Indians would certainly demand more EB-5 investment visas as a result of the recent wave of layoffs in the US IT sector, according to immigration experts. Workers from India with an H1-B work permit, who have up to 60 days to find another employment or change to a different visa category, make up a sizable portion of individuals terminated from businesses like Twitter, Amazon, and Meta.
EB-5 visa interest from Indians residing in both India and the United States has increased, according to immigration firms, during the past two months.
According to Peter Calabrese, CEO of CanAm Investor Services, “This surge is being driven by multiple factors, including a feature in the new EB-5 law that allows Indians to file for adjustment of status (I-485) concurrently with EB-5, which makes it possible for them to stay in the US without returning to their home country”.
This is significant in the current situation for Indians who are already in the US since, once their residency petitions (I-485) have been submitted, they can legally stay on without a job.
Over 88,000 IT jobs have reportedly been lost by corporations in the US over the past six months, with about a third of these workers reportedly being immigrants with work permits, according to some estimates.
According to experts, it may be difficult to promptly locate another job in the current economic circumstances to maintain visa status. The regional centre programme, which was renewed by the US government earlier this year, or direct investment are the two ways to invest under the EB-5 visa.
According to the new rules, if the project is an infrastructure project, is located in a qualified high-unemployment zone, or is located in a rural area, the applicant must invest $800,000. In contrast to the regular path, where wait times for Indian applicants currently extend into decades due to the enormous numbers and national quotas, the process is anticipated to take only a few years if the applicant seeks permanent status quickly after completing their EB5 application.
“This is a huge benefit to H-1B and F-1 visa holders as, thanks to the concurrent filing of EB-5 along with adjustment of status, they are able to receive interim benefits of work and travel authorization in about three-six months which amounts to having a quasi-green card while the EB-5 is pending. This is an almost immediate benefit from the $800,000 investment,” according to Vivek Tandon, CEO of EB5 BRICS, an EB5 consultancy.
According to Abhinav Lohia, director of global business development at EB5 investment firm Golden Gate Global, preliminary queries had begun to come in even before the layoffs were publicised.
The fact that the initiative had been put on hold for almost a year contributed in part to the pent-up demand. Before it made the news, he added, “I’ll say the techies felt the tremors.” “H1-B and L-1 visa holders have increased dramatically over the past few months, and they are now much more prevalent,” he said.
The ability for candidates to launch their own businesses, which was not permitted under the current work permit regulations, is another factor contributing to the appeal of this alternative.
Indians, alongside Chinese and Vietnamese students, have risen to the top of this program’s applicant pool during the past few years.
The U.S. tech sector has hit the brakes after years of soaring growth due to growing costs and concerns about an impending recession. After a hiring frenzy, there have been significant headcount cuts to save costs.
Holiday season termination is a blow to any employee. However, the difficulties for foreigners with temporary employment visas go far beyond getting by without salaries. They have 60 days to obtain employment at a different company that will sponsor them for a visa; else, they must leave the country. And after spending years in a green card backlog, many could lose their chance at obtaining permanent residency in the United States.
According to the tracking website Layoffs.fyi, over 146,000 tech professionals have been let go so far this year, including 51,000 only in November. Despite businesses not disclosing how many employees with temporary visas were fired, a sizable portion of those fired were foreigners.
The budget cuts have pushed nervous foreign workers scurrying to find new positions and, as time runs out, seeking potential workarounds, such as switching to temporary visitor status to purchase some extra time to look for employment.