If you are planning to visit the United States for studying, working or to create a business, you require a valid VISA. Without a VISA, you are not eligible to enter the U.S. Not only it allows you to visit the country, but it also applies for a Green Card. After getting your own green card, you can get considerable discounts while paying for tuition, college or vocational school fees. Having a Green card gives you the status of a ‘permanent residence’, thus giving you rights to contribute to U.S. elections. Moreover, if you work for more than 10 years in the States before retiring, all the Green Card Holders will receive Social Security Benefits.
The Different Types of Working VISA
The U.S. VISA is categorized into two parts, one is Non-Immigrant VISA (like B-1 for creating business, H-1B for seeking employment, M-1 for vocational students, F-1 for academic students, etc.) and the other is Immigrant VISA (like EB-1 for executives, EB-2 for persons with exceptional ability, EB-3 for skilled and unskilled workers, EB-4 for certain special immigrants and EB-5 for immigrant investors). Non-Immigrant VISA is for people who want to enter the country temporarily for the purpose of education, business, training, sight-seeing, etc. while Immigrant VISA allows an individual to enter the U.S. and stay in the country as a permanent residence. Having a U.S. Immigrant VISA makes you eligible to apply for a Green Card.
The type of VISA determines your eligibility to seek entry into the United States for that specific purpose for a specified period of time. The two types of VISA generally used by the Indians are H1B and EB-5.
Eligibility and Requirements
H1B VISA requirements are as follows:
- The applicant needs to provide an offer letter from the U.S. Company or employer.
- The H-1B VISA has to be sponsored by the U.S. employer.
- Original passport with at least 6 months beyond the interview date is to be produced
- The other documents required include— DS-160 confirmation form, VISA application fee payment receipt, current employment letter (with the date, tenure and salary of employment mentioned in it), I-129 petition receipt number, Social Security Number (SSN), a copy of i-94, i-20 and EAD card and complete educational background details (mark shits, certificates, etc.)
Trumps Tough Stand on H1B Visa
H1B VISA is a non-immigrant VISA that allows U.S. companies to hire foreign skilled workers in various occupations. The U.S. IT companies mainly depend on this VISA to hire hundreds and thousands of workers every year from India, China, etc. On 12th August 2019, Monday, U.S. President, Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a sweeping rule to cut down the legal as well as illegal immigration by denying VISAs and permanent residency to thousands of foreign workers seeking U.S. Jobs. According to the new rule, no H-1B VISA will be given to lower-skilled jobs.
Effect on Indian IT Sector
The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) study says, Under Donald Trump’s administration, that denial rates for H-1B visa petitions, required for overseas employees working in the US, has increased from 6 percent in the year 2015 to 24 percent in the third quarter of the current fiscal year 2019.
According to the latest H-1B news, denial rates of H-1B VISAs are highest among major Indian IT companies. For American multinational companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Google, Apple and Facebook, the denial rate varies somewhat between 2% to 8% while for other companies it rose to heights of 53% for Wipro, 45% for Infosys and nearly 34% for TCS. According to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), previously every three out of four H-1B VISA holders were Indian, as a result, 309,986 out of 419,637 foreign nationals were Indian.
Alternate routes of entering the US
The latest EB-5 news says that the U.S. government has set the amount to $900,000 for the investment in TEAs and the minimum investment made outside TEAs is set at $1.8 million. The above change is applicable from 21st November 2019 onwards. As a result, Indians are eying, E-2 VISA routes as their ticket to the American Shores. It is a non-immigrant VISA under which an applicant can set up his business and work in the U.S. with an investment of only $100,000.
The applicants have to apply for a Grenade passport which takes around three to six months, and then he can apply for his E-2 VISA. The individuals can also apply for a Turkish or Montenegro passport in place of the Grenada passport and use a similar route to apply for E-2 VISAs. Another advantage of the E-2 VISA is that it acts as a gateway of Green Card if they invest the requisite amount; it also helps to create a set number of employments.
The visa is issued for a period of 5 years, but it can be renewed later for a lifetime. Owing to the H-1B issue, EB-5 is at a huge demand, creating a long waiting list for eligible Indians applying for the visa, in such a scenario, E-2 is a great relief. Moreover, the individuals can also avoid the Indian Capital Gain Tax by going through the Grenada Passport route. The low investment requirements and the ease to get an E-2 visa is catching the eyes of many Indian Businessmen.
The decrease in the number of H-1B VISAs for Indian techies will affect the talent flow and also choke the profits of Indian companies with employees present in the States. If we look at the figures, we will find that every fourth H-1B Petition got rejected. Since E-2 VISA requires lower investment and generates a huge success rate, while keeping in mind the rejection issue of H-1B VISA and high investment requirements of EB-5 VISA, E-2 visa is becoming an alternate route for Indians to pursue professional opportunities in the U.S.
The requirements for the EB-5 VISA are as follows:
- Certified copies of education degrees and diplomas along with full family biography.
- Two passport size colored photograph of each member of the family
- Bank statements to prove that the money that he will invest is legal
- The applicants need to submit five years of personal and business tax returns and proof of ownership of the business.
- Along with the above-mentioned documents, it is mandatory to fill up the following forms— Form DS-230 (to apply for conditional permanent residency), Form I-829(to remove the conditions required for EB-5 visa. IT can be filed after 2 years of entering the United States and meeting the 10 full-time job creation for U.S. citizens), Form I-485 (If the applicant is already living in the United States with a Non-Immigrant VISA and wants to apply for conditional permanent residency) and the most important Form I-526 (as a proof that the applicant possesses, $1 million for starting a business as an individual or $500,000 for investing in a Targeted Employment Area)
The decrease in the number of H-1B VISAs for Indian techies will affect the talent flow and also choke the profits of Indian companies with employees present in the States. It will not only affect the Indian economy but the U.S. economy as well since three out of four foreign personals in the U.S are Indians which include doctors, professors, engineers, etc. according to recent news, Indian IT Companies contribute nearly $57.2 billion to the U.S. GDP. The issue of H-1B VISA and EB-5 visa is dissuading many Indians from seeking job opportunities in the U.S. it is high time, if the U.S government does not take any step, then it is sure to lose a large number of potential Indian employees.