,000 USD as of August 21, 2013)
  • Any property purchase in the United Arab Emirates will result in the grant of permanent residency.

A property purchase of $500,000 in the United States will not result in the grant of a Green Card. The investment must be made in a business within the country.

Immigrant investors will also need to apply for a visa the same as any other of immigrant to the United States.

The trend that has begun, and this is perhaps the goal of the RBI, is that investors are starting to look inward at the luxury property market in India instead of abroad.

However, it is not necessarily the property that generates the greatest draw to foreign investment for well-off Indians. Indeed, many investors are using the investor visas as a tool to bring their families into other countries for education or even for immigration purposes.

Regardless of the intent, the result is that it is much more difficult to remit large amounts of cash to foreign programs without the assistance of others.

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