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HT Exclusive: US visa expert shares perfect fix for H-1B challenges amid layoffs and green card suspension – Hindustan Times

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EB-5 visa expert Nicholas Mastroianni III says Eb-5 “ensures you’re not at the mercy of corporate layoffs and can secure a stable future in the U.S.”

In recent headlines, tech giants Amazon and Google have paused green card applications, leaving countless H-1B visa holders on a precarious precipice. As layoffs and cost-cutting measures ripple through the US tech industry, the very fabric of career stability for many Indian tech professionals is being unraveled.

USIF President and CMO Nicholas A. Mastroianni III opens up on streamlining EB-5 visa process.(USIF/File Image)

The 60-day countdown to visa cancellation looms large, casting shadows on their hard-earned American dreams. And what these poor souls can do? Nothing, we presume.

Enter the EB-5 Visa-a beacon of hope and security in these uncertain times. Offering a seamless transition to US residency, this strategic pathway eliminates the perennial anxiety of visa renewals and job dependency.

With the EB-5 Visa, professionals can enjoy unconditional work and travel freedom, faster green card processing, and the liberty to steer their own entrepreneurial ventures. It’s more than just an escape from the volatility of the H-1B; it’s an investment in a future unbound by the shifting tides of corporate decisions, but, of course, with a catch.

While talking with HindustanTimes.com, Nicholas Mastroianni III, President and CMO of US Immigration Fund (USIF), replicates the same perspective. He has clearly stated, EB-5 “ensures you’re not at the mercy of corporate layoffs and can secure a stable future in the U.S.”

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Why EB-5 visa a perfect fix for H-1B challenges, tech layoffs, and harsh US visa landscapes

The US visa spectrum is currently a nightmare not only for the Indian techies but has also become a global issue. While resonating the same sentiment the USIF boss stated, “Let’s be blunt: the U.S. visa landscape is a minefield, and relying solely on the H-1B visa is a gamble with your future. The recent moves by Amazon and Google to suspend green card applications and cut jobs are wake-up calls. Indian tech professionals need to be strategic. The EB-5 visas, though require a significant investment, offer a direct and stable path to permanent residency, freeing you from the uncertainties of employer sponsorship.”

“Concurrent filing for Adjustment of Status can provide interim benefits like work and travel authorization. Seek professional guidance from immigration attorneys, keep your skills sharp, and maintain a robust network. These steps ensure you’re not at the mercy of corporate layoffs and can secure a stable future in the U.S.”

While addressing the Amazon & Google suspending green card applications issue amidst the mounting backlogs, Nicholas said, “Amazon and Google’s decisions to suspend green card applications and implement job cuts are a stark reflection of the current tech industry’s volatility. These companies are tightening their belts in response to economic pressures and market shifts, focusing on automation and AI to replace jobs, and opting for local hires or outsourcing to cut costs. The economic downturn and uncertain market conditions are forcing tech giants to prioritize short-term financial health over long-term commitments to their employees,” and here comes Eb-5 as a sole rescuer.

When pressed, “Even if they came back to India, they don’t have many choices left to dance around? What’s your take on this?”

He replied, “Returning to India isn’t ideal for many tech professionals who envisioned settling in the United States. The job market there is crowded, and opportunities might not match the pay and perks of U.S. roles.”

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“Concurrent filing for Adjustment of Status (AOS) is a strategic move. By filing for AOS, you can stay legally in the U.S. while your application is processed and gain interim benefits like Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and Advance Parole. AOS helps you can continue to live, work, and travel in the U.S. without the stress of finding a new job within 60 days (about 2 months) or uprooting your life. It’s about leveraging the options available to you and making informed, proactive decisions to secure your future in the U.S.”

What is Adjustment of status?

Adjustment of status allows you to apply for lawful permanent resident status (commonly known as applying for a Green Card) while you are physically present in the United States. This enables you to obtain a Green Card without the need to return to your home country for visa processing, per US Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS).

“For H1B visa holders, especially those from India, these measures are a nightmare. Losing a job means a 60-day countdown to find a new employer willing to sponsor their visa, or face deportation. This window is brutally short and the stress is immense. The financial strain of suddenly losing income, coupled with the costs of job searching and potential relocation, adds to the pressure. Emotional toll? Huge,” he added.

“To ease this burden, USIF offers a loan program of $300,000 to support investors. Additionally, there’s a staggered investment option where an initial $200,000 can help start the AOS process, avoiding the need to leave the country within 60 days,” the USIF President added. Notably, earlier this year Nicholas told HindustaTimes.com the same thing-how USIF trying to ease the visa pain amidst the huge H-1B ordeals.

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How to apply for EB-5 visa?

To apply for EB-5, begin by consulting with an experienced EB-5 lawyer to discuss your unique circumstances and explore alternative green card options, determining if the EB-5 program is the best fit for you. Next, select your investment by choosing a business or project, whether it involves opening a new business, investing in an existing one, or participating in a regional centre project. Ensure that your investment funds are “at risk,” meaning they are exposed to potential gains and losses, and prepare the necessary paperwork. Then, file Form I-526 with USCIS, an application that establishes your eligibility for the EB-5 program.

Another Indian-American visa podcaster, Rahul Menon, told HT.com earlier, “EB-5 is not a program that is easily accessible to a lot of people. You need to invest $800,000 to be able to qualify for that program. Even if you had the money and filed concurrently, it will still take a few months to get their Employment Authorization Document (EAD).”

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Nicholas concluded on a note addressing, “Laid off by the employer in the United States, and now their job is being replaced by Indians living in India, do you see my point?”

“Absolutely, and it’s a harsh reality. The global nature of the tech industry means that companies are always looking to cut costs and improve efficiency. This often results in jobs being outsourced to countries like India where labor is cheaper. For H1B workers, this means job security is incredibly fragile. It’s a bitter pill to swallow knowing your job is now being done overseas. This underscores the urgent need for foreign workers in the U.S. to find more secure and permanent immigration solutions,” and added, “. The H-1B visa, while providing a critical entry point for talent, has a major flaw in its inability to offer long-term stability.”

“Tech companies are making decisions based on their best interests, so it’s crucial for individuals to do the same.”

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