Did the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Get a Green Card via EB-5?

By David North on May 10, 2022

A recent opinion article in the New York Times noted that the UK’s chancellor of the Exchequer (their secretary of the Treasury) held an American green card until a few months ago. This was widely seen in the British media as a conflict of interest.

He is Rishi Sunak, a Tory MP, a native of the UK, once viewed as a possible successor to the troubled Boris Johnson, and son-in-law of the founder of the massive Infosys empire, which is one of the largest users of H-1Bs in the States. At the same time, Sunak’s wife, whom the British press says is richer than the Queen, was revealed to have non-domicile status (she was born in India), which gives her a huge tax break in the UK, even as she lived in a government-funded flat on Downing Street. So Sunak is in trouble in the UK on both counts.

My question is: Given the huge backlog in U.S. immigrant visas for people from India, how did he get his green card? He was in the U.S. during most of the first 10 years of this century as a Goldman Sachs employee, as a Fulbright student at Stanford, and as a venture capitalist.

He did not get his green card through his parents or through his marriage, so how did he get the permanent resident alien status that created a storm of comments in the UK?

I have not seen the question raised in either the UK or American press — nor have I seen the answer — but given what we can gather from old State Department Visa Bulletins, he probably was an EB-5 investor. In those days, it cost only $500,000 and there was no backlog for aliens from the UK.

Alternatively, and much less likely, he might have been able to pull some strings and get his green card through the EB-1 route for outstanding people, as one Melania Knavs did around this time.

Since the EB-5 industry in the U.S. may not want to identify with him, and he may not want to reveal his own migration situation, we may never have the real answer.