Studying in the United States is a dream for many international students, offering world-class education and unparalleled cultural experiences. In the academic year 2022/23 alone, there were 1,057,188 international students studying in the United States. This is an increase of 108,669 students from the previous academic year, showing that there is growing demand for a U.S. degree.
While an American education is alluring to many international students, its financing can be a significant challenge. Finding employment opportunities upon graduation and converting a student visa to a Green Card are also among challenges faced by international students. The U.S. Golden Visa presents a unique opportunity for international students to not only pursue their academic aspirations but also lay the foundation for a prosperous future in the United States.
“Driven by various factors, such as higher earnings both domestically and internationally, and exceptional quality of education offered by U.S. institutions, students around the world aspire to pursue a U.S. degree,” explains Shahriar Zamanian, known by Shai Zamanian, Director of The American Legal Center. Shai, having obtained his bachelor’s degree from UCLA and his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law, possesses firsthand experience of the advantages associated with a U.S. degree. This is evidenced by the success of his immigration firm–The American Legal Center–in the GCC region, where he provides assistance to families in reaching their U.S. immigration goals by virtue of the EB-5 program.
“The EB-5 program can be a game-changer for international students studying in the United States,” emphasizes Shai. “This is exemplified by the fact that a large portion of our clients are families with children wishing to pursue their degrees in the U.S.”
What Is the U.S. Golden Visa?
Foreign investors can receive their U.S. Golden Visas by investing $800,000 in a government pre-approved real estate project in the United States. With this investment, the applicant can receive U.S. Green Cards for themselves and their qualifying family members including spouse and children under the age of 21. This U.S. government immigration program is called the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and was introduced in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through foreign capital injection and job creation.
Most families participate in the EB-5 program for the benefit of their children and the future security of the family. With a Green Card in hand, all members of the family can freely live, work, and travel in the United States. Green Card holders residing in the U.S. can benefit from a stable economic and political environment.
Financial empowerment for education
A primary challenge international students face is the high cost of education in the United States. Tuition fees, living expenses, and miscellaneous costs can quickly accumulate, putting a strain on students and their families. It is often difficult for international students to access student aid such as government grants and scholarships to finance their education. However, as a Green Card holder, students can not only benefit from lower tuition rates, but they can also have access to these much-needed financial resources.
Green Card holders become eligible for a myriad of scholarships, grants, and financial aid options that were previously inaccessible to them as international students. This is not only beneficial for the students but also for their parents since they do not have to pay out of pocket for the education of their children. “Our clients are mostly parents who, aware of the high cost of sending their son or daughter to the U.S. for education, undertake the EB-5 program, in hopes of having the U.S. government cover all education costs, including tuition, books, transportation, insurance, and housing,” explains Shai.
Enhanced career opportunities
Many international students return to their home country upon graduation due to the inability to secure employment because of their international status. The EB-5 program, by providing a pathway to permanent residency, enables international students to explore long-term career prospects in the United States. Many employers value the stability and commitment associated with permanent residency, making EB-5 participants more attractive candidates in the job market.
Following the reforms introduced by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) of 2022, the EB-5 program has become a more viable choice for international students already residing in the United States. Students can participate in the EB-5 program and promptly seek concurrent filing, allowing them to live and study in the U.S. while awaiting the adjudication of their EB-5 applications. This unique feature enables students to pursue their studies while simultaneously obtaining work authorization in the United States, eliminating the need to go through the processes of applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work in the country.
The application processes for CPT and OPT can be time-consuming and restrictive in terms of a student’s employment options. For instance, eligibility for CPT typically requires the completion of one full academic year of study, and the internship or practical training must be related to the student’s program of study. Similarly, OPT has its own limitations, providing only 12 months of work authorization. Once a graduate exhausts their OPT authorization, they often face challenges in obtaining an H-1B work visa, as employers may be hesitant due to associated costs and complexities.
Consequently, international students residing in the United States on an F-1 student visa may find themselves disadvantaged in securing internship or employment opportunities.
With work authorization obtained through concurrent filing, students are no longer bound by these limitations. They can freely choose their employers, work for as many years as they wish, or explore entrepreneurial ventures in the United States. With a Green Card in hand through the EB-5 program, students are no longer at the mercy of their employment status. This flexibility empowers international students to pursue their desired career paths without the constraints often imposed by visa regulations. EB-5 participants have the freedom to shape their professional journey in the U.S., enhancing their overall career prospects.
Contact The American Legal Center
The U.S. Golden Visa is a transformative opportunity for international students. By leveraging this immigration pathway, students and their families can turn their American dream into a reality, paving the way for a brighter and more secure future in the United States. The team of U.S. licensed lawyers at The American Legal Center can assist you and your family in unlocking these educational opportunities for your children. Contact their team for more information and a complimentary consultation.