Many Indians dream of a job in the US that vastly improves their economic status, and helps them rise up the corporate ladder with their knowledge of skills that are highly valued in the US. The H-1B visa is the route taken by most of these high skilled professionals. But H-1B visa seekers must get an employer to sponsor the visa. Since the number of H-1B visa applicants is very high, the H-1B visa annual lottery determines which foreign workers will be granted visas to work in the United States. The H-1B visa program was capped in 2005 and is now subject to backlogs.
By design, the H-1B visa is temporary. An H-1B holder is initially given permission to stay in the United States for three years. After three years, an H-1B holder may opt for an extension for another three years. Upon completion of six years, an H-1B holder may opt for renewal of the H-1B status.
The recent layoffs in the tech sector has laid bare are the limitations of the H-1B visa to meet the needs of a long-term career and a stable stay in the US. According to Layoffs.fyi, more than 216,000 tech employees have been laid off since the start of 2022. This has left many foreign workers who were previously reliant on the H-1B program anxious about their stay in the US.
To overcome these challenges, H-1B visa holders are shifting their interest to the EB-5 visa to obtain permanent residency status for themselves and their families.
EB-5 is a United States visa program, created in 1990, that enables foreign investors to obtain a US Visa by investing $800,000 USD in a business that will benefit the US economy and create jobs.
The new EB-5 visa program allows individuals to invest just $200,000 initially, submit their application, and then continue to invest until they’ve reached the required $800,000 within a year. This means they can secure their place in line while they gather the remainder of their funds from sources such as stock or real estate investments.
Although there may be a wait list in the future, experts predict this won’t happen until next year, so it’s crucial to act quickly to ensure a smooth application process. H-1B visa holders may change their visa status from H-1B to EB-5 while still residing in the United States. This eliminates the need for H-1B visa holders to return to their home country and go through consular time-consuming processes.
The H-1B is not a vehicle for immigration. So, should Indians decide to pursue career opportunities in the US, live and travel without restriction and have their children live and study in America, the H-1B falls short of being able to deliver on those aspirations.
On the other hand, EB-5 immigration-by-investment visa holders have no visa sponsorship requirements, are eligible to receive a monetary return on their investment and can live and work anywhere in the US, including states with no state income tax. Their children have lower-cost education, more employment opportunities, and have a clear pathway to permanent US residency.
Thus, the EB-5 program allows investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) to apply for lawful permanent residence if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States. Currently, the immigration services is receiving around 150 inquiries daily, with a significant proportion coming from individuals in the United States who have either been laid off or are concerned about losing their jobs.
Although the minimum investment requirement for the EB-5 program has recently been raised to $800,000, the program has been gaining popularity. Indian investors have shown significant interest, with demand for EB-5 visas from India surging by 400% between 2016 and 2019. In 2022, the number of applications filed by Indian investors reached 1,381, marking a substantial 75% increase from 2019 and indicating a persistent upward trend in the program’s appeal.
Article from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/migrate/us-immigration-you-should-opt-for-the-eb-5-visa-over-h-1b/articleshow/101110668.cms