In most countries, another school year is coming to an end, and youth around the world are preparing to embark on new adventures. New high school graduates will start selecting their classes at university, and new college graduates will set out in the professional world to make a name for themselves. Many of these fresh graduates have their sights set on the United States to achieve their educational and career aspirations.
The downside is that immigration is a tricky process, and many new international students and graduates in the United States are restricted by their study visas. International students are severely limited in terms of the jobs they can take during their studies, and international graduates must rush to secure employment with a company willing to sponsor them for a visa. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a godsend for both.
Brief Overview of the EB-5 Program
The EB-5 program was created in 1990 to foster the U.S. economy via the capital of foreign investors. The minimum required investment amount is generally $1.8 million but drops to $900,000 if the EB-5 project is in a targeted employment area (TEA). As long as an investor’s funds create 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. workers, the investor and his or her family are entitled to U.S. green cards.
The Benefits of an EB-5 Visa for Students
The many issues international students face when studying or working in the United States can be solved with an EB-5 visa. The following are some of the ways in which students can benefit from an EB-5 visa.
Easier Admission to U.S. Colleges
The United States is home to many of the world’s best universities, with numerous U.S. institutes making nearly every list of top colleges worldwide. Ambitious youth both in the United States and abroad dream of studying at top-tier schools such as Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley, but the admissions process is competitive, and only the best are admitted.
Unfortunately for international students, the admissions process is even more competitive than for domestic students. Typically, U.S. colleges accept a lower percentage of international students than U.S. students. However, applicants with an EB-5 visa are considered U.S. residents, which places them in a better pool for the admissions process.
Lower Tuition Costs
Depending on the college, in-state applicants may be eligible to save on tuition costs—sometimes to a substantial degree. Savings of up to $22,000 per year are possible through in-state tuition cuts. In-state applicants may also be qualified to apply to more financial aid programs or receive a wider range of scholarships. An EB-5 visa grants applicants these rights in their state of residence.
No Work Restrictions During College
While international students in the United States are entitled to receive the same high-quality post-secondary education as U.S. students, their work opportunities are severely limited. International students studying on the F-1 or M-1 visas can only take on certain jobs or internships during their college period, which puts them at a disadvantage when they graduate and try to compete with their U.S. peers on the job market.
In contrast, students with an EB-5 visa can take advantage of all the same work opportunities as U.S. students, allowing them to build up their professional experience, polish their résumé, and easily compete with their peers for jobs in the U.S. market.
Right to Continue Residing in the United States After Graduation
For many international students, the excitement of receiving their hard-earned degree at the end of their studies is followed quickly by a harsh reality: their soon-to-expire right to live in the United States. Most opt for the H-1B visa, but it requires employer sponsorship, which can be difficult to attain, and since the H-1B operates through a lottery-based system, these graduates are gambling with their future in the United States.
Graduates with an EB-5 can bypass all the bureaucratic uncertainty and anxiety their international classmates face. U.S. green card holders can receive their degrees and walk off stage confident in their prosperous future in the United States thanks to the EB-5 program.
Give Your Child the Gift of EB-5
Under the EB-5 program, entire families can immigrate to the United States, provided the children are not married and are younger than 21. However, in cases where a child is too old or married, or where the parents simply don’t wish to immigrate themselves, parents may gift their child the funds they need to participate in the EB-5 program. EB-5 capital may be the most valuable gift for a young graduate with high ambitions and dreams of a life in the United States.
A U.S. education or career is, of course, still possible without an EB-5 visa, but the EB-5 program can make your child’s journey easier and more comfortable in numerous ways. To put your child on the same level as U.S. nationals and afford them the highest chances of success, a gift of EB-5 funds is the way to go.
In their planning, EB-5 investors must bear in mind the processing times for their country of origin, as miscalculations could result in a delayed start to their child’s future. EB-5 investors from China, Vietnam, and India are subject to backlogs, which means they have to wait longer to obtain their EB-5 visa, since each country is only allocated about 700 EB-5 visas per year. The good news is that investors from all other countries can obtain EB-5 visas relatively quickly, and Indian investors may join them by summer 2020, if the current trend of low EB-5 demand continues.