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Category Archives: Study Abroad & Planning

January 24, 2022

Study Abroad – Ten common misconceptions that students and parents have about studying & settling abroad!!

Common mistakes made by parents and students while planning for study abroad!

Here are my 10 quick tips.   (Video version)

  1. Study abroad after grade 12 only if money is not a problem!
  1. Take IELTS coaching from an institute that does not provide student visa consultancy!
  1. STUDYING ABROAD does not translate to ‘Your life is set’!
  1. Study abroad only in recognized programs at university where immigration is possible!
  1. “Post-graduate Diploma” in colleges is not a Master’s degree!
  1. After studying abroad, immigration is not automatic!
  1. There is no guarantee that you will find a job that can finance your study. Always find employment related to your education!
  1. For licensed professionals, make sure you have the right to practice in India or the right to immigrate to the country of your choice!
  1. Do your own research, consult immigration lawyers and plan your career early and for the long term!
  1. Studying abroad is NOT the only option available to settle abroad. There are several other better options available!

Are you interested in planning for your child’s foreign education and settlement in a foreign country? 

Get this ebook for FREE or you can purchase the book from Amazon or ebook from google – Click Here

A must-read book for all students who wish to study and settle abroad!

Who is Prashant Ajmera? 

Prashant Ajmera is a reputed Indian lawyer, NRI, and Canadian citizen since 1997 with more than twenty–five years of experience in the field of cross-border personal law and global investment advisory. He has assisted numerous HNIs and UHNIs in planning their finances and advised them in planning their children’s foreign education in the most economical manner.

Over the years has authored two books and a number of articles for diverse publications and has been invited as a speaker by various organizations and institutes …Read more

Mr. Ajmera is a member of the International Bar Association (IBA) and has addressed the IBA Annual Conference as a speaker on two occasions (Cancun-2001 & Durban-2002).

He is also a member of many chambers of commerce and charitable organizations.

To consult Prashant Ajmera (Lawyer, Author & Founder)  for planning your child’s foreign education either in person or via Zoom video conference click here

Legal disclaimer:

  • (i) This blog/article does not give any legal advice and does not establish a client-lawyer relationship. Information provided is for the purpose of general information only.
  • (ii) Only Indian lawyers can practice and advise on legal matters in India, including immigration and visa law. Foreign immigration lawyers cannot open offices and advice Indian citizens on immigration and visa matters.
  • (iii) Always refer to official government websites or consult an immigration lawyer for the latest information as immigration and visa laws change quite frequently.
  • (iv) Ajmera Law Group assists their client base by associating with law firms in respective jurisdictions.
  • (v) Ajmera Law Group does not give franchise or agency of their legal services.
  • (vi) We do not assist in job placement and/or finding a job in a foreign country. Please consult only licensed recruitment agencies.
  • (vii) Any citizen or company, who is not an Indian lawyer, giving legal advice related to immigration and visa matters is in violation of the Indian Advocates Act 1961.
January 1, 2022

Indian parents wait till standard 12 or bachelor degree results to take action for a child’s foreign education. It could be too late and you may be running out of options.  

Pursuant to the economic liberalization in India, wealth creation has reached unprecedented heights. From the time of independence, the Indian economic era can be divided into three main periods:

The first period from 1947 to 1993 can be described as pre-liberalized – a time when pre-liberalisation of the economic policies were in place in India.

The second period from 1993 to 2007 can be regarded as the start of economic liberalization– a time when inbound investments began in earnest in India.

The third period from 2007 to present can be described as optimum economic liberalization – a time when inbound and outbound investments to and from India were allowed.

Before the 1993 pre-economic liberalisation era, most Indians aspired to just own a decent house, a vehicle (two wheelers were good enough), good education for their children in local schools and enjoying vacations within the country. However, in the post economic liberalisation era, most Indians not only want a house with four walls but yearn for a lavishly furnished, luxurious home. Owning at least two cars, a holiday home or farm house outside the city and vacationing abroad have become must-haves for well-to-do Indian families today.

The wave of economic liberalization seen the past few years has increased the number of HNIs in India and wealth generation is at its peak. Life styles, standard of living, travel, education, weddings, savings, retirement and many other important aspects of life have changed post 2007.

Have a look at the following figures:

2007 – HNIs in India 152 ,000

2015 – HNIs in India 236,000

2018 – HNIs in India 430,000

2023 – HNIs in India 860,000

Today, Indian HNIs own a second home outside India, their children are studying in foreign universities and they spend at least one vacation abroad per year, thanks to the booming economy and increased spending power.

According to the data received from RBI the Indian HNI remittance has increased from US$ 440 million in 2007-08 to US$ 13.5 billion in 2017-18 under the LRS. This exponential increase is due to outbound investment and remittance post 2007. Now Indian HNIs are travelling abroad more frequently, for work as well as pleasure. Destination weddings in exotic international locations and sending their children out of India for undergraduate and graduate studies is also making a sizeable contribution towards outbound investment.

