【ARCFE Blog】 GETTING GREEN CARD AS F-1 OR H1B? PICK THE EASY WAY!
03/23/2022 by ARCFE U.S.
Did you know that there is an easier and faster way for F-1 international students or professionals on H1B visa to get a green card? Concurrent filing in the new EB-5 program allows you to do just that! Let us explain what concurrent filing is and how it will benefit you and simplify your process of getting a green card.
We know how hard it is to get a green card when you are on a non-immigrant visa like F-1 or H1B. For F-1 international students, getting a job post-graduation is already stressful since there is a limited number of companies that are willing to offer a position to international students. Many companies prefer hiring green card holders or citizens because it is a less costly option for them. Yet, international students also have to race against the 90 days time limit of their post-completion OPT.
Let’s say you are one of the lucky ones and got a job, there is still no guarantee you will get sponsored for H1B. Even if you do get sponsored, getting the H1B visa is literally going through a lottery with a success rate of 30%. And despite all of that effort, H1B does not equal a green card. In order for you to get the green card as an H1B visa holder, you will need the company to sponsor you for EB-2 or EB-3.
EB-5 is an investment immigration program, where investors and their family (including their spouse and children under 21 years old) are eligible to get green cards, and eventually become U.S. citizens (if they choose to apply) through investing in a real estate development project in the U.S.
Congress created the EB-5 program in the 1990s to push for economic growth and job creation.
When investors decide to invest in the EB-5 program, the first petition that they will submit to the USCIS among other documents is the I-526 petition – Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. After USCIS processes and approves the application, the investors and their families will get their green cards. 5 years after getting their green cards, they can apply for citizenship.
Compared to the traditional way of F-1 to H1B to green card, the EB-5 program:
(1) Saves you time – It takes a lot longer for you to go through the whole process of trying to get a company to sponsor you the H1B visa, then going through possibly few rounds of H1B lottery (you can only apply for H1B once a year), then spend 6 years under H1B visa. Yet, H1B a non-immigrant visa and does not equal green cards.
(2) Saves you money – All the additional money that you are spending for tuitions and going through multiple visa applications, you could save them by choosing the EB-5 program instead. When choosing the EB-5 program, you do have to invest a certain amount into a real estate development project. However, that investment is refundable after a period of time.
(3) More certainty in getting green cards – As an F-1 student, it is very hard to find a company that’s willing to hire international student and sponsor them H1B. Even if the company agrees to sponsor, H1B is a visa lottery program with only 30% of success. Despite all that time and efforts, H1B is not a green card. If you want to get a green card after 6 years of H1B, you have to apply for EB-2 or EB-3, which for some countries such as India, this is practically impossible due to the tremendous amount of backlog.
The picture above is the April 2022 Visa Bulletin released by the Department of State. The date you see above is “Priority Date”. What this means is that USCIS will only be processing applications that applied before that priority date.
You can see that for India, the EB-2 category is 9 years behind and EB-3 category is 10 years behind. Many lawyers say that it will probably take Indian EB-2/EB-3 applicants about 100 years to get their green cards. And if everything remain unchanged, by 2030, the waiting time will possibly be around 400 years.
Concurrent filing allows EB-5 investors who are currently in the U.S. under a different visa (such as F-1, H1B, etc.) to apply for Change of Status (I-485 petition) and I-526 petition mentioned above at the same time. Before the new regulation, EB-5 investors will need to get approved for I-526 first prior to submitting their change of status petition.
The guidelines for concurrent filing states that if your violation is not more than 180 days, you are eligible to file I-526 for EB-5 and I-485 for change of status at the same time. Contact us to get a consultation on your case. We can also connect you with one of our attorney partners.
When a person decides to invest in EB-5 and do concurrent filing, the person’s status turns into “Pending”. Under this status, investors can still live in the U.S. without any penalty. If they do not want to work, they can simply choose to not work. But if they do want to work, they can apply for work authorization and do whichever job they like, as long as it is legal. Additionally, investors can also apply for travel documents if they want to travel out of the country.
Once their I-526 and I-485 (Change of Status) is approved, the investor’s visa status will change from whichever status they were holding (F-1, H1B, etc.) to being a green card holder.
ARCFE has successfully helped more than 500 investors and their families get their green cards. Our team consists of EB-5 and real estate professionals who have had years of experience raising and managing EB-5 funds. We also partner with well-known immigration law firms to ensure a smooth transition for our investors to becoming green card holders in the U.S.
We are ready to assist you in your journey of achieving your own American Dream. As a company that is immigrant-built, we believe in the extraordinary talents that new generations of immigrants could bring to this country, and we want to provide an opportunity for them to explore their full potential in a prosperous environment. There is no need to waste your time worrying about immigration deadlines and restrictions when you could focus on something else more valuable. Time is money and we understand that. So let us help you. Find your American Dream with us.
Headquarter (New York, USA)
P: +1 (212) 889-5000 (English & Vietnamese) | +1 (212) 889-5333 (Chinese)
P: +91 98240 56909
[sf_button colour=”black” type=”stroke-to-fill” size=”large” link=”https://mailchi.mp/arcfe/mailing-list” target=”_blank” icon=”” dropshadow=”yes” rounded=”no” extraclass=””]JOIN MAILING LIST[/sf_button]