EB-5 more popular cited as visa waiting lists extend

Those wishing to immigrate into the United States, even when qualified to enter, made end up going on a waiting list due to the current congressional restrictions placed on the numerical limits.

Visa waiting lists increase

Statistics show that there is currently a significant amount of people within the United States who are qualified to have a green card but are still on the waiting list.

The situation remains consistent for those individuals who possess a high-level professional salary. A large majority of these individuals includes people from India. At the current time, Indian H-1B visa holders who are awaiting their green card are having to wait as long as 20 years. Even the EB-5 visa program for investors and family members, which requires the individual to contribute a substantial investment into a government designated business program also has a waiting list.

Due to these extended waiting lists, Indian immigrants are switching to the EB-5 programs instead of the H-1B visas. The reason for this offer is that the EB-5 program has a much shorter waiting list. However, the minimum requirement for the investment visa is expected to increase from $500,000 to $900,000 by November 21, 2019, due to newly changed regulations.

The value proposition of the H-1B and EB-5

The H-1B visa has an average waiting period over the years as being up to 10 years which leaves it open for possible exploitation. The problem of delay is seen to be causing American workers to be without jobs. The major objective of the H-1B visa program is to award the immigrant with under-market wages. However, this is also the objective of the EB-5 visa program where the individual is expected to invest in a program with an expected under-market return.

Visa Bulletin Updates

The United States Department of State issues updates via the Visa Bulletin. On the latest visa bulletin released in September, reports that the action date for EB-5 visas is September 1st 2017.

For Indian immigrants, it states that the number of visas to be issued will only go to those who have a priority date that is before the final action date. The final action date is two years ago for citizens from India looking to enter the EB-5 program.

However, this does not mean that Indian investors who have entered the program recently will only have two years to wait. There have been a large number of people from India who have applied for the EB-5 program in the past number of years. The waiting period for immigrants from China is even longer. Chinese nationals seeking to enter the EB-5 visa program have a final action date of October 22nd 2014.

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EB-5 Program Update:

The EB-5 Program has lapsed. The US Congress is discussing the legislation that authorizes the program while USCIS reviews the regulations and policies for filing. Because of the recent court ruling that reversed the 2019 Modernization regulations, the investment level has shifted temporarily from $900,000 back to $500,000.

If the program is reauthorized before the regulations are updated, there may be another window of opportunity to file at $500,000.

LCR expects the program to be reauthorized in February 2022, and continues to work with international families that want to explore alternative residency options.

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