According to RBI, the top spending for HNIs was on their children’s education – around US$ 4 billion, followed by foreign travel and gifts to family.

As the data shows, spending for children’s education abroad is on top of the list for Indian HNIs. Today not only HNIs but even middle class parents aspire to send their children abroad to study. Several surveys show that Asian parents give top priority to their children’s education and are particularly keen that they study abroad. This is probably due to the fact that the approach and attitude towards education in Western countries is very different compared to that in Asian countries.

The number of Indian students studying abroad has increased many-fold in the past decade. As per UNESCO data, by August 2018, over 400,000 Indian students were studying abroad. This makes India the second largest source of international students after China.

However, the past migration history of India and the affluence of the Indian diaspora in foreign countries prompts most Indians parents to presume that if their child gets a foreign education, he/she will be able to settle in that country permanently. They equate studying abroad with settling abroad. They feel that once their child goes abroad, they will be able to make a good life for themselves and settle comfortably.

In order to secure their child’s future in a foreign country, Indian parents spend obscene amounts of money or take loans that often take a lifetime to pay and somehow send their children abroad to study. Their hope is that their child will obtain residency, land up with a lucrative job and have a successful career.

We must not forget that just like India, there are many countries around the world who send their youth to study in countries such as USA, Canada, Australia, UK and New Zealand.

This has increased the number of foreign students applying for immigration in the aforementioned countries. Hence the queue and waiting period for obtaining immigration is getting longer and longer.

Let us take an example of an Indian student studying in USA. If this student started studying in the Master’s program in the year 2002, he is likely to have completed it by 2004. Like most students, he would have converted his status from F1 student visa to H1B work permit visa. He would have worked for six years on this visa assuming that the company he worked for continued to hire his services. Hence until 2010 he would be working on a H1B visa.

Let us assume that this student applied for a Green Card in 2010 under one for the following categories – EB1, EB2 and EB3 and received approval for his I-140 petition. As each of the categories has a quota of 40,000 Green Cards per year, and as the number of foreign students applying for a Green Card in these categories is very high, it takes several years to receive this much coveted card.

As per USA Government official website, petitions received/ approved until January 2015 are being issued a Green Card under the EB1 category. Petitions approved/received until July 2009 are being issued a Green Card under the EB2 and EB3 categories. Hence our student has to wait for at least another 4 years for a Green Card under the EB1 category and another 10 years under the EB2 and EB3 categories, assuming that rules do not change and processing time remains more or less the same.

There are many Indian students in USA who were trying to obtain a Green Card since the last 12-15 years after completing their studies. When their wealthy Indian parents realized that their children cannot obtain residency after the study program, they tried to intervene by investing money on behalf of the children in programs such as EB-5 Investor visa of USA to secure a Green Card for their child.

Other popular destinations for study abroad are Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Thanks to thousands of student visa consultants and agents, Canada has the highest number of Indian international students. Unfortunately due to bad advice given by local agents, who are motivated by the hefty commissions they receive from foreign education institutes, a good number of students receive a shock of their life when they realize that the course they have been enrolled into is not a Master’s program but a college diploma or certificate course. Also, the institution they are going to study in is not a recognized university but a community college. There are innumerable horror stories faced by parents and their children because of their desperation to go abroad.

Most Indian parents, whose children are ready to study abroad, fail to realize that circumstances that existed a few years ago to settle abroad are not applicable in 2020. Immigration laws and regulations change from time to time and from country to country. Unless parents plan early, sending their children abroad to study will only result in spending exorbitant amounts of money without any net gain, which is permanent settlement in that country.

There are also good number of Indian students who had gone abroad to study but were forced to return back to India because they could not get employment related to their education nor could obtain residency/permanent immigration of the country where they studied. This has led to frustration, disappointment and careers of many bright students being destroyed due to short-sightedness and lack of knowledge.

When our law firm is approached by such parents, we cannot find a viable solution for them in many cases as the child who has gone abroad for study is way past the legal age to be included in an immigration application with his/her parents under the investor class. Parents and children undertake thorough research and seek legal advice from an experienced immigration lawyer to explore the possibility of immigration after study before going abroad.

Though a new concept for Indian HNIs, their counterparts in other countries such as China, Taiwan and Korea have resorted to obtaining residency and citizenship by the investment of various countries round the world to secure their children’s education in foreign jurisdictions, giving their children a jump start in their career when they finish their education.

The most important advantage of obtaining residency and citizenship by investment is that the investor’s children can enjoy reduced tuition fees at the majority of top universities. Tuition fees for permanent residents and citizens are significantly lower, reduced by almost 60%-80%, in most foreign universities as compared to those paid by international students.

In many cases, the amount to be invested by an investor in a particular country is just a little higher than the tuition fees he/she would pay in international student fees, especially if the investor has two or more children.

