EB-5 Investor Program Offers Hope to H1-B Tech Layoffs

In recent years, the tech industry has experienced a series of layoffs, and H-1B visa workers have been hit especially hard. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program can offer a solution to foreign nationals who want to remain in the United States.

The Challenges Faced by H-1B Workers

Foreign workers with specialized skills, and who find an employer willing to sponsor them, can be granted H1-B visas to come live and work in the United States. The most common field to employ foreign nationals in the U.S. is the tech sector. However, this industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other recent factors like market changes, company mergers, and the increased use of automation and artificial intelligence.

In the past year alone, over 257,000 jobs in the tech industry have been cut, as reported by I.T. industry trade group CompTIA. One obvious demographic of U.S. employees heavily affected by this rapid and significant downsizing are H1-B visa holders.

What are the Restrictions of an H1-B visa?

The H1-B visa offers temporary residency. Your immigration status in the United States is tied to your employer and your job position. In addition, your immigration status is subject to review and renewal.

If at any time your role is eliminated or you are terminated, you would have approximately 60 days to find another role at the same company, a job with the same title at another company willing to sponsor your visa, or exit the United States.

Companies looking for employees with these specialized skills often execute months-long searches to find the exact fit candidate with a long-term future in the role. Sixty days is not really enough time for either the employee nor prospective employer to cast a wide net and perform due diligence.

Although companies are not allowed to use an employee’s citizenship as a consideration in who is laid off or fired, legally speaking, a company’s only obligations to H1-B visa employees are to notify USCIS of their change of employment.

The United States has long relied on immigration to drive innovation and growth, and many of the most successful tech companies have been founded or co-founded by immigrants.

However, many tech firms are beginning to publicize that they are shifting practices towards hiring domestically, and even canceling green their card sponsorship programs.

You’ve Lost Your Job. What Now?

The impact of tech layoffs on H1B visa workers is not just economic. Many of these workers have lived in the U.S. for many years, and losing their job can be a devastating blow.

Finding a new job in a dwindling market is difficult under any circumstance. In these cases, the stress is compounded because losing your job could also mean losing your visa.

Most H1-B individuals are not living in the U.S. with a temporary mindset. They were offered an opportunity for a career, not just a job. They purchase homes, and cars, start relationships and families, apply for loans, and put their kids through school. If their employment status should change, 60 days is not nearly enough time to begin to pull up all of those roots.

Despite this sentiment, H1B workers must leave the U.S. if they cannot find new employment within a few weeks or successfully apply to transfer to another type of visa. According to immigration attorneys specializing in employment law, some of those laid off while traveling outside the U.S. are now stuck outside of the country, as their work visa is no longer valid for re-entry

What Are the Broader Implications?

Although it is hard to pin down an exact number, it is estimated that one-quarter of employees in the United States in STEM fields are foreign nationals. What would it mean for the United States to slowly lose the influence of foreign cultures and ideals in our innovation? Canada even recently eclipsed the United States as the most preferred global destination for overseas talent.


There are policies in place that allow foreign nationals who are in the country legally to apply for an adjustment of status (AOS), and remain in the U.S. while the application is processed.

The process known as AOS enables individuals who are already present in the United States to apply for or a Green Card without leaving the country. During the AOS application period, the foreign national may stay in the U.S., but they may not be able to obtain new employment without work authorization.

However, if the individual is eligible for AOS, they may concurrently apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (A.P.) Travel Document. The EAD enables them to work, while the A.P. permits them to travel in and out of the U.S. while their Green Card application is under review.

What Are Alternative Visa Options?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a U.S. immigration initiative that provides foreign investors the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in the United States in exchange for making a capital investment in a qualifying business or project.

Lorrie is a Filipino national who moved to the U.S. on a student visa. After investigating the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program thoroughly, she decided to invest, as this method of getting her Green Card was the best she’d found. Hear what she has to say about it:


Under the EB-5 visa program, foreign investors are required to invest a minimum of $1.05 million—or $800,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA)—in a qualifying new commercial enterprise (NCE) that will bolster job creation for U.S. workers.

The EB-5 immigrant investor program has become an increasingly popular option for foreign nationals looking to secure permanent residency in the U.S. It is a particularly attractive option for those who have been laid off from their H-1B jobs. One of the primary benefits of the program is that it does not require a job offer from a U.S. employer.

If the investment application is successful and the job creation requirements are met, the investor and their eligible immediate family members can qualify for permanent residency in the United States. This includes the right to live, work, and study in the U.S. without restriction or expiration.

Unlike many other visa programs, which require individuals to renew their status every few years, the EB-5 program offers a direct route to a Green Card. This can provide H-1B workers with peace of mind and stability, allowing them to build a life and career in the U.S. without the constant worry of their visa status expiring.

How Do I Get Started?

The EB-5 program is considered one of the fastest ways for foreign investors to obtain a U.S. Green Card, but it can also be a complex and lengthy process with significant risks. Investors should consult an immigration attorney and carefully research and consider all aspects of the program before making an investment.

In addition, it is recommended that EB-5 investors conduct thorough research on potential investment options to ensure that they comply with USCIS standards and are financially viable. This can greatly improve their chances of obtaining an EB-5 Green Card and generating returns on their investment.

EB5AN takes pride in offering low-risk projects. Our dedication to the success of our investors in both immigration and finance is evident in our projects’ strong financial position, compliance with USCIS regulations, and multiple guarantees for investors.

Schedule a free consultation to learn how an EB-5 visa investment can quickly qualify you for the benefits of a U.S. Green Card.