June 25, 2018 By: Harjit Singh There’s little security in an H-1B; quitting the company that sponsored you or getting fired can get you ousted from the...

As the H-1B visa program faces future uncertainty, especially under the Trump administration, many H-1B visa holders are turning to the EB-5 Program as a shorter alternative pathway to U.S. citizenship. The H-1B visa program has faced uncertainty ever since President Trump expressed a desire for U.S. companies to hire more Americans. A bill was proposed earlier in the year that would more than double the minimum salary requirements for H-1B visa holders as an incentive for U.S. companies to hire more Americans.
What is the difference between the H-1B visa and the EB-5 visa?
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations such as IT, medicine, or engineering. The EB-5 Program is an immigrant investor program, whereby foreigners can invest a minimum of $500,000 into a job-creating new commercial enterprise in exchange for a green card.
What are the advantages of EB-5 over H-1B?
  • EB-5 does not require the applicant to hold a Bachelor’s or higher degree.
  • EB-5 applicants do not have to work in specialty fields.
  • EB-5 applicant’s conditional permanent residency is not dependent upon employment. It is only dependent upon I-526 petition approval, whereas H-1B visa holders must continue working for their employer to maintain H-1B status.
  • If an H-1B applicant is terminated from their employment, they must leave the United States. USCIS may allow H-1B holders to change their status to another non-immigrant visa, but it can cause issues.
  • EB-5 can be a faster path to applying for citizenship.
  • EB-5 investors can live, work, and go to school anywhere in the U.S. They do not have to live by their investment and they do not have to be involved in the day to day management of their investment if they do not wish to.
  • An investor’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can all qualify for green cards under the EB-5 investor’s application.
  • Family members can gift an EB-5 applicant the funds required to invest in the EB-5 Program.
Due to the volatility of the H-1B Visa Program as well as the numerous advantages the EB-5 Program possesses over H-1B, many men and women, particularly from India, are looking at investing in the EB-5 Program rather than the H-1B program.
How can you get started investing in the EB-5 Program?
To get started, a potential EB-5 applicant will want to consult with an immigration attorney.
Nov 07 NEW DELHI: US Immigration Fund has tied up with education firm The Chopras group to promote EB-5 visa in India and aims to raise USD 125 million by next year from 250 Indian investors who want to immigrate to the United States through this route. US Immigration Fund (USIF) is America's leading EB-5 regional center operator. It is in the business of raising EB-5 capital for investment in the US real estate market. The EB-5 program, launched by the US government in 1990, enables high net worth foreign investors to obtain a US visa for themselves and their family by investing a minimum of USD 5,00,000 in a US business that helps create 10 jobs for American workers. USIF today said this program enables US residency for the investor, spouse and children under 21, as well as a full return of their investment. "We have partnered The Chopras group to help Indian investors immigrate through EB-5 route," USIF Director Business Development -India Andrews R Graves told reporters here today. USIF is targeting to raise USD 125 million from 250 Indian investors through this route, he said, adding that EB-5 visas have steadily increased over the last few years with 149 visas issued to Indians in 2016. Graves said investments are safe as funds are deployed in commercial and housing projects of leading developers and backed by prominent senior lenders. Asked about the return on investment, The Chopras group managing partner San Chopra said the Indian investors can expect a return of 2.5-3 per cent annually. However, he said: "Investors under this program put money not for interest but to become eligible for green card." An investor can expect to get a green card in 4-5 years, Chopra said, adding that investors should look at this route considering difficulties in getting H-1B visa. The US has tightened the norms for issuing the H-1B and L1 visas in line with the Trump administration's goal to protect American workers from discrimination and replacement by foreign labor. The Chopras group is supporting USIF in building a large platform for EB-5 and established a dedicated infrastructure for the offering across major cities. "The EB-5 program has helped tens of thousands of families across the world successfully migrate to the US," said Nicholas Mastroianni III, President, USIF. USIF has so far raised USD 3 billion through this route from across the world since it began operations in 2009. The Chopras group is a leading education group whose origins are in higher education, career management and student recruitment globally.