Canam Enterprises, LLC (Canam) is involved in U.S. investment immigration program or EB-5 visa program. Canam owns and operates 7 regional centers across United States. Through these regional centers Canam has raised over $2.5 billion from Eb-5 investors in over 50 projects resulting in green card for approximately10,000 individuals in the last 15 years. These projects have included commercial real estate, hotels, university biotech labs, shipyards, railroads etc.
Employment based fifth category visa or EB5 visa gives high net worth individuals an opportunity to get permanent residence in the United States for not only themselves but also their loved ones. An investor is required to make a qualifying investment of $500,000 in a targeted employment area (T.E.A.) or $1,000,000 in a non T.E.A and create 10 American jobs.
The EB-5 program was originally initiated to stimulate the U.S. economy and generate job opportunities on major development projects through foreign investment. It also offered a clear path towards citizenship for investors and their families through investment.
An EB-5 Regional Center is an organization designated by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that sponsors capital investment projects for investment by EB-5 investors. The Regional Center sets up an investment fund for the benefit of the EB-5 investors. Investors purchase equity stakes in the investment fund. Then, the fund either purchases equity in the job creating entity or loans the job creating entity money. The job creating entity then uses the investment from the fund in the project to create jobs indirectly. Regional centers receive licenses to operate in a particular geography, hence they are called Regional Centers.
EB5 investors get a green card soon after their applications are processed, as opposed to other employment based visa categories such as H1B, L1A and L1B. Under most visa categories an employee needs to be sponsored by his or her employer under employment based first (EB1), second (EB2) or third (EB3) category for a green card. An Eb5 investor does not need a sponsor in the United States. Also, there is a long wait to obtain a green card under EB1 or EB2 category for Indians. Priority date determines when a beneficiary starts the consulate interview or adjustment of status process to attain permanent residence in the United States. Based on the priority dates it seems EB5 is the fastest employment based green card available to Indians.
With the H1B visa quota of 85,000 it is very difficult for applicants to get a work permit in the United States. Last year,196,000 applications were filed in the H1B visa category for a quota of 85,000 visas. For this reason, more than half of the applicants did not get an opportunity to work even after graduating from an American university and getting a job. For those who did get selected in the H1B lottery, a green card is still a distant reality based on priority dates. Some immigrants will have to wait for more than 12 years to get a green card provided their employers sponsor them.
The lottery system for H1B and the shift in priority dates for green card categories has made it more difficult to attain permanent residence in the United States. EB5 visas with current priority date has become the fastest option for Indian Nationals to get employment based permanent residence in the United States.
We have seen a shift in trend already, many high net worth individuals are applying for the EB5 visas not only for themselves but are also sponsoring their children studying in United States or working on H1B visa to avoid the long wait in getting United States permanent residence.