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.