Authored By: Rogelio Caceres, Co-founder & Chief Commercial Officer – LCR Capital Partners
We often receive a common question during our worldwide EB5 Investor Visa Program education efforts: What is the difference between H1B and the EB5 Programs.
To be clear, H-1B and EB-5 are completely different immigration programs.
While the H-1B allows foreign nationals to work in the USA, it does not allow you to obtain a green card as a natural progression of the process. An H1B visa holder must have an employer willing to sponsor a green card via an application submitted on your behalf – which then puts the H1B visa holder in a queue, then depending on your nationality, you can receive a green card in an extended period of time. Certain countries such as Mainland China and India have backlogs in the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 green card categories.
Our preferred immigration attorney partner Fragomen Worldwide’s Mitch Wexler clarifies “The H-1B nonimmigrant professional work visa is very popular and there are literally hundreds of thousands of H-1B visa holders in the US, many of who are Indian citizens. Indian H-1B visa holders in the US are often sponsored for a green cards by their US employers. The rub is that due to per country quotas the backlogs, by some estimations, exceed 20 years which makes that path a wholly untenable green card strategy.”
The bigger challenge for most foreign nationals pursuing the green card through the H1B to EB-1/2/3 process is the difficulty of finding US employers willing to sponsor their H-1B and/or EB-1/2/3 green card applications. Needless to say that the uncertainty of winning the H1B applications lottery in and off itself makes it tough to plan your life and immigration goals.
Wexler says about the H1B process “Meaningful job changes are not permitted and it is virtually impossible to plant deep roots for the applicant and his or her family during period of uncertainty.”
About Mitch Wexler:
Mitch is a Partner at Fragomen and runs 3 of their offices, in Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego which include a significant EB5 team. Mitch was recently elected to his 4th, 3-year term in the firm’s Executive Committee. He is a State Bar of California certified specialist in immigration law and has been practicing exclusively in these areas for over 30 years.
Fragomen Worldwide is the world’s largest business immigration firm [45 offices around the world and 4,000 employees.]
About Rogelio Caceres:
Rogelio is the Co-Founder of LCR Capital Partners and has served as the firm’s Chief Commercial Officer since partnering in early 2014 with Suresh Rajan, the firm’s Founder (and fellow HBS classmate) to launch the firm’s EB-5 business. As CCO, he leads the firm’s innovative EB-5 capital raising activities which are exclusively focused on the development of promising, yet largely overlooked, emerging markets around the world.
About LCR Capital Partners:
Founded by first-generation immigrants who graduated from Harvard Business School in 1997, LCR Capital Partners is a partner-owned, global investment firm which finances the development of signature real estate and hospitality projects across the United States.
On November 21st, 2019, the new regulations came into force, which includes the increase in the minimum investment amount to be $900,000 for TEA approved projects and $1.8 Mn for Non-TEA projects. Please consult your immigration attorney or LCR Commercial Representative for further information.