Obtaining an H-1B visa has become a matter of luck. Demand for H-1B visas far exceeds the annual quota. Each year, on April 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) opens the filing period for 65,000 new H-1B visas, plus an additional 20,000 for individuals with advanced degrees. Over the past several years, this filing period has closed within a week due to the overwhelming number of petitions. For example, on April 7 of this year, USCIS announced that it had already received 172,500 H-1B petitions and had stopped accepting additional petitions.
When the number of applications exceeds the available visas, USCIS uses a lottery system to allocate the visas. A computer-generated process randomly selects the number of petitions needed to meet the quota, and any petitions not selected will be rejected. On the other hand, the EB-5 program has never reached its quota. The fact is, demand for EB-5 visas is far less, and that makes them far easier to obtain.
Furthermore, the EB-5 visa offers a much more direct path to permanent residency than the H-1B. The EB-5 is a true immigrant visa establishing a path to permanent residency for up to 10,000 immigrant investors and their immediate family every year. The H-1B on the other hand, is a non-immigrant visa that typically lasts between three to six years.
Finally, the H-1B visa requires sponsorship from a U.S. employer. If, for any reason, your employment were terminated, you would need to find another employer to sponsor your H1-B visa or you would be forced to leave the U.S. The EB-5 program has no such requirement. When an immigrant investor applies for an EB-5 visa, he or she will receive a conditional green card and after two years, can apply to have the conditional status removed. Investor immigrants have had a great deal of success making the transition to permanent residency in recent years and any risks of failure in the EB-5 program can be minimized by hiring an experienced EB-5 attorney to conduct proper research and due diligence on the project you invest in.
If you are considering permanent residency in the United States, the EB-5 visa may be the best choice for you. Our San Francisco EB-5 immigration attorneys at the Law Offices of Vaughan de Kirby can advise you on the information necessary to qualify for an EB-5 visa. Call us today at 415-221-2345 for more information.