How the United States’ EB-5 visa supports Indian workers amid H-1B turmoil

By Peter Calabres, CEO at CanAm Investor Services 

While H-1B has traditionally been the visa of choice among Indians seeking to work and live in the United States, a series of events unfolding over the last year have quickly changed those norms. From October 2020 to September 2021, the Indian workforce secured an impressive 74% of the over 407,000 H-1B visas issued.

But according to the Wall Street Journal, many have been impacted by large-scale tech layoffs because roughly one-quarter of all foreign-born employees are in STEM fields of technology and science. Due to its non-immigrant, short-term visa designation, the H-1B visa program requires immigrants to find a new U.S. employer sponsor within 60 days of termination from their job, or risk deportation.

Indian professionals and employers alike are exploring alternative options — including the EB-5 visa – to overcome many challenges arising with the H-1B visa process. Factors such as limited annual quotas, a lottery system, intense competition, policy changes, and delays in visa processing have significantly impacted career plans and job opportunities. This has led to anxiety and uncertainty among Indian workers with long-term aspirations tied to U.S. employment. Indian students studying in the United States also face uncertainty and challenges should they elect to continue their studies and pursue a career in America. Both F1 and H-1B visas are “non-immigrant” visas that do not offer a clear path to permanent residency.

Why EB-5 May be a More Suitable Option
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program (EB-5) is an alternative that offers green cards with greater flexibility – and less uncertainly – than other visas to work and study in the United States. Administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 visa provides a direct path to permanent residency for foreign investors through investment in a qualifying U.S. business.

No Employer Sponsorship
Unlike the H-1B visa, which requires employer sponsorship, the EB-5 visa allows individuals to pursue their career endeavours in the U.S. without being tied to a specific employer.

Freedom to Live and Work Anywhere
The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 allows EB-5 petitioners who reside in the U.S. in lawful status (such as an H-1B visa) to file an application to adjust their visa to that of a lawful permanent resident (Form I-485) concurrently with the filing of their EB-5 petition (Form I-526E). With this new concurrent filing option, Indian H-1B holders can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card and Advance Parole (travel permit) immediately after they file for their Form I-526E and Form I-485. In addition, displaced workers seeking to concurrently file are entitled to a grace period beyond H-1B’s 60-day employment deadline, thanks to another recent law change in the Immigration Nationality Act.

Educational Opportunities
EB-5 visa holders have access to the same educational opportunities as U.S. citizens, including public schools, colleges, and universities. With an EB-5 visa, qualifying children may also be eligible tuition rates that are discounted from what other foreign national students may pay. This may be particularly appealing to Indian families who seek a quality education and a bright economic future for their children.

As Indian professionals navigate the evolving landscape of immigration options, the EB-5 visa provides an attractive alternative that addresses the challenges and uncertainties common with the H-1B visa program, offering true stability, freedoms and benefits for those seeking to chart their own path in the United States.

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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