As Big Tech Layoffs Imperil Visas for Foreign Workers, CanAm Puts Spotlight on EB-5 Option

By Peter Calabrese

Displaced immigrant workers may take fresh look at EB-5 visa program

Recent reports of significant layoffs at big tech companies may mean that many immigrants whose visas are conditioned upon their continued employment in the U.S. might find that the time has come to explore other visa options that offer more stability, while requiring fewer minimum immigration qualifications. For this reason, CanAm Enterprises (“CanAm”), a leading EB-5 regional center, is urging those highly skilled foreign workers, particularly those H-1B holders who may be disproportionately impacted by workforce reductions in the U.S. tech sector, to look closely at the EB-5 immigration program, which now includes the added benefit of concurrent filing.

An estimated 25 percent of U.S. tech jobs are held by immigrants, while Indian nationals made up about 75 percent of all H-1B work visas in Federal FY 2021. Recent mass layoff announcements by major social media sites and other tech companies means that displaced workers have a two-month period following termination in which to find new U.S. employment before having to return to their home country and seek an amended or new type of visa.

The H-1B visa has made it possible for innovative Indian workers to migrate to America over the last two decades and make the U.S.A. a world leader in the tech industry. The H-1B has since undergone a series of policy changes, including the implementation of a lottery system to obtain the visa, that have made it a less reliable pathway to U.S. immigration. While the ripple effect of mass tech layoffs only contributes to the uncertainties of H-1B, the EB-5 option offers more predictability and the opportunity for immigrants to remain in the U.S. without having to rely on an employer sponsor.

EB-5 is creative government program that helps enable foreign nationals to become permanent U.S. residents when they make an $800,000 investment that creates U.S. jobs in a “Targeted Employment Area”.  EB-5 Regional Centers like CanAm are designated by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) to help U.S. Immigrants meet program qualifications, visa requirements and investment goals.  How can you determine whether the EB-5 visa may make sense for you, and understand how it differs from the H-1B visa? CanAm has an affiliated has a FINRA-registered broker dealer (CanAm Investor Services) that can help you sort it all out. For example, EB-5, unlike H-1B, has no sponsorship or educational requirements; there are neither language nor business background requirements, and the program was recently reformed to make it easier for immigrants to navigate the visa petition process by adjusting their visa status through concurrent filing.

Under a provision of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, qualified applicants who are already in lawful status in the U.S. to file an application to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident (Form I-485) concurrently with the filing of their EB-5 petitions (Form I-526E). Such a filing allows applicants to remain in the U.S. while their EB-5 petitions and adjustment applications are pending. With this option, displaced tech workers would be able to remain in the U.S with an EB-5 visa, even if they could not continue employment through their H-1B visa.

The U.S. has always been a nation that welcomes and supports immigrants from across the globe. Helping Indians continue their employment brings personal stability to immigrants and their families while retaining talented workers in America to keep our economy strong. We encourage immigrants on an H-1B or other lawful status to evaluate all their options and take an informed decision should they like to live in the U.S. long-term.

For more than 35 years, CanAm has been assisting clients with their immigration and investment goals. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore, CanAm serves a domestic and international community of over 6,000 investors. CanAm entered the India markets in 2017 and has worked with more than 600 clients from India. Contact us today to learn how we may be able to help you, too.

Peter Calabrese is CEO at CanAm Investor Services, a FINRA-registered broker dealer affiliated with CanAm Enterprises, a leading EB-5 regional center.

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

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