Making investments in risk-free but unconventional products in many countries of the world can help wealthy Indians to secure the foreign education and career of their children. There are excellent opportunities available for investing in countries such as USA, Canada, UK, some European countries and the Caribbean islands which guarantee subsidized education for children of investors.

In keeping with the changing trends, Indian parents can invest for a second passport or residency of a foreign country to ensure theirs and their children’s future before it’s too late.

Countries that offer Residency and/or Citizenship by Investment:

Residency to Citizenship:

USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand

Direct Citizenship:

Caribbean Islands –> St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica

Residency: Europe

Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Latvia, Turkey

Citizenship: Europe

Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria, Moldova

To know more about the subject and planning for your child’s foreign education get our e-book 

January 1, 2022

Common mistakes made by parents and students while planning for study abroad!

Here are my 10 quick tips.   (Video version)

  1. Study abroad after grade 12 only if money is not a problem!
  1. Take IELTS coaching from an institute that does not provide student visa consultancy!
  1. STUDYING ABROAD does not translate to ‘Your life is set’!
  1. Study abroad only in recognized programs at university where immigration is possible!
  1. “Post-graduate Diploma” in colleges is not a Master’s degree!
  1. After studying abroad, immigration is not automatic!
  1. There is no guarantee that you will find a job that can finance your study. Always find employment related to your education!
  1. For licensed professionals, make sure you have the right to practice in India or the right to immigrate to the country of your choice!
  1. Do your own research, consult immigration lawyers and plan your career early and for the long term!
  1. Studying abroad is NOT the only option available to settle abroad. There are several other better options available!

Are you interested in planning for your child’s foreign education and settlement in a foreign country? 

Get this ebook for FREE or you can purchase the book from Amazon or ebook from google – Click Here

 

 

How to Plan for your Child's Foreign Education in 2020
A must-read book for all students who wish to study and settle abroad!

Who is Prashant Ajmera? 

Prashant Ajmera is a reputed Indian lawyer, NRI, and Canadian citizen since 1997 with more than twenty–five years of experience in the field of cross-border personal law and global investment advisory. He has assisted numerous HNIs and UHNIs in planning their finances and advised them in planning their children’s foreign education in the most economical manner.

Over the years has authored two books and a number of articles for diverse publications and has been invited as a speaker by various organizations and institutes …Read more

Mr. Ajmera is a member of the International Bar Association (IBA) and has addressed the IBA Annual Conference as a speaker on two occasions (Cancun-2001 & Durban-2002).

He is also a member of many chambers of commerce and charitable organizations.

To consult Prashant Ajmera (Lawyer, Author & Founder)  for planning your child’s foreign education either in person or via Zoom video conference click here

November 7, 2021

International Student Crisis: Funeral home sending an alarming number of bodies back to India!

October 21, 2021 (Yahoo News) 

The lotus is a symbol that looms large in India’s mythology.

The soft pink petals of the flower join knowledge, prosperity and compassion together in spiritual harmony. In life, and beyond, the lotus represents the attainment of bliss.

The Lotus Funeral Home and Cremation Centre is an unassuming building, located incongruously in an industrial area near the border between Toronto and Peel.

A small peaked porch at the front of a squarish concrete structure marks the entrance grieving families walk through. The rest of the building stretches back to a parking lot at the rear and it shares its street with a shipping company, furniture warehouse and an industrial equipment supplier.

For family members in India who receive the bodies of their loved ones from the Lotus Funeral Home half-way round the world, the symbolism is a tragic reminder of a promising life cut short.

Lotus is where more and more young people from the world’s largest democracy are laid to rest. Their bodies are prepared there for a journey back home, from where they left on their adventure to study abroad, carrying the weight of so many expectations.

The funeral home is tasked with arranging the transportation of deceased Indian nationals, students who came to Canada among the waves of like minded seekers searching for a better life.

As Brampton grapples with an international student crisis, where too many youngsters fall through the cracks—some into a life of crime, lured by prostitution or the drug trade, others simply crushed by isolation and lonliness—increasing numbers of flights are carrying the bodies of young Indian men and women as part of their cargo.

“We’re finding that the number of student deaths has increased, not only in Brampton but across Canada. We see it across Canada,” Kamal Bhardwaj, the owner of Lotus Funeral Home and Cremation Centre, told The Pointer. “We have relationships with the Indian consulate, so when an international student passes away, then we’re notified, then we have to [help] out the families, usually bring their bodies back to India.”

In the past two weeks alone, Bhardwaj and his staff have sent the bodies of five students home. He says he sends them home at least on a monthly basis.

International students, many of whom live in Brampton, face a daunting task settling in Canada. A large number come from South Asia, where some families have liquidated assets and saved for decades to send one child to North America for an education, and eventual immigration… they hope. In the 2016-2017 academic year, there were 35,403 international students from India studying at colleges and universities in the country, according to Statistics Canada.

