October 25, 2023

US Government’s 2023-24 Policy – No Acceptance of USA Green Card Applications from Indian Students in EB-2 and EB-3 Categories as USCIS has enough applications in this class to process for the years 2023-24. 

How do we get here?

Read further rest of the Blog to find your options.

The USA is a top destination for Indian students pursuing higher education and settlement.

In 2023, Indian students seeking higher education and settlement in the USA should explore all options available to them and not just straight fly to the USA to study as soon as their study is finished in India.

To study, work and settle in the USA, Indian students and family must understand the process and timeline for obtaining a green card.

Step 1: If you plan to study in the USA after completing 12th grade for a bachelor’s degree or after completing a bachelor’s degree in India for a master’s degree in the USA, you must first take an English language or other exams, such as TOEFL or IELTS, and either the SAT or GRE/GMAT. Then, you can apply to various educational institutions and receive your I-20 admission letter. Based on this letter, you can apply for an F1 visa, also known as a student visa.

Step 2: With an F1 visa, you can study in the USA and may also work part-time. After completing your studies, you can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows you to work in the USA. At this point, most students and parents feel the child is settled in America but in fact, this will be the start of real wait-and-watch time.

Step 3: Once your OPT work permit expires, you need to find a company in the USA to offer you a job for H1B visa sponsorship. If selected, you may work in the USA for the same company for six years, and in some cases, seven years.

Step 4: After obtaining an H1B visa, you can ask the same company or look for a new company to sponsor you so you can apply for USA green card. All students from all over the world apply under Employment-Based (EB) five categories, as shown in the table published by USCIS in December 2022.

For the past 30 years, the worldwide annual quota for green card visas in the employment-based category has been 140,000. However, as the number of international students increases, this quota is quickly being filled. Of the total quota, 40,000 green cards are allocated to the first three categories of EB, and 10,000 each to the EB4 and EB5 categories.

The majority of Indian and international students apply for the EB2 and EB3 categories, which currently have 351,436 and 112,859 approved green card petitions pending as of December 2022. Due to this backlog, the waiting period for the EB2, EB3, and EB4 categories is estimated to be 11 to 12 years. USCIS is currently processing green card petitions made in 2011 and 2012.

To check the latest priority date for April 2023, please refer to the updated information from USCIS click here

The following is an April 2023 priority dates:


All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
Other Workers01FEB2001NOV1501AUG1201FEB2001FEB20
Certain Religious Workers01OCT1801OCT1801OCT1801OCT1801OCT18
5th Unreserved
(including C5, T5, I5, R5)
5th Set Aside:
(Rural – 20%)
5th Set Aside:
(High Unemployment – 10%)
5th Set Aside:
(Infrastructure – 2%)


Stage 5: If you are fortunate enough to have received an H1 visa and green card sponsorship under the EB2 or EB3 categories, it will still take 20 years before your child can obtain a green card for the USA, and an additional five years after that to become a citizen. With the increasing number of international students applying under these categories, it is possible that the waiting period could extend to 30 years or even longer.

What are the options for Indian students?

Option-1: If you have conducted research during your education and work in the USA and can demonstrate that you possess the exceptional ability or are an outstanding professor or researcher, you may apply for the EB1 (a) & (b) categories. Indian students applying under these categories do not have to face any waiting period.

Option 2 and 3: If you come from an Indian family, you can return to India and work for your family business for a few years, striving to become a senior manager or technical expert. This may open doors for an L1 visa in the USA. Alternatively, if your family’s company in India can take over an existing business in the USA, you may apply under the EB1(c) category for a direct green card for the USA, along with your spouse and children under the age of 21.

Option 4: If you and/or your family are prepared to invest in a NEW business in the USA under the EB-5 visa program, with an investment of US$800,000 or $1,050,000 and the creation of 10 jobs for Americans, you may apply for a green card under the EB-5 category. If you are in the USA on a legal status, you can apply for adjustment of status at the same time as the EB-5 petition.

Option 5: Many Indian and international students have applied for the Canadian Express Entry program to obtain Canadian immigration. The Canadian government is eager to welcome these immigrants with American degrees and experience as new immigrants.

The final verdict is to plan and take legal advice if necessary but not rush

The author of this article is Mr. Prashant Ajmera, an Indian immigration lawyer and Canadian citizen. He is the founder of Ajmera Law Group and the author of two books, “Millionaires On The Book” and “How to Plan for Your Child’s Foreign Education.” Over the past 30 years, he has assisted and advised over 30,000 students and families on planning their foreign education and settlement. He regularly speaks at various forums on this subject.

Ajmera Law Group: Mo: +91 9974253030 | info@ajmeralaw.com | www.ajmeralaw.com


October 16, 2023

Canada, one of the friendliest and most picturesque countries in the world, welcomes immigrants from every corner of the world. For some, Canada is their dream destination to pursue higher education, and for most, it is their dream to become a Canadian citizen.

