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Why You Should Consider Switching Your H-1B Visa to an EB-5 Visa

3.25 minute read
"The H-1B Visa and the EB-5 Visa are immensely popular pathways for foreign workers and businesses to immigrate to the United States. However, in light of the pandemic, many immigrants are unsure about what the future holds for both visa programs. So, let’s find out!"
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 22, 2021
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The H-1B Visa and the EB-5 Visa are immensely popular pathways for foreign workers and businesses to immigrate to the United States. However, in light of the pandemic, many immigrants are unsure about what the future holds for both visa programs. So, let’s find out!

What Is the Future of the H-1B Visa?

The H-1B Visa has been suffering from increased fraud and image problems. First introduced in the 1990s, the H-1B Visa became popular around the 2000s with the tech boom and an exponential increase in demand for tech workers. However, since then, the H-1B Visa has suffered due to a misconception that it adversely affects the opportunities for American workers. 

The H-1B Visa has faced limitations and restrictions under both Democrats and Republicans. Former President Donald Trump even suspended the H-1B Visas last year citing the importance of protecting American jobs during the time of the pandemic. When President Joe Biden came to office, he chose to let the suspension end naturally at the end of March 2021 rather than overturning it. All this indicates uncertainty in the future of the H-1B Visas.

What Is the Future of the EB-5 Visas?

The future of the EB-5 Visa program is expected to be secure once it gets through its Regional Center Reauthorization Process in June 2021. The EB-5 Visa garners support from both political parties as it brings in millions of dollars and creates employment opportunities at no cost to the taxpayers. 

There are two types of investments that one can make for an EB-5 Visa:

Direct Investment: 

It is when the investor makes and manages their investment on their own. This aspect of the EB-5 Visa will continue regardless of the reauthorization process in Congress. 

Indirect Investment: 

It is when the investors opt to invest under the Regional Center program. A majority of EB-5 applicants opt for this method. The investment requires applicants to create 10 employment opportunities for Americans. However, under indirect investment, applicants can also consider “indirect jobs” created by the Regional Centers.

When Can You Apply for the H-1B Visa and the EB-5 Visa?

The H-1B Visa lottery opens up every year in April and the slots are filled quickly. The EB-5 Visa has no such calendar. It is open to applications throughout the year. However, EB-5 Visas have country caps, meaning that every country has a quota of just over 700 EB-5 Visas. Every October, 700 EB-5 visas for different countries are offered based on the processing efficiency of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

How Long Can You Stay in the US on an H-1B Visa and an EB-5 Visa?

The H-1B visa is issued initially for 6 years. At the end of this period, the H-1B Visa holder must find an alternative visa or return to their home country. Most often, H-1B Visa holders opt for the EB-3 Visa to gain permanent residence. However, applicants from India and China face delays to gain an EB-3 Visa due to high demand.

However, there is no such waiting period for applicants from India and China hoping to gain an EB-5 Visa. Eligible applicants can apply for permanent residency in the US as long as they meet all the eligibility requirements.

What Are the Conditions of Employment Authorization Under an H-1B Visa and an EB-5 Visa?

The H-1B Visa is an employer-specific visa, meaning that applicants are tied to their employers, making it difficult for them to switch jobs. This is a great disadvantage regarding salary negotiations with an employer since the employee is unable to quit. The EB-5 Visa offers a pathway for permanent residence in the US, therefore, the applicant can gain authorization to work permanently in the US.

How to Switch from an H-1B Visa to an EB-5 Visa?

You will be required to submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to switch from an H-1B visa to an EB-5 Visa. You will also be authorized to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) while waiting for your permanent residence application to be processed.

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