The EB-5 visa program offers multiple advantages including permanent residency for foreign nationals currently in the United States (U.S.) on a temporary visa. November 29, 2022
The Reform and Integrity Act was signed into law in March of 2022 and made multiple changes to the EB-5 investor visa program. One notable change is the ability for foreign nationals to file for adjustment of status immediately after filing an I-526E petition. This ‘concurrent filing’ provides foreign nationals on a temporary visa the ability to remain in the U.S. while they pursue permanent residency through the EB-5 visa program.
HOW IT WORKS:
Following the updates to the EB-5 program, workers on a temporary visa and students who are already residing in the United States have the ability to file Form I-485 immediately after filing Form I-526E, which is the first step in the EB-5 process. This will allow anyone on a non-immigrant visa to remain in the U.S. while awaiting approval of their I-526E form from the USCIS. Previously, individuals in the U.S. investing in EB-5 visa were required to wait until after their initial I-526 petition had been approved to apply for an adjustment of status. The EB-5 visa program can be utilized by foreign nationals already residing in the U.S. under any (non-immigrant) temporary visa, the most common of which are:
BENEFITS OF EB-5:
A successful EB-5 investment can result in permanent residency for the primary investor, their spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of 21. Investors would not have to rely on a lottery system (as they would if they were pursuing an H-1 visa). After filing for an adjustment of status, EB-5 investors may have more flexibility in employment opportunities as opposed to H-1 visas, with concurrent filers being allowed to apply for jobs other than the sponsoring employer or an investment business. An investor may decide not to work at all. Prior to pursuing the potential benefits of concurrent filing, one should seek the advice of a qualified immigration attorney.
A DEEPER LOOK AT H1-B:
The H1-B program allows foreign nationals to work in certain occupations in the U.S. H1-B visas are limited to 65,000 visas per year with an additional 20,000 set aside for foreign nationals holding more advanced degrees such as a masters or doctorate from a U.S. institution. The H1-B visa program contains many restrictions on who a foreign national may work for and what work they’re permitted to do. Additionally, the H1-B visa program operates under a lottery system, which means many qualified applicants may never have their application reviewed. Employers are required to file the H1-B visa on behalf of the foreign national hoping to work in the U.S. which can be a lengthy and expensive process.
The H1-B visa program is also only available to applicants for a maximum of six years. If selected for the program, three years of residency will be granted, with the option to renew the visa for a maximum of six years. The H1-B visa program typically receives far more applications than there are visa available.
In addition, to the costs and time constraints, the process also requires an extensive amount of paperwork to be presented. This paperwork can include but is not limited to a detailed job description, copies of training certificates, business plan, etc.
A DEEPER LOOK AT F-1:
An F-1 visa allows international students to study in the U.S., at all levels of education. A student applying for an F-1 visa must be enrolled as a full time student. If granted, an applicant’s F-1 visa is temporary, only available during their time a student is actively enrolled.
International students intending to study in the U.S. on an F-1 visa may be limited when selecting specific universities, as some have quotas on the percentage of their students who fall into this category.
For families that have already migrated to the United States through the EB-5 program and achieved permanent residency, their children will be able to attend public universities in the U.S. at the same cost as American citizens. This can result in significant savings, as foreign nationals on an F-1 visa often pay much higher tuition.
A DEEPER LOOK AT L-1:
An L-1 visa, is a non-immigrant visa that allows recipients to work for an authorized L1 employer in the United States. The L-1 visa, like mentioned above, is temporary. It would only allow recipients to remain in the U.S. for three years, with the opportunity to extend the stay for a maximum of seven years. As previously mentioned, an EB-5 visa may be much more appealing for prospective investors, as their immigration status will be permanent and not tied to their employment. Like many other temporary visas offered, the L-1 visa also has requirements that those interested must meet. This includes the U.S. Company being required to file the petition on behalf of the recipient. The company in the U.S. must also be a parent, branch office or affiliate of the foreign company. Applications are also limited to employees who worked in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity with their foreign company and their work in the U.S. needs to meet the same criteria.
The EB-5 visa program can be an excellent solution for foreign nationals hoping to pursue permanent residence in the United States. It can be a key tool for families hoping to provide a high quality education for their children, or for workers hoping to access professional opportunities in the United States.
LEARN MORE AND APPLY:
For more information regarding The EB-5 visa program or CMB’s current investment opportunities, please contact us HERE.