Suresh Rajan tells you why the EB-5 visa is the easiest way for Indian students to obtain a Green Card status and study in a US university

The US has always been the top choice and priority destination for many students globally. A large number of Indian students aspire to study at leading US universities under the able tutelage of some of the most qualified and renowned professors in the world. However, it is often a struggle to establish a career, try new dimensions, and explore possibilities due to the various limitations enforced on non-residents by the visa restrictions they arrive with in the US.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, a previously lesser known US Federal Government visa programme, has lately witnessed steady growth in terms of popularity and demand in the Indian HN-I market. The number of EB-5 visas issued to Indian applicants experienced 100 per cent growth rate year over year when it increased from 55 in FY 2014 to 111 FY 2015. It is the fastest and most secure route at present to obtaining a Green Card status for you and your family (children under the age of 21years), by making a one-time minimum investment of $500,000 into a new US business that creates 10 or more full-time US jobs. While other visa options have countless restrictions that apply to a non-US citizen while in country, the EB-5 visa gives you the freedom to live and work with no such hindrances.

Keeping in mind the overwhelming flood of applications from international students, the competition for acceptance into American universities is far more daunting now than it has ever been. Hence, parents of aspiring students can look to the EB-5 visa programme as the ultimate solution to their F-1 and H-1B visa concerns.

The EB-5 visa may provide substantial benefits for your children. Many US universities have three times higher acceptance rates for US residents compared to non-resident students. Leading universities such as MIT have a 0.03 per cent acceptance rate for non-residents in comparison to a nine per cent  chance for US residents. Similarly, Stanford University has one per cent  acceptance rate for non-residents compared to a considerably greater five per cent rate for US nationals. Both MIT and Stanford University are among the top-50 American universities that most Indian students aspire to study, especially for those academically inclined towards technology, engineering or business.

Often many top US companies will rarely interview foreign students for permanent positions (for fear of the odds of the annual H-1B lottery), and increasingly will not interview for any internships either. With an EB-5 visa, students may qualify for reduced ‘in-state’ tuition rates, merit-based scholarships and awards reserved only for US residents and citizens. As a US green card holder students may benefit from obtaining student loans at much lower costs. When you obtain Green Card, your child has the time and flexibility to consider numerous career opportunities as opposed to when tethered to a job, which may or may not, choose to sponsor their H-1B visa upon graduation.

We understand the complexities and hardships faced by students, and subsequently their families, who only have a temporary solution in the form of F-1 or H-1B visas.   The primary reason for our Indian clients to invest in the EB-5 visa programme is to secure the autonomy and satisfaction of pursuing career opportunities without having to worry about returning to their home country when their visa expires. With an EB-5 based Green Card, students have a higher probability of obtaining the best education and freedom to build their career in the largest economy of the world.

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