December 1, 2023

Immigration Green Card

Immigration Is Good For You

EB-5 proves to be a lifeline for H-1B holders, if they can afford it

2 min read
MUMBAI: Several Indians who are in the US on an H-1B non-immigrant visa and are in a decades-long queue for an employment-linked green card are showing a renewed interest in the EB-5 visa (aka the investment linked green card program), albeit this is for those who can afford it.
The minimum investment required is a minimum of $800,000 (Rs. 6.6 crore approximately) in a qualifying project with the creation of at least ten American jobs. The other segment which continues to show interest are Indians within the country whose children are studying in the US or aspire to study in the US.
The main reason for the renewed interest is the Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) that was introduced from March 15, last year, which permits ‘concurrent filing’ of the conditional green card application in Form I-526E and an application for adjustment of status in (the I-485 application for change of status from a non-immigrant visa to a green card).
“The silver lining is that concurrent filing results in obtaining an Employment Authorisation Document (EAD) within 6 months, allowing them to remain in the US while waiting for their green card and be gainfully employed. This also enables them to change employers without any worries and after receiving advance parole even travel freely to India,” states Abhinav Lohia, managing director, global business development at Golden Gate Global – an EB-5 regional center.
“It should be noted that such concurrent filing is only available to foreign individuals who are physically present in the US in lawful US visa status. It grants applicants the ability to enjoy the benefits of permanent resident status while they await the approval of their I-526E petition,” states Nicholas A. Mastroianni III, President and Chief Marketing Officer, US Immigration Fund (USIF), a Florida based EB-5 regional center.
“The temporary work permit under I-485 Adjustment of Status is valid for two years, is renewable, and allows the holder to work for employers as a salaried employee and/or independent contractor,” adds Mastroianni III.
The layoffs had resulted in H-1B workers scrambling to find another job within 60 days or transition to another visa like a F-1 (student visa) or a B visitor visa. EB-5 offers more security. “The concurrent filing stops the 60 days clock and allows the investor to remain in the US,” adds Lohia.
He points out that the RIA has also set aside 20% of all EB-5 visas for rural area projects and 10% for high unemployment urban areas and 2% for infrastructure projects. Under these set-aside visa categories the priority date for Indian born applicants is current, which allows them to receive a green card immediately upon approval.”
Mastroianni III chimes in, “Reserved visas are not subject to any visa waiting lists presently, thereby enabling new EB-5 investors to jump to the front of the line over EB-5 investors who submitted applications in 2019-2021.”


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