EB5 Visa Versus H1B Visa: Which Is Right For You?

In recent years there has been buzz among the immigration law community about the rising popularity of the EB5 visa and decline of the H1B visa among similar applicants. This stems from the fact that the future of the H1B visa is uncertain. Therefore, anyone seeking entry into the US that would have formerly qualified for the H1B may be searching for any other path to gain legal entry into the US.

Without the specifics, no one can tell you which is right for you. However, each visa has a very specific set of requirements that may take the guesswork out entirely – if there is only one that you might qualify.

What is the EB5 Visa?

The EB5 visa allows for certain foreign investors to obtain US permanent residency. To qualify, the investor must meet capital investment amount requirements, job creation requirements, and ensure that the business receiving the investment qualifies for the EB5 program.

EB5 Additional Information

EB5 visa applicants are typically required to make either a $500,000. or $1 million capital investment amount into a US commercial enterprise. The investment can take the form of cash, inventory, equipment, secured indebtedness, tangible property, or cash equivalents and is valued based on the US dollar fair-market value.

Once awarded, EB5 visa holders, their spouse, and their children under 21 will obtain their permanent residency green card.

What is the H1B Visa?

The H1B visa program is the primary method for employers to recruit & hire international professionals and international students to work in the USA. The H1B visa enables US employers to hire foreign professionals for a specified period of time. The program allows workers in specialty occupations to work in the US for up to a total of six (6) years.

One of the things that makes the H1B so desirable is that, unlike many other nonimmigrant visa categories, it is a “dual intent” visa. This means that a visa will not be denied simply because a person has intentions to become a permanent resident. The assumption is that if for some reason the permanent residency petition is denied, the person would still have the intention to return home.

H1B Requirements?

To qualify for the H1B visa, an applicant must find a US job and obtain sponsorship. Your job must be a specialty occupation, as defined by the USCIS. A specialty occupation is one that meets the following criteria:

  • The minimum entry for the job is a Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • The job is so complex or unique that only someone with that particular education can do it
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position
  • The job is so complex that it requires a bachelor’s degree or higher

H1B Additional Information

The US Congress sets the cap on the number of H1B visas that can be issued each year. Right now, the cap is set at 65,000 for H1B applicants. An additional 20,000 visas are reserved for international students graduating with an MBA or above.

The H1B worker’s family may also be permitted to live in the US while their H1B visa is in effect. An H1B holders spouse and children (under the age of 21) can move to the US, too. But, they cannot be a paid employee while on the H4 visa.

H1B Current Status

The H1B visa appears to be in jeopardy due to a number of initiatives by the Trump administration. Many have taken direct aim at this particular visa program making entry far more difficult. Unfortunately, visa denials are at rates much higher than usual.

Which One Is Right For You?

There are plenty of articles out there that will tell you that one visa is better than the other. That is impossible to do and say. You and your circumstances are different than the next guy. That’s why it’s important to discuss your immigration intentions and options with a seasoned immigration attorney.

LawTrades Can Help

We understand that the prospect of finding an immigration attorney and paying for one sound like daunting prospects. However, we can match you up with a skilled immigration attorney. Your attorney will go over all elements of your situation to steer you in the right direction.