H-1B Visa suspended: Here is how to invest to opt for alternative options

Financial Express | By:  | Updated: Jun 26, 2020 12:14 PM
Through regional investment centers, these immigrants can be a part of the collective money invested by the regional center, in a development project in the US. Other than the EB-5 visa program, there are other employment-based categories for obtaining PR in the US.

US President Trump recently suspended the H-1B, L, and other temporary work permit visas. This move, the White House said, would help the coronavirus-battered economy, and protect the local workers who are facing unemployment due to the spread of COVID-19. However, the decision was strongly opposed by business groups, especially the technology industry, that said it would hurt the country more and delay the recovery of the US economy.

The H-1B is granted by the US to 85,000 ‘high-skilled’ workers every year, mostly in the technology industry. H1-B visa means work permit validity in the US for up to 6 years. Around 131,549 Indians, followed by 28,483 mainland Chinese citizens, were issued H-1B visas in the fiscal year 2019, including both new applicants and renewals. H-4 visas are for the dependents of H-1B and H-2B (spouses and children). Even though the suspension does not explicitly address H-4 visa holders, it does restrict the entry for any accompanying party following to join the restricted categories.

Mark Davies, Global Chairman, Davies & Associates, LLC, says, “The H-1B visa category has faced increasing restrictions for years, even predating President Trump. We also expect further restrictions to H-1B even after the president’s current suspension is lifted, and see many of our H-1B clients seeking out alternatives like E-2 and EB-5, neither of which have been included in the president’s executive orders.” He adds, “Alternatives options like E-2 and EB-5 visas target business owners and investors. Also, the Trump administration has even given financial support to Indian-owned US businesses during the Covid-19. The only complication for an Indian E-2 applicant is that they must first obtain a Grenadian or Turkish passport, but the whole process can take less than 6 months.” Davies & Associates, LLC is a U.S. immigration law firm headquartered in New York City.

Here is how you can use EB-5 to land in the U.S.

The EB-5 visa is the quickest way to obtain permanent residency in the US. Under the EB-5 visa, investors are eligible to apply for Green Card (permanent residence) and can choose any kind of work in the US. EB-5 visa includes the visa holder, their spouses and unmarried children (under 21).

Tom Rosenfeld, President, and CEO of CanAm Enterprises say, “With highly educated and sophisticated upper and middle classes, Indian nationals are perfect for the EB-5 program. With the Trump administration suspending H-1B and other work visas, EB-5 is the best path for Indians aspiring to live the American dream. EB-5 provides permanent green cards to your entire family, spouse, and qualifying dependents.” CanAm Enterprises is an operator of immigration-linked investment in the United States and Canada.

An immigrant needs to invest a minimum amount of 500,000 dollars (around Rs 34.2 million) in a new business or a development project in the U.S. to apply for the EB-5 visa. The EB-5 visa can be obtained through two ways, either by direct investment or by investing through a regional investment centre. When the immigrant invests directly, he has to set up his own business. Along with that, the immigrant has to create or give 10 qualified US workers permanent full-time jobs within 2 years.

Through regional investment centres, these immigrants can be a part of the collective money invested by the regional centre, in a development project in the US. When an immigrant takes the EB-5 visa route, the time taken to obtain a green card is also much faster, as compared to other visa programmes, where the wait time is 10-30 years to get permanent residency.

Other than the EB-5 visa programme, there are other employment-based categories for obtaining PR in the US – EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-4 visas. For these visa programmes you will be charged around $10,000-$12,000, however, the waiting period is longer.

The United States offers around 10,000 EB-5 visas every year with a limit of 700 per country. According to the U.S. Department of State, India was among the top 3 countries from where EB-5 investors originated.

According to a recent statistic from the U.S. Department of State, the wait time for an EB-5 visa filed by an Indian investor has rapidly reduced this year, hence, EB-5 visas are immediately up for grab for Indian EB-5 visa applicants.

Rosenfeld of CanAm says, “Under the current political regime, firstly, there are increasing restrictions on the H-1B category as well as the travel ban suspending other work visa categories that have been traditionally available to Indian nationals. On the other hand, there is no wait time currently for Indian investors eligible for an EB-5 visa. Indians who are weary of renewing non-immigrant visas, adjusting to an EB-5 visa will assure them the opportunities they are seeking in the U.S. for themselves and their families.”

About CanAm Enterprises 

CanAm Enterprises, with over three decades of experience promoting immigration-linked investments in the US and Canada, has a demonstrated track record of success. With over 60 financed projects and $3 billion in raised EB-5 investments, CanAm has earned a reputation for credibility and trust. To date, CanAm has repaid more than $2.26 billion in EB-5 capital from over 4,530 families. CanAm manages several USCIS-designated regional centers that stretch across multiple states. For more information, please visit www.canamenterprises.com.

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