What do you think are the best reasons for non-U.S. citizens to apply for an investor visa? Several reasons come to mind – potential to make money through business investments, world class health care, safer environment for those from countries where war or terrorist threats exist – are among the top. For parents, one of the most compelling reasons is to pave the way for their children to accomplish their dreams.
In fact, when children are considering American colleges, the parents may find it advantageous to get an investor visa instead of helping their children secure temporary student (F-1) visas. Why? Though the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is cooperative in granting student visas, students’ rights are limited.
For example, the student visa requires evidence of financial support, but once obtained the student visa precludes the foreign student from working off campus to help pay college expenses. Plus, temporary student visas do not allow the students to pursue post graduate internships or careers in the U.S.
With the EB-5 investor visa, parents create opportunities for themselves and their children while also allowing the family to stay together during college years and beyond.
By investing $500,000 in a U.S. enterprise, applicants obtain green cards for their entire family including ALL unmarried children under 21 entitling conditional permanent resident status in less than 12 months from application, with lawful permanent residency after a few years. Typically the investment is returned to the investor within 5 years. But the green cards are gained as soon as the money is invested.
Planning in advance of the children’s college years is beneficial. Once the students have their green cards, they can visit colleges in the U.S. without having to worry about tourist visa limits. For students wanting to pursue highly specialized fields like medicine or robotics, admissions for international students is difficult as a majority of programs are open only for residents.
While in school, students with green cards can work off campus, accept internships, travel freely internationally, apply for all post graduate programs, and are much more valuable to American employers favoring foreigners eligible to stay in the U.S. during their employment.
As Pankaj Joshi points out in a Business Today article, Green Cards apply as domestic students, so they pay lower domestic student fees, with in-state tuition if applicable. They also have access to U.S. student loans and to a much larger pool of financial aid.
At the University of California at Berkeley, the published annual expenses to expect for non-residents is around $57,000 while that for resident students is $32,000. That’s a $100,000 difference over a 4 year program. If there are two children, that’s a difference in cost of over $200,000.
Add to this the difference in earning opportunities for resident students, who can get jobs at market rates while international students can work in limited openings mostly on campus that pay minimum wage rates.
Upon graduation, residents have many more job opportunities, and pay packages are typically 25-30% higher at the first job level.
In addition to the opportunities and advantages parents create for their children when they invest in EB-5 visas, they also open doors for themselves by investing in vetted American businesses. Ultimately, EB-5 visas offer financial benefits for the whole family.
If you or someone you know needs the advice of an immigration attorney, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.