Unlike Canada which has both a federal and provincial immigration program, allowing State governments to allocate region-based US visas to aspiring immigrants would be a tremendous boost to the overall US economy.
Similar to H-1B visas which are targeted for aliens engaged in a specialty occupation and hold dual-intent which allow the visa holder to apply for a green card and eventually US citizenship, region-based US visas would be three-year, renewable non-resident visas. However, region-based US visas would be viewed as more efficient as H-1B employment visas because instead of being tied to a specific employer, region-based US visas would be allowed to work for any company in their region. Because they would be considered as being part of the integrated labor market, a firm could not take advantage of such visa holder by hiring them at below-market wage.
States would coordinate with their towns and cities to determine the number of immigrants that should be sponsored and would assign the visa-holders to specific areas. This approach would allow the visa holder to be placed in areas where their skills and knowledge are most required.
What is Region-based US Visa?
Region-based US visa holders would be allowed to bring along their immediate family members on the condition that their immediate family members lives and works in the specified area and remains compliant with the law. In addition, these visas would help the area improve the quality and talent of their labor pools. Take for example the enormous supply of start-up companies engineered by immigrants from South Asia in and around the Bay Area. These immigrants, many who have come to the United States on an O visa which is based on one's extraordinary ability, have been able to stimulate economic growth which has led to job creation and increase the tax base.
EB-5 Investor Visa
While the closest visa category that resembles a region-based US visa is the EB-5 program which allows foreigners to obtain a green card if the invest $500,000 in a regional center or $1,000,000 in a direct investment, region-based US visas would complement instead of directly competing against EB-5 investor visas. Specifically, region-based US visas would entail a more distant ability to obtain permanent residency and would attract immigrant investors who cannot afford to take part in the EB-5 program but can still make a substantial impact and highly contribute to the US economy.
As Washington debates and eventually votes on an immigration reform policy, lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle should take a closer look at its northern border and see that region-based US visas could significantly boost legal immigration by directing immigrants to the areas of the country where their skills are most desired and needed.
Immigrating to the U.S. ?
Attorney Ryan Barshop has more than enough knowledge and experience to help applicants avail of the opportunity to travel to the United States under this circumstance. Attorney Barshop is a member of the New York State Bar in good standing and the only U.S. immigration lawyer based in Manila Philippines. His office is strategically located in the heart of Makati City.