The year of 2015 has seen a lot of significant changes in the visa system of the United States of America. The first one being that in February, The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted the spouses of the H1B Visa holders, who were on the H4 Visa themselves, the right to work in the U.S.A., after a prolonged delay. Unfortunately, it was limited to a very less number of categories of H4 immigrants. Not all were given the right to work.
This law has been in the rulebook for many years until this new amendment took place. The result was that a lot of frustrated wives (and a few husbands) had to forcefully sit at home, since they were denied the basic right to work and earn bread for themselves and their families. This had many disadvantages: the person on H4 Visa lost track of their careers due to the long time gap and had very little prospects of getting a job ever again, i.e. diminished job opportunities; one of the potential bread-earners in the family lost the right to work, leading to a potential loss of income; and since the H4 Visa is a ‘dependent’ one, the spouse had no right to American citizenship and suffered a risk of being deported from the country in case the marriage fails, and they are abandoned by their spouses who are on H1B Visa.
Another important point to remember here is that this work opportunity has only been provided to a small section of spouses, and not children, or other family members. It is clearly understandable that only one person, who is on the H1B Visa, can work and earn for his whole family and thus, leaving them financially weaker than they should be. This is where the H1B mainly lags behind.
The EB-5 Green Card
EB-5 stands for ‘Employment-based 5 th Preference’, which is an immigration visa category to the U.S.A, it is a program which aimed at bringing foreign investors to put their capital in U.S. Projects and get a green card in less than a year, for their whole family, which includes their spouse, and all unmarried children under the age of 21, at the time of application.
The investor needs to pitch in $1,000,000 through Direct Investment or $500,000 in targeted projects that are structured under the Regional Centre Program, where they create or preserve at least 10 jobs for local U.S. employees. The investor or his family do not need to clear any criteria of education, language or work experience but they only need to prove a legitimate source of their income to get their green cards approved in a period of less than 365 days. The investments are generally returned within 5 years. The most important aspect of your EB5 decision is to select the ‘right’ investment in the right project. This ensures protection of your immigration rights and capital. It is always advised to work with qualified and experienced professionals and seek a fully transparent and detailed description about the program, the process, as well as the people involved.
H1B vs. EB-5
The H1B visa program works like a regular employment program, in which a person works in the United States for six years on a temporary visa, and a person whose aim is to get a green card may wait in line for years and years and still faces a risk of rejection, in case of complications or the non-fulfilment of all the requirements. If you plan to build your family’s future in the U.S., with better infrastructure and health facilities for the family, and better educational opportunities for the kids, then H1B may not be such a great option to rely on. Recently, the H1B has also been involved in scams by major Indian IT Brands, who have allegedly misused the loopholes in the H1B program to guide their employees across the U.S. Border to work in U.S. companies as cheaper labor, snatching jobs from the localites. Such scams have put a bad name on the H1B scheme, making it difficult for the people applying through it in the future, to be easily selected by the U.S. authorities.
On the other hand, the EB-5 Visa program guarantees the whole family sure-shot Green Cards in less than a year only with one single requirement: the investment amount. It is a zero-complication and the quickest method of acquiring a green card for you and your family and ensures that your family gets the best of all facilities as they stay in the United States of America. It covers most of the loopholes that one faces while applying under the H1B schemes, and makes “The American Dream” for Indian and other Asian families feel much closer and easier to achieve. Therefore, from a family’s point of view, the EB-5 program is much more sensible as it grants green cards to all eligible family members under only one application.
- Pankaj Joshi is the Managing Director of Gurgaon-based NYSA Global. NYSA is a specialized EB-5 firm with its headquarters in Gurgaon, India and offices worldwide. NYSA works with families from around the world through the investment - immigrationprograms and is the only firm in India registered with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) to market EB-5 in India.