The country offers multiple paths to residency and eventual citizenship, with benefits from education to healthcare, employment opportunities, and voting rights. It doesn’t matter whether you wish to settle in Canada or are already residing and planning to take a step further; this blog will take you through the benefits of Canadian citizenship, which are the reasons you should opt for Canada citizenship by investment or the other available options. So, keep reading!

What are the Benefits of Canadian citizenship?

Canadian citizenship offers multiple benefits that help increase the residents’ life quality. Out of numerous advantages, some of the most important ones are;

  • Right to Vote

The citizens of Canada can vote in provincial, municipal, and federal elections, which allows them to contribute to shaping the future of their country, community, and economy.

For citizens of any country, the right to vote is one of the most important rights. It makes them feel at ease and ensures that the government is considering their interests and voices.

  • Right to Government and High-Security Job

Many government jobs in Canada require security clearance, which is typically limited to Canadian citizens. Additionally, internships for government positions during and after studying are often available exclusively to Canadian citizens.

  • Freedom to Travel

According to the VisaGuide Passport Index, the Canadian passport holds the 40th position globally as of October 2023, which means that holders of Canadian passports can travel to as many as 148 countries without a visa or with the facility of visa on arrival. This powerful passport allows access to countries/territories like the USA, UK, New Zealand, Qatar, France, Australia, and more.

  • Working holiday visa for your young Canadians

Canada offers a “Working Holiday” program for young Canadian citizens, allowing them to travel and work in certain countries such as the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand etc.  typically for up to 12 or 24 months. The Working Holiday program aims to promote cultural exchange and provide young Canadians with the opportunity to gain international work experience.

  • Special professional and business visa to USA

Canadian citizens do not require a visa to enter the United States for tourism or business purposes, thanks to the U.S.-Canada Agreement. There are certain visa classes available exclusively to Canadian citizens due to special agreements with the U.S. government under USMCA and NAFTA. These include the TN visa for Canadian professionals and E-1 (Treaty Trader) and E-2 (Treaty Investor) visas. Additionally, Canadian citizens can hold dual citizenship in both the USA and Canada.

  • World-class Education at 80% Fees

Canada enjoys a global reputation for the excellence of its education, drawing hundreds of thousands of international students annually for their higher education. In addition, the government offers its citizens abundant funding and scholarship opportunities, along with significant tuition fee reductions of up to 80% for university education and free education from grades 1 to 12.

  • Security and safety

Canada is one of the safest countries across the globe. It is known for a stable political climate, minimum crime rates, social justice, and, most importantly, for providing a secure and safe environment to everybody in the country. It is not surprising that Canada has consistently maintained its top positions in various reports as one of the best countries to live in.

This is one of the major factors to look for when planning to settle in any country, as it increases the standard of living and ensures the safety of loved ones.

  • Easy & Free Access to Healthcare

The country has several public healthcare-funded systems allowing citizens to access subsidized or free healthcare easily. It ensures the people of the country can get necessary medical attention without worrying about their financial hardships. It also displays the country’s commitment to its citizen’s health.

The Takeaway!

Canada, as a country, offers a pool of benefits to its citizens. It is also a land of opportunity for internationals looking forward to settling in the country. So, if you wish to enjoy the country’s beauty, people, nature, and opportunities, contact a Canada investor visa consultant or a consultancy that shows you the correct path to obtaining Canadian citizenship.

October 14, 2023

Portugal Golden Visa: Investing in Private and Publick Funds Under the New 2023 Rules


As of October 2023, Portugal has made significant changes to its Golden Visa program, making it no longer possible to obtain this prestigious status through real estate investments. This shift marks a remarkable transformation in the Portuguese real estate market, which has evolved from being one of the weakest markets, especially after the Lehman Brothers’ collapse, to a booming industry in 2023.

This transformation can be largely attributed to the introduction of the Golden Visa program in 2012. However, the rapid rise in real estate demand prompted the Portuguese government to discontinue real estate investments as a means of acquiring a Golden Visa.

But fear not, as there are still alternative avenues to pursue this coveted visa.

Despite the closure of the real estate investment route, there are six different investment options available for those aspiring to secure a Portugal Golden Visa:

  1. Capital Investment Options:
    • A financial investment or capital transfer of more than €1 million into any business or company, alongside the creation of at least 10 permanent jobs.
    • A financial investment of €1 million in government securities and bonds.
    • A transfer of funds exceeding €350,000 for research activities.
    • A transfer of funds exceeding €350,000 for the acquisition of units of investment funds or venture capital funds.
    • A transfer of funds exceeding €250,000 for artistic or cultural activities.
    • A transfer of funds exceeding €500,000 for the capitalization of small and medium-sized companies.

Ajmera Law Group strongly believes that investing in funds will become the most popular investment choice for obtaining a Portugal Golden Visa in the coming years.