“In order to afford that, when you do the financial transaction, you’re looking at mortgaging the farm at home,” Gurpreet Malhotra, the CEO of Indus – Community Services, previously told The Pointer. “Family puts everything they’ve got into borrowing money to get you into Canada.”

The amount of money spent by international students in Canada has exploded over the last decade. According to the federal government, they spent $6.5 billion in 2008, and by 2018, the number had reached $21.6 billion, more than tripling in a decade as many of these unsuspecting students became the focus of a post-secondary system that now views them as a cash cow.

Governments have been all too happy to relieve their financial pressures by expanding international student admissions to significantly increase revenues.

The pressure on students is immense, as are the costs. They are often unable to return home for a host of reasons, including the crippling family shame that would accompany failure, and are limited to just 20 hours per week of work to support themselves here. Many are still developing a full grasp of the language and others come from places like rural Punjab, with no experience of life in big Canadian cities.

Some are lured into the world of organized crime and drug trafficking.

While international students, often not even out of their teens, struggle to navigate a new system, private and public colleges benefit handsomely. For Canada’s post-secondary education institutions, these young people and their desperate families represent a critical source of revenue.

The sector began to shift toward attracting more international students in 2008. Young adults coming to Canada from abroad can pay as much as four times the tuition fees their domestic classmates pay.

Over the past ten years, revenue from student fees has increased by 218 percent in Canada, with a $3.25 billion increase in the Canadian international education market over roughly the same period. The average tuition fee for domestic students is $6,822 compared to $27,613 for international students.

This outsized reliance on income from international students is shown in Sheridan College’s most recent annual report. According to the institution, 62 percent of its revenue comes from tuition fees and 56 percent of tuition fees are paid by international students.

International students accept the cost, at least in part, because graduation is portrayed by education agents in India as a path to permanent residency. An industry of private and relatively unregulated colleges has developed in Canada, selling degrees and diplomas as a path toward a permanent home in Canada.

“I can give you a painful example of a student who was acting out at the corner of Steeles and McLaughlin,” Baldev Mutta, the CEO of Punjabi Community Health Services, told Brampton councillors in September. “Somebody called us. We rushed over to find out. And, when we calmed this young man down, he said, ‘I need to get arrested because I have not eaten for a while and I have no place to sleep. At least if the police arrest me, I know they are going to feed me’.”

In a foreign land without a support system, the consequences can be fatal. Greedy landlords cram people into houses without suitable fire protections, while human traffickers circle the students most desperately in need of money.

Go Fund Me, a crowdfunding website, acts as a tragic obituary.

“His family wishes to see him one last time, but they cannot bear the costs of coming to Canada or of the funeral,” one appeal, to send the body of a 21-year-old student back to India, says. Another 23-year-old passed away in a truck fire after three years in Canada away from his family, and another died after drowning.

“They wanted their daughter to have a very good education and lead a better life and contribute to the betterment of others’ lives, and she came to Canada as an international student on an education loan,” one page explains. “They also expected her to support her younger sister for her education and career in the upcoming years. Now the family has lost their light in life, in a tragic accident.”

There are multiple factors that can lead to the death of an international student. From exorbitant rents and inadequate housing to a lack of emergency food support. Poor connections between the international student community and mental health services also leave many isolated without anyplace to turn. Colleges and private “career” schools have been criticized for not providing proper support to the students they gladly take money from, to fund operations designed primarily for the success of domestic students.

Community leaders monitoring the plight of international students say suicide is a growing problem.

“I can’t tell you the cause of death because I am not privy to that,” Bhardwaj said. “Usually, when there is a young person involved in a death, it is investigated by the coroner’s office, now the coroner’s office doesn’t share the results with us … but I can tell you on visual observations you can see certain indications of a suicide, for example.”

The Peel Regional Police says it does not have a way to record missing persons or death by suicide under any category that identifies the individual as an international student.

“I think the magnitude of the problems are so enormous that until we can all sit down in one room and say, ‘What are some baby steps we can take to address this?’ I think it is going to keep on spiralling and we will see the aftermath of it later on,” Mutta said.

He mentioned students who had been arrested as drug mules and nine pregnant international students his organization is working to help.

Mutta and Malhotra are leading community efforts to address the international student crisis. Bhardwaj also runs a charity that specializes in mentoring and peer-supporting international students before and after they arrive in Canada.

The solutions — which lie in the hands of all three levels of government — can’t come soon enough.

The difficulty faced by international students in Brampton echoes around the world. It is felt by friends locally, community leaders and, most painfully, by parents and other loved ones thousands of miles away.

“We’re dealing with these families and this tragedy, parents don’t believe this has happened, they don’t believe it is their child, they go through a hunger strike,” Bhardwaj says. “They said, ‘No, no, no, until I see my son, I’m not going to eat anything’. And literally, these are the kind of things we see… it’s just difficult all around, it impacts everyone, even our staff.”

