Many Indian IT experts working in the US have relied on the H-1B visa. However, recent cutbacks have put many in danger of deportation. This has increased interest in the EB-5 visa program, an alternate route to permanent US immigration.
H1-B visa holders must find new employment within 60 days after termination. Deportation is possible if not. The company supports the immigrant under this arrangement, and if they are laid off, they lose their legal status in the US.
The Wall Street Journal reports that large-scale tech layoffs have affected tens of thousands of H-1B workers in the US, mostly because one-quarter of foreign-born employees work in STEM disciplines. EB-5 “immigration-by-investment” visas are becoming more popular due to IT layoffs.
In exchange for an investment of $800,000 in projects that are offered through an EB-5 “Regional Center” designated by the USCIS (US Citizenship & Immigration Services) and located in high unemployment areas that create at least ten permanent full-time jobs for US workers, the EB-5 visa program gives qualified foreign investors the opportunity to earn a conditional, or temporary, two-year green card. This is possible in exchange for the investor’s participation in the EB-5 visa program.
There are several positive aspects to the EB-5 visa program. In the first place, it offers a straightforward route to permanent residence in the United States. Your two years spent as a conditional permanent resident will be counted toward the five years of legal permanent residence that are required to become a citizen of the United States if you have a conditional green card that is obtainable under the EB-5 program. After this five-year time has passed, you will be able to submit an application for US citizenship. Additionally, in contrast to the H-1B visa, applicants under this program are not needed to have a sponsor, nor are there any educational or professional requirements to meet in order to be eligible.
The EB-5 visa program is quite flexible, which is yet another big benefit of the program. Investors are free to live and work in any part of the United States without the need for sponsorship. In addition, an investor’s spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 who are included in the investor’s application for an EB-5 green card may also be eligible for green cards.
There are 10,000 EB-5 visas available each year to be given out to immigrants and members of their families who are reliant on them. As Indian IT workers mull over the uncertainties caused by waves of US tech layoffs and the limitations of the H-1B visa, they are taking a closer look at attractive options such as the EB-5 visa, which provides more life and job choices as well as more freedoms for both the individuals and their family members.
Indian citizens who are already legally present in the United States on another visa, such as an H-1B, now have access to alternatives that make changing their status easier. Recent changes to the Immigration Nationality Act can extend the 60-day grace period for re-employment, providing H-1B visa holders with a cushion of additional time to consider their EB-5 visa options. Additionally, recent changes to immigration EB-5 reforms allow immigrants to concurrently file for an adjustment of their status while still in the United States.