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ILW.COM EB-5 Blog

Employment-Based Visa Reform Could Give Economy A Boost

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With the American economy slowly recovering from its worst
crisis since the Great Depression, economists and academics from across the
country have proposed various plans to help accelerate the momentum of this
long-term recovery.


One plan, proposed by a researcher at the Milken Institute, an
economic think-tank in Santa Monica, California, includes expanding the number
of employment-based (EB) visas available to foreign nationals who could
potentially contribute in positively substantive ways to the United States
economy, as well as in other areas.


At this time, the United States government restricts the
number of employment-based visas awarded each year to 140,000.* Contrast that with Canada, whose population
is about one-tenth the size of the U.S., but which in 2010 granted visas to
over 180,000 immigrants seeking economic opportunity in their nation.


Moreover, the U.S. currently limits the number of visas
awarded to citizens of various nations, including India and China, a policy that
deprives the country of highly educated, entrepreneurial and industrious
immigrants.* Among those motivated
foreign citizens who come to the U.S. on student visas to attend our
universities and study science, technology, engineering and math, many are
required as to leave as soon as they graduate, effectively forcing them to take
their skills and talents back to their country of origin when most would prefer
to stay and contribute to their adopted home.


The quotas on employment-based visas also keep the
unemployment rate stubbornly high and intensify the housing crisis.* More immigration could lead to greater
employment and higher demand in the housing market.* Restricting the number of economic immigrants,
however, tends to maintain the economic status quo. *


But there are solutions to this problem.* The best way to address the issue is by
expanding the number of employment-based visas granted each year, to at least
300,000.* The United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency should set sensible quotas on visas
awarded to citizens of various countries based on the population size of the
country of origin of an applicant, as well as the nature of the visa
request.* A proportional approach to the
awarding of employment-based visas as well as a more proactive application
process which focuses on immigrants who could potentially contribute the most
to the U.S. would be more advisable than the one-size-fits-all methodology USCIS
currently employs.*


Student visa-holders should be given automatic residency in
the U.S. as soon as they have met the other requirements of the program, and
the EB-5 visa program, which awards green cards to wealthy immigrants
who invest in commercial enterprises in the United States, should be
effectively marketed and modified to enable investments to take place at a
lower level, thereby increasing the number of immigrant entrepreneurs admitted
to the U.S. each year.* Although 10,000
EB-5 visas are set aside each year, less than half are actually awarded, leaving
many otherwise qualified applicants out in the cold.


Although a comprehensive economic recovery will require
changes on many levels, employment-based visas are potentially one of the most
important, if underestimated, vehicles that could promote growth and job
creation now and in the future.


For current news and changes on EB-5 follow Eb5 Investors at www.facebook.com/Eb5Investors.

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