Their end-of-life care is supposed to comfort families that look to the lotus as a symbol of hope, that even after death their loved ones will find their bliss. For families in India, who have to receive the bodies sent by Bhardwaj, his lotus is a reminder of everything they lost.

Source: Yahoo News:

April 15, 2021

Common mistakes made by parents and students while planning for study abroad!

Here are my 10 quick tips.   (Video version)

  1. Study abroad after grade 12 only if money is not a problem!
  1. Take IELTS coaching from an institute that does not provide student visa consultancy!
  1. STUDYING ABROAD does not translate to ‘Your life is set’!
  1. Study abroad only in recognized programs at university where immigration is possible!
  1. “Post-graduate Diploma” in colleges is not a Master’s degree!
  1. After studying abroad, immigration is not automatic!
  1. There is no guarantee that you will find a job that can finance your study. Always find employment related to your education!
  1. For licensed professionals, make sure you have the right to practice in India or the right to immigrate to the country of your choice!
  1. Do your own research, consult immigration lawyers and plan your career early and for the long term!
  1. Studying abroad is NOT the only option available to settle abroad. There are several other better options available!

Are you interested in planning for your child’s foreign education and settlement in a foreign country? 

Get this ebook for FREE or you can purchase the book from Amazon or ebook from google – Click Here

 

 

How to Plan for your Child's Foreign Education in 2020
A must-read book for all students who wish to study and settle abroad!

Who is Prashant Ajmera? 

Prashant Ajmera is a reputed Indian lawyer, NRI, and Canadian citizen since 1997 with more than twenty–five years of experience in the field of cross-border personal law and global investment advisory. He has assisted numerous HNIs and UHNIs in planning their finances and advised them in planning their children’s foreign education in the most economical manner.

Over the years has authored two books and a number of articles for diverse publications and has been invited as a speaker by various organizations and institutes …Read more

Mr. Ajmera is a member of the International Bar Association (IBA) and has addressed the IBA Annual Conference as a speaker on two occasions (Cancun-2001 & Durban-2002).

He is also a member of many chambers of commerce and charitable organizations.

To consult Prashant Ajmera (Lawyer, Author & Founder)  for planning your child’s foreign education either in person or via Zoom video conference click here

April 12, 2021

Indian parents wait till standard 12 or bachelor degree results to take action for a child’s foreign education. It could be too late and you may be running out of options.  

Pursuant to the economic liberalization in India, wealth creation has reached unprecedented heights. From the time of independence, the Indian economic era can be divided into three main periods:

The first period from 1947 to 1993 can be described as pre-liberalized – a time when pre-liberalisation of the economic policies were in place in India.

The second period from 1993 to 2007 can be regarded as the start of economic liberalization– a time when inbound investments began in earnest in India.

The third period from 2007 to present can be described as optimum economic liberalization – a time when inbound and outbound investments to and from India were allowed.

Before the 1993 pre-economic liberalisation era, most Indians aspired to just own a decent house, a vehicle (two wheelers were good enough), good education for their children in local schools and enjoying vacations within the country. However, in the post economic liberalisation era, most Indians not only want a house with four walls but yearn for a lavishly furnished, luxurious home. Owning at least two cars, a holiday home or farm house outside the city and vacationing abroad have become must-haves for well-to-do Indian families today.

The wave of economic liberalization seen the past few years has increased the number of HNIs in India and wealth generation is at its peak. Life styles, standard of living, travel, education, weddings, savings, retirement and many other important aspects of life have changed post 2007.

Have a look at the following figures:

2007 – HNIs in India 152 ,000

2015 – HNIs in India 236,000

2018 – HNIs in India 430,000

2023 – HNIs in India 860,000

Today, Indian HNIs own a second home outside India, their children are studying in foreign universities and they spend at least one vacation abroad per year, thanks to the booming economy and increased spending power.

According to the data received from RBI the Indian HNI remittance has increased from US$ 440 million in 2007-08 to US$ 13.5 billion in 2017-18 under the LRS. This exponential increase is due to outbound investment and remittance post 2007. Now Indian HNIs are travelling abroad more frequently, for work as well as pleasure. Destination weddings in exotic international locations and sending their children out of India for undergraduate and graduate studies is also making a sizeable contribution towards outbound investment.

According to RBI, the top spending for HNIs was on their children’s education – around US$ 4 billion, followed by foreign travel and gifts to family.

As the data shows, spending for children’s education abroad is on top of the list for Indian HNIs. Today not only HNIs but even middle class parents aspire to send their children abroad to study. Several surveys show that Asian parents give top priority to their children’s education and are particularly keen that they study abroad. This is probably due to the fact that the approach and attitude towards education in Western countries is very different compared to that in Asian countries.

The number of Indian students studying abroad has increased many-fold in the past decade. As per UNESCO data, by August 2018, over 400,000 Indian students were studying abroad. This makes India the second largest source of international students after China.

