It is no secret that obtaining a green card is not as easy as it used to be a few years ago. Many things have changed for immigrants and green card applicants since President Donald Trump assumed offices over a year ago.
Known for his hardline anti-immigration views and anti-refugee rhetoric, Trump and his administration have made it very uneasy for foreigners to pursue a green card even through an H-1B visa, which used to be one of the surest paths to a green card.
In fact, CNN reported last week that the number of applicants for the H-1B visa, which is available to highly-skilled foreign workers in fields where the U.S. lacks qualified Americans, has plummeted over the past years. In 2017, the number of applicants for the visa fell below 200,000 applications for the first time since 2014. And this year, the number has further dropped.
So what is the best way to get a green card in the Trump era, when the H-1B visa, once a sure-fire way to become a permanent resident, has clearly lost its appeal among foreigners? This is the question we asked a Salt Lake City green card attorney from the Familia America Immigration law firm.
What is the best way to get a green card in 2018? (over 93% of success!)
Turns out, there is actually a way to get a green card and become a permanent resident without having to apply for the H-1B visa. The answer is: an investor visa. Better yet, you do not have to be a highly-skilled worker or some big tech genius to get your green card. But it is not all rainbow and unicorns, as there is one major downside to an investor visa.
As you may have guessed already, we are talking about exclusive visa known as the EB-5, the visa that requires you make a generous investment of between $500,000 and more than $1 million in a new business venture that creates at least 10 jobs. In order to file for the visa, foreigners must file the I-526 petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
It is pretty clear that only a small fraction of foreigners who want to become U.S. permanent residents will be able to benefit from the investor visa, though it remains the surest path to a green card, as it guarantees a 93% success of getting your immigration petition approved.
In 2017, 12,165 foreigners filed the I-526 petition, of which 11,321 were approved.
How to apply for the EB-5 visa for permanent residency?
The EB-5 visa, which was introduced in 1990 as part of the U.S. government’s efforts to strengthen its economy through capital investment and new jobs, allows (rich) foreigners to get a green card through an investment of at least $500,000, our Salt Lake City green card lawyer explains.
While foreigners are generally required to make an investment of at least $1 million to qualify for permanent residency under the EB-5 program, the minimum investment requirements drops to $500,000 for new business ventures in high-unemployment or rural areas in Utah and all across the nation.
Once you have invested and at least 10 jobs were created, you become eligible to file the I-526 petition with the USCIS. After your petition is approved, you can apply to the State Department for the EB-5 visa. If immigration authorities agree that your investment projects meets the requirement, you will be able to get a green card.
And the best part is this: the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 are also eligible to become U.S. permanent residents under the EB-5 visa.
Do you want to learn more about the EB-5 visa or other, less expensive, ways to get a green card and become a permanent resident? Schedule a free consultation with our skilled attorneys at the Familia America Immigration law firm. Call our offices at 801-656-9605 or fill out this contact form today. Se habla Espanol.