Five Reasons why the EB-5 Immigrant Visa is the Best Option for Chinese Students (Who Can Invest $500,000)


While the dream of working in the United States is desired by many, few survive the difficult road to the coveted U.S. green card. When considering all the options on the table, EB-5 is clearly the best for Chinese students who can invest $500,000. Let us explain why:

  1. For one, the popular H-1B temporary work visa is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, making the U.S. immigration process more competitive than ever. To receive an H-1B visa, applicants must not only meet the H-1B’s professional requirements but must survive a bleak lottery system. In this year’s lottery, 230,000 applicants competed for 85,000 H-1B visas, meaning only 1 in 3 were selected. For foreign nationals seeking U.S. work visas, this means job security and livelihood is left to the luck of the draw. For businesses seeking skilled labor, this means the H-1B is an unreliable and costly gamble, and fewer employers are willing to sponsor. While the H-1B visa can serve as a work permit to stay in the U.S. while a green card is pending, getting one can often be a nightmare for foreign workers.
  2. Further, receipt of a non-immigrant visa far from guarantees that the road to the green card will be easy. Let’s look at the options on the table: The EB-1 green card is for the few who have risen to the very top of their field, and EB-4 is mainly for religious workers. Most students will not qualify for EB-1 or EB-4. - See more at:
  3. That leaves us with the EB-2 and EB-3 categories – the two most basic employment based options for a green card. EB-2 requires a master’s degree, while EB-3 allows a bachelor’s degree or two years of work experience. EB-2/3 green cards are obtained via PERM Labor Certification where the employer has to a.) show there are no U.S. workers fit for the job or b.) prove that a foreign national possesses the ability to make a nationwide impact in his or her field. The process is therefore arduous and costly for employers and involves long wait times for the foreign workers.
  4. Speaking of long wait times, EB-2/3 Chinese green card applicants must typically wait 4-5 years to actually apply for the green card. See extracts from the April 2015 Dept. of State Visa Bulletin below. This is after they have already waited for their PERM Labor Certifications and I-140s to be processed and approved. Note that the August 2015 Visa Bulletin has an unusually short EB-2 wait time of less than 2 years. However, this wait time is not at all realistic. The government is merely using up all the allocated visa numbers for the end of the immigration fiscal year which is September 30th.
  5. EB-5 is the best option for international students because anyone with $500,000 to invest can apply. You don’t need employer sponsorship, and won’t be forced to stay with the same U.S. employer for 4 to 6 years. You won’t have to show that there are no Americans fit for the job, or that you will make a national impact in your field. Lastly, the wait times are much more manageable for students and there are no tricky lottery systems involved. If you are Chinese, this should be great news.

EB-5 Charts

This post originally appeared on Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group. Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Tahmina Watson Bernard Wolfsdorf is a recent past President of AILA and Managing Partner of the top-rated Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP with offices in Los Angeles and New York. With 21 lawyers and 60 professionals, the firm is known worldwide for its excellence in providing value and top-quality global immigration representation. Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP has been described by Chambers USA as "a force to be reckoned with."

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.