However, the past migration history of India and the affluence of the Indian diaspora in foreign countries prompts most Indians parents to presume that if their child gets a foreign education, he/she will be able to settle in that country permanently. They equate studying abroad with settling abroad. They feel that once their child goes abroad, they will be able to make a good life for themselves and settle comfortably.

In order to secure their child’s future in a foreign country, Indian parents spend obscene amounts of money or take loans that often take a lifetime to pay and somehow send their children abroad to study. Their hope is that their child will obtain residency, land up with a lucrative job and have a successful career.

We must not forget that just like India, there are many countries around the world who send their youth to study in countries such as USA, Canada, Australia, UK and New Zealand.

This has increased the number of foreign students applying for immigration in the aforementioned countries. Hence the queue and waiting period for obtaining immigration is getting longer and longer.

Let us take an example of an Indian student studying in USA. If this student started studying in the Master’s program in the year 2002, he is likely to have completed it by 2004. Like most students, he would have converted his status from F1 student visa to H1B work permit visa. He would have worked for six years on this visa assuming that the company he worked for continued to hire his services. Hence until 2010 he would be working on a H1B visa.

Let us assume that this student applied for a Green Card in 2010 under one for the following categories – EB1, EB2 and EB3 and received approval for his I-140 petition. As each of the categories has a quota of 40,000 Green Cards per year, and as the number of foreign students applying for a Green Card in these categories is very high, it takes several years to receive this much coveted card.

As per USA Government official website, petitions received/ approved until January 2015 are being issued a Green Card under the EB1 category. Petitions approved/received until July 2009 are being issued a Green Card under the EB2 and EB3 categories. Hence our student has to wait for at least another 4 years for a Green Card under the EB1 category and another 10 years under the EB2 and EB3 categories, assuming that rules do not change and processing time remains more or less the same.

There are many Indian students in USA who were trying to obtain a Green Card since the last 12-15 years after completing their studies. When their wealthy Indian parents realized that their children cannot obtain residency after the study program, they tried to intervene by investing money on behalf of the children in programs such as EB-5 Investor visa of USA to secure a Green Card for their child.

Other popular destinations for study abroad are Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Thanks to thousands of student visa consultants and agents, Canada has the highest number of Indian international students. Unfortunately due to bad advice given by local agents, who are motivated by the hefty commissions they receive from foreign education institutes, a good number of students receive a shock of their life when they realize that the course they have been enrolled into is not a Master’s program but a college diploma or certificate course. Also, the institution they are going to study in is not a recognized university but a community college. There are innumerable horror stories faced by parents and their children because of their desperation to go abroad.

Most Indian parents, whose children are ready to study abroad, fail to realize that circumstances that existed a few years ago to settle abroad are not applicable in 2020. Immigration laws and regulations change from time to time and from country to country. Unless parents plan early, sending their children abroad to study will only result in spending exorbitant amounts of money without any net gain, which is permanent settlement in that country.

There are also good number of Indian students who had gone abroad to study but were forced to return back to India because they could not get employment related to their education nor could obtain residency/permanent immigration of the country where they studied. This has led to frustration, disappointment and careers of many bright students being destroyed due to short-sightedness and lack of knowledge.

When our law firm is approached by such parents, we cannot find a viable solution for them in many cases as the child who has gone abroad for study is way past the legal age to be included in an immigration application with his/her parents under the investor class. Parents and children undertake thorough research and seek legal advice from an experienced immigration lawyer to explore the possibility of immigration after study before going abroad.

Though a new concept for Indian HNIs, their counterparts in other countries such as China, Taiwan and Korea have resorted to obtaining residency and citizenship by the investment of various countries round the world to secure their children’s education in foreign jurisdictions, giving their children a jump start in their career when they finish their education.

The most important advantage of obtaining residency and citizenship by investment is that the investor’s children can enjoy reduced tuition fees at the majority of top universities. Tuition fees for permanent residents and citizens are significantly lower, reduced by almost 60%-80%, in most foreign universities as compared to those paid by international students.

In many cases, the amount to be invested by an investor in a particular country is just a little higher than the tuition fees he/she would pay in international student fees, especially if the investor has two or more children.

Making investments in risk-free but unconventional products in many countries of the world can help wealthy Indians to secure the foreign education and career of their children. There are excellent opportunities available for investing in countries such as USA, Canada, UK, some European countries and the Caribbean islands which guarantee subsidized education for children of investors.

In keeping with the changing trends, Indian parents can invest for a second passport or residency of a foreign country to ensure theirs and their children’s future before it’s too late.

Countries that offer Residency and/or Citizenship by Investment:

Residency to Citizenship:

USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand

Direct Citizenship:

Caribbean Islands –> St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica

Residency: Europe

Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Latvia, Turkey

Citizenship: Europe

Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria, Moldova

To know more about the subject and planning for your child’s foreign education get our e-book 

November 6, 2019

Pursuant to the economic liberalisation in India, wealth creation has reached unprecedented heights. From the time of independence onwards, the Indian economic era can be divided into three main periods:

From 1947 to 1993 – Pre-liberalisation of the economic policies in India.

