EB-5 vs H-1B Visa: Which One Is Better?

There are many United States visa options to choose from. The most popular choices are the EB-5 and H-1B visas.

Which one is better for you?

EB-5 Visa

H-1B Visa

Entry requirements

An EB-5 visa requires a foreign investor to invest $500,000 USD in a “targeted employment area” in a new business and create 10 US jobs. Luckily, there are regional centers like International Creative Capital to help with this process. Read more about this process here.

Entry requirements

An H-1B visa requires the applicant to find a company that is willing not only to hire the applicant, but to sponsor the applicant’s visa process and file the paperwork.

Processing time

EB-5 visas can get a conditional green card in as little as 6 months and a full green card in as little as 2.5 years.

Processing time

H-1B visas need to be approved by a lottery system. Applicants with Master’s degrees are given preference over applicants with only a bachelor’s degree. Losing the lottery means waiting another year to try again. There is no guarantee of approval.

Permanent residence

The EB-5 visa is a green card, which means the investor can be in the United States permanently.

Permanent residence

H-1B visas are NOT permanent visas which mean the applicant find other visas to stay in the United States after their employment with the sponsoring company is terminated.

Visa ownership

EB-5 visas are owned by the investor and investor alone. A fully guaranteed green card is the investors to keep.

Visa ownership

H-1B visas are owned by the sponsoring company, which means the company can control the applicant. There are reports of H-1B visa abuse where companies underpay H-1B visa holders.

Future viability

Applicants are moving toward EB-5 visas in record numbers instead of trying for H-1B visas.

Future viability

H-1B visas have seen a decline in approvals under the Trump administration.

Spouse and children

Immediate family members are allowed in the United States under both EB-5 and H-1B visas. However, the EB-5 visa is a full visa for the applicant’s family that allows them to work and travel freely within the United States. No additional steps are needed.

Spouse and children

Immediate family members are allowed in the United States under both EB-5 and H-1B visas. The family of an H-1B visa holder must get H4 visas which only allow them to be in the United States, but they can’t work or get a drivers license. There is a currently a provision that allows H4 visa holders to work in the United States, but that is up for removal.