Immigrating to the United States is an important decision that requires an extensive amount of time and research. Until the creation of the EB-5 investor visa in the 1990s, immigrating to the United States was not possible for many immigrants unless they were sponsored by relatives or obtained U.S. employment. For almost 30 years the EB-5 visa has helped countless immigrants migrate to the United States as permanent residents through a one-time investment into a U.S. government approved project, without the need for familial ties or employment.
While the H-1B visa, commonly known as a work visa, has been the visa of choice for many foreigners who wish to move to America, the restrictions surrounding this visa have increased greatly over the years. In 2018, a regulation was proposed to the White House Office of Management and Budget that, if approved, will terminate employment authorization documents (EADs) for H-4 visa holders (spouses of those with H-1B visas). With the possibility of the termination of employment authorization for H-1B spouses looming in the near future, many immigrants have begun to reconsider the reliability of the H-1B visa as a long term solution to the problem of U.S. immigration.
For those who remain in their home countries, or reside outside of the United States, the uncertainty of the decision surrounding the new proposed regulation has made the H-1B visa less desirable as an immigration option. Many immigrants see the EB-5 investor visa as their new immigration goal; the EB-5 visa carries a great deal fewer restrictions than the H-1B for the visa holder and their dependents. Potential immigrants are choosing the EB-5 visa over the traditional H-1B visa for a number of reasons, with the benefits of the EB-5 visa greatly outweighing those of the H-1B visa.
The EB-5 investor visa:
Gives visa holders and their eligible dependents permanent residency, allowing them to live, work, and study freely anywhere within the United States.
Does not need to be renewed or reapplied for after it is granted.
Is not dependent on employment or academic study.
Does not carry a time limit or time-related restrictions.
Is currently the quickest way to obtain permanent residency of all available visa types.
In contrast, the H-1B visa must be renewed after three (3) years and can only be renewed for a length of time not totaling more than six (6) years. Dependents of the H-1B visa can study in the United States, but can only do so as long as the visa holder is within legal status. This means that they may be forced to adjust their visa status or suspend their U.S. studies if the visa holder loses their employment or reaches their maximum H-1B employment time. Additionally, the H-1B visa does not allow for any federal academic aid to be given to H-1B dependents, which is not true of the dependents of the EB-5 visa; since EB-5 dependents receive permanent residency they are eligible for federal academic aid, grants, and federal scholarships.
As the decision regarding the employment eligibility of the H-1B spouse becomes more and more imminent, the ways in which the EB-5 investor visa far outshine the H-1B visa are becoming clearer. The journey to permanent immigration is never easy, however, with a one-time investment through the EB-5 investor visa, thousands of immigrants have secured permanent residency and stability for themselves and their families.