From 1993 to 2007 – Start of economic liberalization, a time when inbound investments began in earnest.

From 2007 to Present – Period of optimum economic liberalization, a time when inbound and outbound investments to and from India were allowed.

This outbound investment and remittance post 2007 has resulted in Indian HNIs traveling abroad more frequently, for work as well as pleasure. Destination weddings in exotic international locations and sending their children out of India for undergraduate and graduate studies is fairly common among HNIs.

According to the RBI, the Indian HNI remittance has increased from US$440 million in 2007-08 to US$13.5 billion in 2017-18. The top spending for HNIs was on their children’s education – around US$4 billion, followed by foreign travel and gifts to the family.

As the data shows, spending on children’s education abroad is on top of the list for Indian HNIs. Today not only HNIs but even middle-class parents aspire to send their children abroad to study.

However, the past migration history of India and the affluence of the Indian diaspora in foreign countries prompts most Indians parents to believe that if their child gets a foreign education, he/she will be able to settle in that country permanently. They equate studying abroad with settling abroad. They feel that once their child goes abroad, they will be able to make a good life for themselves and settle comfortably.

We must not forget that just like India, there are parents in many countries around the world who send their children to study in countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, and New Zealand.

This has increased the number of foreign students applying for immigration after study in the aforementioned countries. Hence the queue and waiting period for obtaining immigration is getting longer and longer.

Let us take an example of an Indian student studying in the USA. If this student started studying for a Master’s program in the year 2002, he is likely to have completed it by 2004. Like most students, he would have converted his status from an F1 student visa to an H1B work permit visa upon obtaining a job. He would have worked for six consecutive years on this visa, assuming that the company he worked for continued to hire his services. Hence until 2010, he would be working on an H1B visa.

Let us assume that this student applied for a Green Card in 2010 under one for the following categories – EB1, EB2, and EB3 and received approval for his I-140 petition. As each of these categories has a quota of 40,000 Green Cards per year, and as the number of foreign students applying for a Green Card in these categories is very high, it takes several years to receive this much-coveted card.

As per the USA Government official website, petitions received/ approved until January 2015 are being issued a Green Card under the EB1 category. Petitions approved/received until July 2009 are being issued a Green Card under the EB2 and EB3 categories. Hence as of today, our student has to wait for at least another 4 years for a Green Card under the EB1 category and another 10 years under the EB2 and EB3 categories, assuming that rules do not change and processing time remains more or less the same.

Due to this unprecedented delay, there are many Indian students in the USA who are still waiting to get a Green Card even after 12-15 years of completing their studies. When wealthy Indian parents of such candidates realize that their children cannot obtain residency after the study program, they try to intervene by investing money on behalf of their children in programs such as the EB-5 Investor visa of the USA to secure a Green Card.

Other popular destinations for study abroad are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Thanks to thousands of student visa consultants and agents, these countries have the highest number of Indian international students. Unfortunately, due to the bad advice dispensed by local agents – who are motivated by the hefty commissions they receive from foreign education institutes – a good number of students receive a shock of their life when they realize that the course they have been enrolled into is not a Bachelor’s/Master’s program but an ordinary college diploma or certificate course. Also, the institution they are going to study in is not a recognized university but a local college.

There are innumerable horror stories created by parents and their children themselves because of their desperation to go abroad. This has led to frustration, disappointment, and careers of many bright students being destroyed due to short-sightedness and lack of knowledge.

Most Indian parents, who want their children to study abroad fail to realize that circumstances that existed a few years ago to settle abroad are no longer applicable in 2020. Immigration laws and regulations change from time to time and from country to country.

Unless parents plan early, sending their children abroad to study will only result in spending exorbitant amounts of money without any net gain, which is a permanent settlement in that country.

Though a new concept for Indian HNIs, their counterparts in countries such as China, Taiwan, and Korea have resorted to obtaining residency and citizenship by an investment of various countries around the world to secure their children’s education. This gives their children a jump start in their careers when they finish their education.

The most important advantage of obtaining residency and citizenship by investment is that the investor’s children can enjoy reduced tuition fees at the majority of top universities. Tuition fees for permanent residents and citizens is significantly lower, reduced by almost 60%-80%, in most foreign universities as compared to that paid by international students.

In many cases, the amount to be invested by an investor in a particular country is just a little higher than the tuition fees he/she would pay in international student fees, especially if the investor has two or more children.

This is where financial advisors can help their HNI and Upper Middle Class (UMC) clients to plan early for the foreign education of their children by making investments in risk-free but unconventional products such as Residency & Citizenship by Investment in many countries of the world. There are excellent opportunities available for investing in countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, some European countries and the Caribbean islands which guarantee subsidized education for children of investors.

Depending on the country this investment can in real estate, business, government bond, a donation to government, government-approved project and mix of these assets class.