Advantages of Fund-Based Investments

Investing in funds for a Golden Visa has several distinct advantages over real estate:

  1. Cost-Efficiency: Fund investments typically incur lower costs than real estate, as there are no property taxes or maintenance fees to worry about.
  2. No Property Management: With funds, there is no need to concern yourself with property management, tenants, or rental issues.
  3. Potential for Higher Returns: Well-selected funds can provide more favorable returns compared to real estate investments.
  4. Ease of Liquidation: Selling a fund investment is generally more straightforward than selling real estate.
  5. No Property Management Fees: Funds don’t come with the ongoing management fees associated with real estate properties.

Selecting the Right Fund

When considering fund-based investments for a Portugal Golden Visa, it’s crucial to exercise due diligence:

  1. Avoid Real Estate Exposure: Ensure that the fund is not invested in real estate, in compliance with the new regulations.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Confirm that the fund is registered with the Portugal Securities Market Commission (CMVM) for transparency and regulatory adherence.
  3. Portuguese Company Investment: Verify that the fund allocates a significant portion (at least 60%) of its assets to Portuguese companies.
  4. Investment Diversity: Assess the fund’s diversification strategy to minimize risk.
  5. Exit Strategy: Consider the ease of selling the fund at the end of the mandatory investment period required for the Golden Visa.


With the closure of the real estate investment option for Portugal Golden Visas, investors are now presented with a compelling opportunity to explore fund-based investments.

These investments offer various advantages, such as cost-efficiency, hassle-free management, potential for higher returns, and easier liquidation.

However, it’s crucial to choose funds wisely, ensuring compliance with the new rules and focusing on factors like diversification and an effective exit strategy.

As Portugal’s Golden Visa program evolves, these fund-based investments may well become the preferred pathway for investors seeking this prestigious status.

October 1, 2023

Unlocking Business Opportunities in the USA with L1 A & B Visas for Intra-Company Transferees


The United States has long been a land of opportunities for businesses worldwide, and Indian companies are no exception. One of the most economical ways for Indian businesses to establish and expand their presence in the USA is by leveraging the L1 A and B visas.

These visas, designed by the US government, facilitate the transfer of executives, managers, and technical personnel from India to the USA. In this blog, we will explore how Indian businesses can tap into this opportunity to flourish in the American market.

Understanding L1 A & B Visas

The L1 visa category is a powerful tool that enables foreign companies to enter the US market, set up new operations, and bring their foreign employees to the USA. It is especially popular among Indian IT companies, who have extensively utilized these visas in recent years.

According to US government data from 2020, a significant number of L1 visas were issued to Indian IT giants. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) led the way with 1,542 L1 visas, followed by Infosys with 517, Tech Mahindra with 275, HCL with 142, and WIPRO with 130. These numbers are a testament to the effectiveness of the L1 visa program for Indian businesses.

The Key to Success: Proper Planning:

Regardless of the size of your company, success with L1 A and B visas hinges on meticulous planning. Here are some crucial aspects that Indian businesses need to consider:

  1. Why Expand in the USA: Before embarking on the visa process, it’s essential to have a clear and compelling reason for expanding into the US market. Understanding the market dynamics and identifying specific opportunities is critical.
  2. How to Expand: Establishing a business in the USA requires a well-thought-out strategy. Consider factors such as market research, target audience, competition analysis, and a robust business plan.
  3. Key Employees: Identify key personnel who will play a pivotal role in the expansion. These individuals should have the necessary skills, expertise, and experience to ensure the success of your US operations.
  4. Compliance: Ensuring compliance with US immigration laws and regulations is paramount. Adhering to all requirements and documentation is essential to avoid any setbacks during the visa application process.

L1 Visa as a Quick and Economical Solution:

While the L1 visa can indeed serve as a swift and cost-effective means to enter the US market, it’s crucial not to underestimate the intricacies of the process. Rushing through the application without careful consideration and planning can lead to failure.

Indian businesses should view the L1 visa as a gateway to long-term success in the USA. By investing time and effort in understanding the market, creating a solid business plan, and selecting the right personnel, companies can maximize their chances of thriving in the American landscape.


The L1 A and B visas offer Indian businesses a unique opportunity to establish and expand their presence in the United States. However, success in this endeavor requires meticulous planning, a clear vision, and a commitment to compliance with US immigration laws. By approaching the L1 visa program with these principles in mind, Indian companies can unlock the full potential of the American market and pave the way for sustainable growth and success.

You may find more information on L1 visas at the following USCIS site and our law firm website: 

L1 visa process at the official USA government link.

Basic information about L1 visas on our site

L1 Visa Webinar link

L1 Visa PDF brochure

L1 Visa PPT presentation 

The author of this article/blog is Prashant Ajmera, an Indian immigration lawyer and the founder of Ajmera Law Group. He has been a Canadian citizen for the past 30 years and is also the author of two books: “Millionaire of the Move” and “How to Plan for Your Child’s Foreign Education: Myth vs. Reality”.  He has been assisting and advising Indian businessmen to establish businesses in Canada since 1993.  Consult us