When the rest of the world sends America its best and brightest, America says, “go away”- Going Places, by E.D Hill.
The above-mentioned quote seems quite apt for thousands of Indian IT professionals who have been trying so hard to live that “honorary American” life. For many budding Indian techies, the American Dream is that dream of living in a country where life would be better, richer, stable, and content, amidst promising opportunities and growth prospects according to their skills and abilities. Some of them even grew up dreaming of working in the Silicon Valley or consider it as their ultimate destination.
However, with US lawmakers drafting more stringent immigration rules and making citizenship options tougher for immigrants, many Indian skilled workers are either turning their back on the United States or choosing other immigration options. Considering the frequency with which visa extension applications for many skilled getting rejected or even forced to deploy in a very short-notice, many IT professionals feel that if they still have better residency options in the U.S.
Looking at the present scenario, the majority of IT professionals are mainly on a coveted H1B- visa status, which is only a work permit and not a residency visa. As the most sought-after visa, H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to hire immigrants to perform in specialty occupations that require a strong technical knowledge. Green Card, on the other hand, is a permanent residency card that allows an immigrant to live and work in the U.S without any limitations.
There are more ways to stay in America than just H1B
It’s a quite obvious fact that many IT workers don’t want to leave America, as they find the country more promising for their professional as well as personal life. So, what visa options do they have? There are still viable visa pathways for people to gain citizenship or even stay in the U.S as long as they want. The ones that are talking about here is Employment-based Green card visa.
Employment-based Green Card- What’s this all About
An Employment-based Green Card visa is a document that allows a foreign skilled worker to live and work in the U.S. Employment-based visas are the most common pathways by which prospective immigrants can acquire a green card. A foreign national is eligible to receive a Green Card only if he is sponsored by an employer in the United States. The foreign national may be living outside the U.S or is already a non-immigrant visa holder, such as H1B. However, the employer must give priority to current green card holders or the U.S citizens before preferring to hire a foreign national.
The Employment-Based Green Cards can be divided into multiple categories: EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, EB5.
EB1- Priority Workers:
EB-1 Priority Workers is a visa category for people who have done an outstanding work in the field of science, arts, business, sports, education, etc. The visa stream gives preference to internationally recognized individuals with extraordinary abilities in their field. Also, the EB-1 visa is also applicable to senior managers and executives of multinational corporations.
EB-2 Visa for Professionals with Advanced Degrees
This visa pathway includes people with excellent skills or who have the potential to contribute to the nation’s interest or its culture. Foreign applicants with exceptional skills in the field of arts, science, research, and business or persons with advanced degrees are granted with EB-2 visas.
EB-3 for Skilled Workers
The EB-3 visa category is designed for highly skilled workers possessing at least two years of work experience, or professionals with a Bachelor degree or a vocational training. The visa also targets semi-skilled workers with experience in areas for which there is a scarcity of talent in the United States.
EB4 for Special Immigrants
The EB4 category is intended for “special immigrants” who are religious workers such as a priest or a highly esteemed member of a religious denomination. To be eligible, the prospective applicant must be associated with a non-profit organization in the U.S or is a former employee of the government of United States in a foreign company.
EB 5 for Investors
EB5 is an immigrant investor visa program that allows foreign investors to obtain a permanent residency status in the United States via investment. Introduced in 1990, the EB-5 investor visa makes it mandatory for an investor to invest at least $500,000 in any government approved regional center for a period of 5-years. The regional center further utilizes this fund to create employment for at least 10 or more American workers for two years. Upon meeting this criterion, the investor may apply for a permanent residency in U.S.
There are more legitimate options to settle in U.S than just waiting for your H1B visa getting approved or extended. By far, the most common complaint of applicants about U.S immigration related matters is why our application is getting so delayed? Why we are facing the situation of being at the verge of deportation? The reason is quite simple- they just don’t look beyond H1B. The situation would have been a lot easier if they apply for permanent residency options directly and save their time. By opting for PR options, they can save their themselves from financial and mental turmoil that most applicants experience while extending their visa applications or waiting for decades to finally declare them as Americans.