For HNIs, their financial advisor is like a close family member. They expect to get not only sound financial advice regarding how to make more money by investing wisely but also knowledge regarding the latest products and services available in the market that can help them in achieving their long term and short term goals such as their child’s education and future, quality of life and expansion of business. Other factors of consideration would be NRI status, tax planning and diversification of the portfolio, investment in international real estate, etc.

April 27, 2018

Studying Abroad – How to plan and avoid mistakes?

Young students or parents of these students who are hell-bent on going abroad or sending their children abroad to study without proper research and deliberation should not attempt to read what follows because their decision is already made and no amount to logical reasoning can make them change their minds.

But parents and students who are willing to make an effort to understand what going abroad to study entails – the pros as well as the cons, can reflect upon the points given below and then make an informed decision regarding studying abroad.

  1. Studying abroad does not guarantee success in your career or profession of choice. Unless you seek the right advice, do in-depth research and plan things to the last detail, things are likely to backfire.
  2. If you are interested in studying abroad, apply for admission between the months of November and February of the previous academic year and preferably seek admission during the September intake period.
  3. Do not enroll in an IELTS class associated with a student visa agency/consultancy.
  4. If your child is in 12th grade and money is not an issue, send your child for an undergraduate program in a credited university only. Sending your child to do a POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA ( PGDBM) with a duration of one or two years has no future and no recognition either in India or any foreign country for that matter.
  5. If you wish to study in Canada – If you have 3 years Bachelor’s degree and/or two-year Master’s degree and are fluent in the English language, enroll for a full-time Master’s degree program at a credited university only. If you are not fluent in English, enroll in a 2 or 3-year Diploma program. This will help you to obtain a work permit on the basis of the study you have done in Canada.
  6. If you have 4 years Bachelor’s degree, do not study in a ‘college’ abroad. If the course you have been advised to enroll in is going to give you a POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA at the end of your study period, it is not going to lead you anywhere because this Diploma program is NOT A MASTER’S PROGRAM and will not add any value to your existing education credentials.
  7. If you are desperate to go abroad after completing your Master’s program, go after obtaining one year of work experience in your field of study.
  8. To obtain admission in a good/reputed university, it is preferable that you obtain at least 2 years of full-time work experience in your home country.
  9. Always try to enroll in a university that is recognized by the government of that country for immigration purposes. Many countries have options for students to apply for immigration/work permit upon completing the Master’s program or by starting a business after completing the Master’s program.
  10. In order to apply for immigration directly, you must have at least 3 years of full-time work experience and a very high score in IELTS ( 8.0 and above), and a Master’s degree.

Other tips that might be useful:

To apply directly for immigration under Canada’s PNP programs, applicants have three options:

  1. Need to have a relative in Canada to sponsor in some province OR
  2. Need to have a job offer from a company. The job offer has to be related to the applicant’s educational qualification and work experience in Canada OR
  3. Applicant’s occupation in the home country is on the Occupation Demand List of the particular province in Canada.

If you do not have this, you do not qualify for PNP program.

Remembers most agents and consultants have no interest in giving you right career advice and options as they may lose you as a client.

We as a leading immigration law firm dare not to take you as a client by giving you the right advice.

December 26, 2017

Many students who are going to study in Canada find it very difficult to find a job in Canada in their own field and then receive sponsorship to get Canadian Immigration under Canada Experience class.

In order to retain these foreign students in Canada few provinces in Canada have come up with a new category called International students business class.

If you are studying in Canada at a designated education institute for two years and you have received your graduate’s work permit for three years and if you own 100% of the Canadian business and run and manage for a period of 12 months you are edible to apply for immigration to Canada.

In this class, you are creating job for yourself.

You must be under the age of 40, with an IELTS score of 5 bands each. If the business is located in rural area additional points are awarded.

If the spouse has studied in Canada, has an IELTS score of 5 bands, your application will be awarded additional points.
The student must be 100% owner of the business which is a real business with at least one job and the applicant is working full time into the business.

The following businesses are not allowed.

• adult services including but not limited to the production, distribution, and/or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products and/or services,
• and/or the provision of sexually-oriented services;
• aestheticians and services;
• beauty salons;
• bed and breakfast accommodations;
• coin-operated;
• consultancy (business or agency that offers expert professional advice in a field);
• cooperative (business or organization owned and operated by its member);
• credit or debit cards (active or inactive);
• domain names;
• a farm that is maintained without expectation of being a primary source of income;
• financial brokerage (a business that derives its prime source of income
• from acting as an intermediary for buyers and sellers); • financial services including, but not limited to cooperatives and/or credit unions;
• home-based and/or businesses operating from residential property;
• landlord property and rental management;
• not-for-profit businesses and organizations;
• property investment (purchase of a real estate for the intention of earning a return on the investment, either through rental income, the future resale of the property, or both);

Several provinces of Canada office this program.

For more information on this and other eligibility for immigration to Canada send us an email: info@ajmeralaw.com