EB-5 Green Card Alternatives Not As Great

Worried about an EB-5 Program backlog? Maybe you’ve looked into EB-5 green card alternatives and found a few options that sound interesting, but are they as good as EB-5?

Photograph by: eb5daily.com

Here’s a look at the most common EB-5 green card alternatives and why they aren’t as great in comparison to EB-5.


The H-1B visa allows U.S. employers to sponsor foreigners who work in specialty occupations such as IT, computing and finance. Since the visa is tied to the employer sponsor, an H-1B visa holder is tied to their employment. It’s an extremely popular visa choice, especially for Indian nationals, and as a result of the increasing number of applicants, the H-1B has turned into a lottery of sorts. It can also now take applicants from India up to 10 years to obtain a green card. Additionally, the current U.S. administration is pushing employers to hire American and this may impact an applicant’s ability to find an employer willing to sponsor and pay the increasing fees under the H-1B visa program.

The EB-1C is a visa for a manager or executive transferee. The EB-1C benefits entrepreneurs who wish to expand their small business overseas. Using the EB-1C visa, an executive or a proficient manager can transfer overseas to expand or build the business in the U.S. In order to qualify for this visa an applicant must prove that they are extremely accomplished in their field. Like the H-1B visa, an applicant must be sponsored by an employer. Additionally, the employer must have conducted business non-stop for one year in the U.S. prior to filing an EB-1C application.

The EB-1A visa for Extraordinary Ability is difficult to qualify for. While there is no backlog for these visas, in fact, premium processing can sometimes have a visa decision available in two weeks, fulfilling the visa requirements are not easy. According to USCIS, an applicant may qualify if they have won a major internationally recognized award, or they have 3 of 10 specific criteria. A major one-time achievement, such as winning an Olympic medal, an Oscar, or a Pulitzer Prize, can replace the 3 criteria. While the visa requirements for the EB-1A are straightforward, providing proof of abilities can sometimes be tricky.

The EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) allows foreigners to come to the U.S. if they can propose and advance a project that has substantial merit and national importance. They must show that it would be beneficial for the U.S. to waive the job offer and other requirements so that they can pursue this entrepreneurial endeavor. The foreign entrepreneur must provide proof that their project will have a strong impact on the economy. The EB-2 NIW has a substantial backlog for applicants from China and India.

Compared to the other visa categories, that may be difficult to qualify for with tough or complex requirements, EB-5 may be a stronger fit for many applicants.

  • It allows applicants, their spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21 to live, work, attend school, and travel anywhere in the U.S.
  • There are no educational or accomplishment requirements to apply for EB-5.
  • EB-5 investors are not tied to employment sponsors or certain fields of employment.
  • EB-5 investors can choose whether they would like to take an active managerial role in their projects or to take a less active policy maker role.
  • EB-5 applicants must only show that they have the funds to invest and these funds do not have to be income—they can be from loans, inheritances or gifts.
  • Parents can gift their children the funds required.
  • Applicants do not have to reapply for the EB-5 visa to maintain eligibility.
  • There is only a backlog for applicants from Mainland China.
  • While Vietnam and India may be approaching their visa threshold, they have not reached it yet.
  • After five years, EB-5 applicants may be eligible for U.S. citizenship.


Original Post: eb5daily.com