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The current administration’s recent crackdown on H-1B visas as well as the lengthy waiting lists for EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based visas has forced many Indians to find an alternative green card to allow them to live the American Dream and work in the United States. A large number of Indian students and workers are now relying on EB-5 to obtain their green card. Below are some of the advantages of EB-5 as compared to H-1B.

2016 Visa Comparison:
  • USCIS received 236,000 H-1B petitions in 2016 for the FY 2017 H-1B quota cap. As there are only a total of 85,000 available H-1B visas annually (65,000 regular cap + 20,000 masters cap), the chances of being selected in the H-1B visa lottery in 2016 was around 36%.
  • USCIS received over 14,147 EB-5 petitions in 2016. A total of 7,632 were approved and 1,735 were denied, while the remaining petitions are still pending adjudication. Therefore, USCIS approved 82% of all EB-5 petitions which were adjudicated in 2016.

H-1B Disadvantages:

  • Requires a U.S. Employer to Sponsor an Applicant
  • Annual Visa Lottery Required because of Cap (Limit) of Available Visas
    • If Applicant isn’t Selected in H-1B Visa Lottery, They Must Reapply in Following Year
  • H-1B Visa Valid For Only Three (3) Years with One 3-Year Renewal Possible For a Total Of Six (6) Years.
  • Family Members Require Their Own Separate Visas (H-4) Which Entail More Costs
    • H-1B Spouses Are Rarely Allowed to Work on H-4 Visas
  • Location and Life Dictated by U.S. Employer
  • In 2017, USCIS has Pursued Policies Which Are Intended To Make The H-1B Application Process More Difficult
    • USCIS Has Issued Significant Numbers of Requests for Evidence Challenging Whether the Position Offered to Foreign Workers is Sufficiently Specialized and Whether the Wage Level is High Enough

Benefits of EB-5:

  • No Employment Sponsorship Required
  • Ability to Live and Move Anywhere in the U.S. at Any Time
  • Flexibility to Work Anywhere in the U.S. or Start Your Own Company
  • No Visa Waiting List For Indian Applicants
  • Spouse and Unmarried Children Under 21 All Receive Green Cards
  • Family Members Can Work and Study in the U.S.
  • In-State Education Benefits for Investor and All Family Members
  • No Education or Employment Requirements For Visa Process
  • Direct Path to U.S. Citizenship after 5 Years of Permanent Residency
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