One of my primary goals as an immigration attorney is to help my clients educate themselves about their options, so that they can make the best decision possible for themselves and their families. Often clients ask me, "What's the quickest way to get a Green Card?" In comparing the different routes to a Green Card, I believe that the EB5 visa program is the most direct path to getting a Green Card. The other options include having a client on a non-immigrant working visa such as an H-1B and then later applying for a green card through one of the other employment based (EB) cateogries. Let's take a look at how the EB5 program compares to another visa program: the H-1B Visa.
The H-1B visa can be an initial step toward a Green Card and allow you to temporarily work for your H-1B employer on your way to this goal. The idea behind this visa is to allow an American employer to sponsor a foreign worker, who can legally immigrate the United States to fill an employment position that requires special skills or knowledge-a job for which the employer is unable to find a qualified American citizen.
The problem is, the H-1B has limited availability, is employment dependent, and has a duration of only six years. Obtaining a Green Card through an H-1B visa requires, at a minimum, a successful Labor Certification. The Labor Certification process is complicated and uncertain, and requires the cooperation of your employer.
The bottom line is that the H-1B is not a recommended path to a Green Card if another viable option exists. If you are prepared to invest $500,000 in the U.S. economy, it is very likely that the EB5 visa represents the best possible path to a Green Card for you and your family. With few exceptions, this is the only path to a Green Card that is direct and guaranteed, as long as you are able to make the necessary investment and meet certain basic requirements.