SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — An immigration law firm that represents Indian investors said it received “a record-breaking spike” in visa applications for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program this year.

The sudden increase in applications is likely in response to a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate by Democrat Dianne Feinstein from California and Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, which seeks to end the EB-5 program.

Under the current structure of the EB-5 program, immigrants who invest between $500,000-$1 million in the U.S. and create 10 full-time jobs for qualified Americans are allowed to apply for green cards. The program’s largest beneficiaries, which awards roughly 10,000 visas annually, are Chinese investors. According to some figures, as much as 85 percent of the visas issued in 2014 went to Chinese investors.

The bill was formally introduced in the Senate on Jan. 24, in a joint statement, Feinstein and Grassley said the program was “inherently flawed.” It emits the message that U.S. citizenship is for sale, they said, and it is unfair to maintain a pathway to citizenship for those who can simply afford it, while millions others wait in line for their visas.

“This is the first time we have seen a Bill to completely end the EB-5 program,” said Mark Davies, Global Chairman of Davies & Associates, which represents a number of Indian EB-5 investors, in a press release.

“While we feel it unlikely that S. 232 will pass, the Regional Center EB-5 program is due to end at the end of April 2017 anyway unless extended by Congress. If the EB-5 program is extended in April there is a much higher chance than ever before that the investment requirement will be substantially increased in the near future.”

In addition to their concerns of the EB-5 program, Davies said, “clients are also flocking to the EB-5 program given the increase in the H1-B salary requirements in the H1-B Reform Bill.”

A bill that was recently introduced proposes to increase the mandatory minimum salary for H-1B workers to $130,000.

Davies’ firm said such a salary increase “would place the H1-B program beyond the reach of most Indian students graduating in the U.S. and force them to use the EB-5 program in order to obtain long-term U.S. employment.”