Holders of U.S. green cards are granted permanent residency in the United States, making their dreams of a life in America possible. Permanent residency status comes with a myriad of advantages, including in college admissions. U.S. universities are known for their quality and prestige, and holding a green card boosts your chances of enrolling in one of these world-renowned schools.
Easier Admissions Process
Holding a green card simplifies the admissions process for both you and the college. First, you can save time and reduce stress by eliminating the need to apply for a U.S. study visa—which is not guaranteed to be approved.
However, holding a green card also makes it more likely to be accepted by college admissions teams in the first place. The many colleges throughout the United States are highly diverse, so each has its own circumstances, but many highly ranked schools cap the number of slots for international students at 10 or 15%. If you hold a green card, you can compete for the remaining 85 to 90% of slots reserved for U.S. citizens or permanent residents instead.
Furthermore, if you’re interested in applying to a vocational college or a two-year technical institution, having a green card will prove an asset. Such schools receive far fewer international applicants than the highly ranked universities, meaning they are far less experienced with international admissions and would prefer to deal with students who do not need to apply for a visa.
The biggest drawback to studying in the United States is the tuition rates, but holding a green card can slash these rates by up to 80%. If you hold a green card and are applying to schools in your state of residence, you are eligible for in-state tuition fees, which are sometimes dramatically lower. The rates depend on the schools, and while some schools do not make this differentiation at all, in many cases, green card holders can save at least some money on their tuition fees.
Ivy League schools tend to make smaller distinctions between in-state and out-of-state tuition fees, but they may still offer reductions for in-state students.
More Opportunities to Work
In addition to the high tuition fees, international students also have to grapple with restrictions on their ability to work during their studies. Generally, they are only permitted to take on-campus jobs and are limited to 20 hours of work per week. International students who have already completed one full academic year and who can demonstrate a qualifying economic hardship may apply to be allowed to seek off-campus work but are still limited to 20 hours a week.
Green card holders, on the other hand, enjoy all the same freedoms as U.S. citizens. They may find employment on or off campus and may work full time if they wish. Unrestricted work opportunities lighten the burden of tuition fees, which may already be reduced thanks to in-state subsidies.
How Can You Obtain a Green Card?
Many people obtain a green card through employment or family connections in the United States, but for prospective students with no U.S. family connections, these routes are not feasible. International residents often apply to the green card lottery that takes place annually, but applicants’ chances are slim, with only 55,000 visas being awarded among the more than 20 million who apply.
Another option, for families that have the funds, is the EB-5 program. International families who value U.S. higher education can take this route to help ensure a U.S. college degree and a better future for their children. The EB-5 program is an easy way to secure a green card in exchange for investment in a U.S. business.
As investments are inherently risky, there is no guarantee that making an investment through the EB-5 program will grant you a green card. However, if you work with an agency such as EB-5 Affiliate Network (EB5AN), your chances of success are drastically elevated. EB5AN runs EB-5 regional centers that cover 27 states as well as Washington, D.C., and has already helped countless investors obtain green cards and realize their dreams of a life in the United States.
If you think investing in the EB-5 program is the right path for you, visit the EB5AN website to learn more about how the program works and how to select a best-in-class EB-5 project. The advantages of a green card are manifold, including but also extending far beyond higher education opportunities, so an investment in the EB-5 program is an investment in a better future for you, your family, and the United States.