We are in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. There are always opportunities for some in times of severe uncertainty, but what about U.S. immigration? Is this a good time to apply for your U.S. visa?
I believe that the present situation means it is actually a great time for some types of individuals to start immigration proceedings, and offer three main arguments.
Many people are under the misapprehension that U.S. immigration is shut down, but this is not the case. All that has changes is that in-person interviews have been suspended, as well as consulate visits, and physically entering the country has gotten more difficult.
On May 23rd, 2020, three agencies are going to meet with President Trump to discuss any evidence that non-immigrant visas are impacting U.S. workers negatively. Non-immigrant visas include the H-1B, the L-1, the P1 and P2 visas, as the O visas among others.
There are reasons to expect this meeting not to go well as concerns non-immigrant visas. One powerful reason is that there are 26 million unemployed Americans — and climbing! Politically, it has always been an easy target to put the blame on foreign nationals, even if they have not taken a job from an American worker
Now is a particularly good time to get your H-1B application in. For a cap-season-based case, those who won the H-1B lotteries have 90 days from March 31st to get your application in, which gives you up to approx. June 29, 2020.
Our advice is to get your non-immigrant worker visa application in as soon as possible, before any impact of the May 23rd meeting goes into effect.
Several green card visas have now become “current”, which means that there is no lead time before application. For example, the EB-1 green card has recently been subject to a fifteen-month waiting period (even longer from some countries). The EB-1s are now current, so right now is a great time to go ahead and start your green card application.
Another very attractive green card right now is the EB-5, which is for foreign investors. If an overseas investor is able to invest $900k to $1.8M into a business in the United States, and create minimum 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. workers in the process, they may qualify for the green card, i.e. full, lifelong immigrant status.
As with many counties, the U.S. is highly indebted to banks and other lenders around the world, so it will be keen to attract new money into the economy. Investors are always looking for new opportunities, and the present environment of crisis means that the American economy needs any stimulus it can get.
Although the President’s recent proclamation halted a range of green card applications from outside of the country, the EB-5 is specifically excluded, so expect waiting times to be shortened accordingly.
About the author: Jon Velie has practiced Immigration law since 1993. He is CEO of OnlineVisas.com., the intelligent Immigration platform. Jon is an Amazon number one best-selling author of H1B Visa: Application & Approval, is regularly covered by major media and has won a number of international awards. Jon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-310-4333 office or 405-821-5959 mobile.