There are oodles of nations around the world and sometimes their immigration policies are either good examples for the U.S., or otherwise helpful to America.
Today we offer one example of each, with India playing a direct role in one, and an indirect role in the other.
The first one we have in mind is a new rule in India. Although it was presumably designed to increase taxes for the Indian government, it will also tend to limit one small segment of Indian migration to the United States.
What the Indian Central Bank has done, according to a news site that serves the U.S. EB-5 industry is to levy a substantial tax on EB-5 investments made by Indian nationals in an effort to secure green cards in this country. The tax rate for this used be 5 percent. It is now a nominal 20 percent rate, but in reality, a 25 percent tax as explained below. Thus an $800,000 EB-5 stake will now cost the investor $1 million; presumably that will tend to discourage such investments that result, for the States, in a needless if small flow of migrants.
I follow EB-5 matters closely, and I have never heard of a nation with such a tax.
Often in immigration matters things are defined in such a way as to achieve a desired result while camouflaging the reality. In the U.S., the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program redefines alumni as "students" so that employers do not have to shoulder payroll taxes; employers are given a bonus to hire alien rather than citizen workers.
In the new, higher tax on EB-5 investments, 25 percent is defined as 20 percent, presumably to make the new rate more acceptable. In a hard-to-believe math sleight-of-hand, we see this in the EB-5 publication:
According to Utsav R. Doshi, managing partner at R K Doshi & Co LLP, the proposed rule means that “one will have to make available an amount equivalent to $1,000,000 in order to enable a net-wire of $800,000. Articles written on this subject recently have stated that a sum of $160,000 will be deducted on $800,000. This is wrong,” says Doshi.
“The deduction is always on a ‘gross-up’ basis. Hence, you need to make available [the Indian rupees] equivalent of US$1,000,000 in order to effectuate the net wire,” he elaborates.
Speaking of former foreign students, in the United Kingdom there is another development, which presents a possible useful precedent for our policy-makers. The British government, according to the home secretary, is contemplating the termination of its version of our OPT program; it is called the “graduate visa”, a more honest name than our Optional Practical Training.
Under this UK program, alien grads of a British institution, including, according to the home secretary, those who have attended “less respectable universities” get two years to work, or to look for work. No job offer is needed to get the visas. I cannot tell from here whether the graduate visa contains a tax subsidy for employers, as our OPT does.
Critics of the UK scheme call it a “backdoor to immigration”.
The indirect connections of the Brit program to India are dual. First, the largest portion of users (41 percent) of the program are from that country. Secondly, the Home Office secretary making the suggestion is Suella Braverman, a descendant of Indian immigrants (like her boss, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak).