Why should I apply for an EB-5 Green Card? Why not just apply for a temporary visa, like a student visa? This is far and away the most common question that our Eb-5 lawyer is asked by prospective clients. Every time I deliver a public presentation about EB-5, one of my central goals is to help the audience appreciate that a Green Card offers a level of freedom and security that vastly exceeds what is offered by temporary visas.
In this article, I’ll be discussing the most obvious limitation of temporary visas, like the F-1 student visa: they expire. The result is that many visa holders are not ready to leave the US when they are legally required to do so. This could be for any number of reasons, personal and professional. The majority of temporary visa holders do leave when their visas expire, but a fair number do not. Interestingly, a new report by the Department of Homeland Security revealed that students (F-1 visa holders) are more likely to overstay their visa deadlines than those with tourist or business visas. This was shown to be particularly true of students from China and India.
What happens when a person overstays his or her visa? What is the risk? Well, the risk is considerable. The penalty for six months of unlawful presence is a 3-year ban from applying for any US visa; the penalty for a year of unlawful presence is a 10-year ban. For this reason, I strongly discourage those I talk to from overstaying their visas. More importantly, I advise them to take action, if at all possible, to prevent this unfortunate situation in the first place—to avoid finding themselves or their children on a temporary visa that is about to expire, having established deep personal and professional connections to the US and being therefore unready to leave. The solution, quite simply, is a Green Card, and the EB-5 program is very likely the best path to a Green Card for those families who can afford the required investment.
If you wish for yourself and your family the benefits of studying, working, and living in the United States, there is an incalculable difference between the limitations of a temporary visa and the freedom and security of a Permanent Resident Green Card. If making the required investment is within your means, I urge you to consider EB-5. Please don't hesitate to contact our investment immigration lawyers.