With some of the best colleges in the world, the United States is where many high school graduates around the world set their sights. However, the process of immigrating to the United States can be complex, and student visas come with numerous work and residency restrictions. The EB-5 Immigration Investor Program is the best option.
The EB-5 program provides foreign investors and their families with a pathway to obtaining U.S. permanent resident status through an investment in the U.S. economy. EB-5 investors are required to invest a minimum of $900,000 if the EB-5 project is located in a targeted employment area (TEA) or $1.8 million if it is not. The project must create 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. workers for the investor to be eligible to obtain a U.S. green card.
What Does an EB-5 Visa Offer Students?
An EB-5 visa offers international students the same advantages when it comes to working and studying in the United States as those afforded to U.S. citizens, including a higher likelihood of acceptance to U.S. colleges, access to more affordable in-state tuition rates, no employment restrictions, and the ability to continue residing in the United States post-graduation.
U.S. colleges consistently rank among the top universities in the world, making them attractive to both international and domestic students and resulting in highly competitive admissions processes. To make matters more difficult for international students, U.S. colleges accept fewer international students than they do domestic students. Since international students with permanent resident status are considered U.S. residents, they have better odds of being accepted into a U.S. college than their international peers who do not have EB-5 visas.
As students with EB-5 visas are considered U.S. residents, they are eligible for the more affordable in-state tuition rates at some colleges in their state of residence. This can significantly reduce the cost of college, saving some students as much as $22,000 yearly. They may also be eligible for financial aid and scholarships that are not available to international students.
Work and Residency Restrictions
Students with EB-5 visas are not limited by the work restrictions that international students are subjected to while attending school. Rather, they have the same freedom as U.S. students to choose whichever job opportunities appeal to them.
Upon graduation, students with EB-5 visas are free of the worries that plague many international students. With their U.S. green card, these graduates can continue to live and work freely in the United Sates, whereas international students who wish to remain in the United States must apply for another visa to extend their stay. Most international students choose to apply for the H-1B visa, which is a lottery-based system that requires employer sponsorship, making it both difficult to obtain and an uncertain bet
Gifting an EB-5 Visa
The EB-5 visa program not only offers investors the opportunity to attain U.S. permanent resident status but also extends that opportunity to their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. Parents may also choose to gift their children the necessary investment funds to apply for the EB-5 program. This is an option if the parents themselves do not wish to immigrate or their children are married or over 21.
Timing is important when it comes to applying for the EB-5 visa program. Processing times can be years long, especially for investors from countries with high EB-5 demand, such as China, Vietnam, and India. On the other hand, EB-5 investors from countries with lower demand can obtain their EB-5 visas more quickly. EB-5 investors from India may soon join them, as the Indian backlog is expected to be cleared up by summer 2020. Regardless of their country of origin, however, foreign investors still need to account for the time it will take to move through EB-5 visa process to ensure that there are no delays to when their children can begin their studies in the United States.