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In today’s blog, we will be taking a look at the differences between the two most popular options for those hoping to live and work in the US.

Understanding the US visa process can be challenging and complex. The first step is taking a look at the choices and deciding which course of action is the best for you, your family, and in accordance with your situation.

Two popular options are the EB-5 and H-1B visa programs. But, it is important to understand the contrasts between these programs. A wrong choice can end up wasting your time, and possibly, not delivering on the desired aim of acquiring a visa.

EB-5 immigrant investor program

Introduced first in the 1990s, the EB-5 immigrant investor program has been a valuable tool for economic development and job creation for more than three decades.

The visa program is managed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and in return for investing $800,000 in businesses located in high unemployment areas, it provides qualified foreign investors with the chance to obtain green cards, and conditional or temporary two-year visas.

Often, the investment is made via a USCIS-designated Regional Center. The investment should create 10 new full-time, permanent jobs for the US employees, and remain invested throughout the application process.

It is important to note that program participants are qualified to get that capital returned upon the loan’s due date after a petition for their Form I-829 has been filed with any interest that investment has made.

In March 2022, Congress passed the new legislation for the long-term EB-5 program, which represents a new period for EB-5. Important concerns such as grandfathering have been communicated and now all present and future investors are assured legally that the immigration advantages they desired for their families through their EB-5 investment cannot be taken away.

The integrity measures are noteworthy and will give greater protection to EB-5 investors.


Live and work in the US

Both the EB-5 and H-1B programs can provide a visa that permits a candidate to live and work in the US. But, there are a few differences in the programs, requirements for eligibility, and freedom each visa permits that are important to keep in mind before starting the process.

Permanent vs Temporary: The EB-5 program provides a green card, which means the investor can apply for a permanent stay in the United States and can also apply to become a US citizen if they wish.

H-1B is a temporary work visa. An H-1B skilled occupation worker or fashion model may be allowed in the US for a period of three years. That period can be prolonged, but it typically cannot be prolonged after a total of six years.

Investment vs work visa: EB-5 is an investment-based visa program. One of the main eligibility criteria is having the compulsory minimum financial investment amount.

Contrary to this, H-1B is a work visa that needs an employer to sponsor and eligibility proof to qualify for a skilled occupation.

Timing: In the period of one and a half years to two years, EB-5 visa candidates can get a conditional green card based on the processing time for the candidate’s country of origin.

The processing time for an H-1B visa depends on the individual cases. In some cases, a temporary visa could be awarded within a period of a few months.

But, the USCIS has limited the number of H-1B visas available each year to 65,000 with 20,000 in addition reserved for international students set to graduate from US institutions with a master’s degree or higher.

Demand for this visa exceeds the number of available visas. For instance, USCIS received 308,613 electronic H-1B applications for FY 2022 and 814 EB-5 Visa applications in FY 2021. Tighter constraints and increased demand have made it more challenging to obtain this type of visa.

Family members: Immediate family members of the visa bearers such as a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are permitted on both of these visas to live in the US.

The EB-5 visa grants family members the chance to work, while family members of an H-1B visa bearer must apply for their work visas separately.

Control your destiny: H-1-B visas require an employer to sponsor. What that means is that your chances to get accepted are linked to that employer in the US, which puts your boss in a power position.

Even though there are laws to keep an eye on the employers from misusing that position, they can restrict your choices. Based on some cases, H-1B visa bearers stay with a sponsor and miss out on greater job opportunities.

In addition to this, that job also may affect where you and your family live if you need to be closer to that job.

EB-5 has no requirement for sponsorship, hence there are no restrictions on employment, but it does require the minimum investment amount of $500,000. You are able to choose the company you want to work for, start your own business or even relocate an already existing business to the US.

This is the end of today’s blog update. We hope you found this blog useful. Please don’t forget to support us by subscribing to our newsletter and sharing this blog with your friends and family on Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.

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