Some international students enrolling in the US universities prefer to apply for an EB-5 investment visa instead of a student visa. There are three main reasons for this.
1. EB-5 investments can reduce overall costs.
EB-5 visa holders are entitled to receive a substantial tuition discount as residents. Since the cost of education for residents is usually several times lower than for foreign citizens, this can be used to compensate for the cost of a visa.
In addition, parents who apply for an EB-5 visa can get a visa for each of their children (under 21). This multiplies the savings for parents since each of their children will be eligible to receive a discount on tuition fees at the university as a resident.
Although the initial investment for an EB-5 visa is $500,000 per family, tuition savings can help family members offset the cost of education in the US.
2. EB-5 visa allows you to work in the USA.
An EB-5 visa gives a student the opportunity to find a job both during and after school, in any company and in any industry.
Normal student visas significantly limit what foreign students may or may not do. For example, it may limit the amount of time that an applicant may study in the U.S. before having to renew a visa; what types of schools and programs they may attend; how they may combine studying and work; what kind of work students and graduates may choose; and how long they may work in the indicated areas.
Even though the F-1 student visa is less restrictive than, for example, an M-1 visa for studying in vocational schools, students may study only in certain universities, which must be accredited by the U.S. Immigration Office. Employment opportunities with this type of visa have many requirements, restrictions, and limitations. Finally, the H-1B work visa, for which most graduates apply, also has several strict requirements, such as finding an American employer who will sponsor a future employee's visa, as well as restricting the job search to only specified industries.
3. The EB-5 visa is a step to obtaining permanent residence and citizenship.
EB-5 visa allows investors and their closest relatives the ability to apply for citizenship without any additional requirements when actually applying for citizenship. Applications for other types of visas either have complex additional requirements or do not offer any path to obtain citizenship.
ACS Law Offices, Inc. recommends that potential investors consult with an experienced immigration attorney, as well as conduct due diligence before making any decisions about choosing a particular category of visa.