While the American Dream attracts hundreds and thousands of immigrants who permanently relocate to the nation, only a few can acquire a green card quickly. There are typically three routes to securing a Green Card: Diversity Visa Program, which is immigration through the lottery; second, employment-based categories, which includes immigration through a job or Investment; and lastly, family-based categories that include visas for family unification.
While the diversity green card lottery is the simplest way, it requires a fair amount of luck. So, most Indians take a different route and opt for Job-based or investment-based green cards. Individuals with special skills or education in America can get jobs on the H1B / L1 visa programs and then apply to become permanent residents. However, this route comes with its own set of challenges and long waitlists. Therefore, it is always advisable to measure the pros and cons.
Alternatively, Investment based visas like the EB-5 Visa are growing in popularity. While they require a hefty investment of a minimum of USD 800,000, it remains one of the most accessible, reliable, and fast ways of getting a green card. In exchange for the investment and creating jobs in America, applicants receive a permanent residency card for themselves and their families, including their spouse and children, as long as the children are minor and unmarried. Applicants can either invest directly in the U.S. economy or through a government-approved regional center. For Indians, the regional centre program has remained attractive over the years, as it requires limited personal involvement while channeling your funds into safe and secure projects that will help you generate the necessary employment.
The immigration petition process is complex. Making a mistake can cause delays or even jeopardize your immigration status. Therefore, it is essential to work with experienced partners who can help guide you through USCIS forms and requirements. Globally, there has been a heightened focus on verifying the source of funds to crack down on unlawful activity. Even though collecting the necessary documentation can be daunting, it is also important to note that there are many different ways to obtain funds that can qualify. For example, parents can give money to their adult children for their children to pursue investor-based visas like EB-5.
Choosing to pursue an immigration path is a life-altering decision for individuals and their families. However, once that decision is made, it is essential to ensure that effort is successful. Working with experienced professionals helps you navigate the process, explore different pathways for meeting requirements to document the legality of funds, and ultimately achieve your goals.
Remember, every pathway is aligned with a different goal. Therefore, choosing one that takes you to your destination fastest, safely, and within the available resources will be your best fit.
Peter Calabrese is CEO of CanAm.