fbpx US EB-5 program allows foreigners to live, work and study in America with green card status

US EB-5 program allows foreigners to live, work and study in America with green card status

April 23, 2024 / Hursh

THE US EB-5 program allows foreigners to live, work and study in America with green card status. The EB-5 visa is gaining popularity as an alternative to the EB-2 and EB-3 visas, for those seeking a direct green card application route. EB-5 visa applicants receive work authorization as early as three months after filing, a sharp departure from the EB-2 and EB-3 visa timelines.

In the quest for U.S. citizenship, the EB-5 visa is distinguishing itself as a swifter alternative to the EB-2 and EB-3 visas, especially for those seeking a more direct and expedited route to obtaining a green card. The crux of the EB-5 visa’s appeal lies in its straightforward pathway to lawful permanent residency in the United States through investment, a stark contrast to the often-lengthy waiting periods and backlogs associated with the EB-2 and EB-3 visa categories, particularly for applicants from countries with a high demand.

The EB-5 Advantage: Investment for Speed

While the EB-2 and EB-3 visas cater to professionals with advanced degrees, exceptional abilities, and skilled workers, they are often hindered by prolonged waiting periods and backlogs, particularly for applicants from high-demand countries.

In contrast, the EB-5 program significantly benefits investors by offering them a streamlined path to green card status, enabling them to live, work, and study in the U.S. as they choose in as little as 90 days. This access not only opens vast opportunities for personal and professional growth but also allows investors to immerse themselves fully in the American way of life, enjoying the freedom and advantages that come with residency in the U.S.

Comparative Analysis: Wait Times and Process Efficiencies

The discrepancy in wait times between the EB-5 and the EB-2/EB-3 visa categories is stark. For the latter, applicants from countries with high demand face backlogs that can extend over a decade. Conversely, the EB-5 visa’s focus on economic investment offers a quicker passage to U.S. Citizenship.

EB-2 and EB-3: A Long Haul

Indian professionals aspiring for the EB-2 or EB-3 visas endure extended delays, a consequence of annual country caps and a deluge of applications. These categories are fiercely competitive, resulting in a bottleneck effect where demand vastly outstrips the supply of available visa numbers.

EB-5: Swift Processing

In contrast, the EB-5 visa category, while necessitating a significant investment, does not suffer from the same degree of backlog. Investors can look forward to a more straightforward and expedited process, contingent upon fulfilling the program’s job creation and capital investment criteria.


The EB-5 Process: Concurrent Filing and Work Authorization

A notable benefit of the EB-5 visa is the allowance for concurrent filing of the visa petition and the Adjustment of Status application for applicants already in the U.S. This procedural advantage significantly expedites legal work authorization in the United States.

Rapid Work Authorization and Conditional Green Card Issuance

Work Authorization: EB-5 visa applicants may receive work authorization as early as three months after filing, a sharp departure from the EB-2 and EB-3 visas timelines.

Conditional Green Card: Investors can secure a conditional green card within 3-6 months of filing, granting them the rights to live, work, and travel freely—much sooner than what’s typically possible through other employment-based pathways.

No Employer Restrictions

Unlike EB-2 and EB-3 visa holders, who are bound to specific employers or jobs as dictated by their labor certification, EB-5 visa holders enjoy the liberty to work for any employer in the U.S. immediately upon obtaining their Employment Authorization Document (EAD).


Additionally, it’s crucial to address the EB1A and EB1C green card categories, which cater to individuals with extraordinary abilities and multinational managers, respectively.

The EB1A category allows for self-sponsorship, providing an avenue for those with exceptional talents in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics to apply independently for U.S. residency. In contrast, the EB1C category requires sponsorship from an employer, being specifically designed for managers and executives who meet certain criteria and are transferring to the U.S. office of their company.

Despite their distinct advantages, both EB1A and EB1C visas are currently backlogged for Indian-born applicants. This backlog indicates that, even for highly qualified individuals, the journey to U.S. residency can be arduous and time-consuming, further emphasizing the comparative efficiency of the EB-5 visa program for those able to meet its investment requirements.


This analysis specifically addresses the challenges faced by Indian-born applicants in navigating the lengthy queues for employment-based (EB) green cards. The substantial backlogs in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories highlight the EB-5 visa’s significance as a quicker, more straightforward route to U.S. residency and ultimately, citizenship.

For Indian investors who meet the eligibility criteria, the EB-5 visa offers a compelling solution to bypass the extensive wait times associated with the EB-2 and EB-3 visa processes. As U.S. immigration policies continue to develop, the EB-5 program emerges as a key opportunity for those looking to contribute to the American economy while securing a future in the United States. Beyond facilitating a path to citizenship, the EB-5 visa fosters a mutually beneficial relationship between immigrant investors and the broader economic landscape of the U.S., symbolizing a strategic investment in the country’s ongoing prosperity and growth.

The article was originally posted by The Financial Express

Authored By Nicholas Mastroianni III, President & CMO at U.S. Immigration Fund

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