In a recent op-ed published in El Paso Matters Dr. Chandra Ojha a current EB-5 investor details the substantial benefits he has made to the U.S. as an experienced doctor as well as the ongoing struggles he continues to face due to immigration backlogs and the lapse of the Regional Center Program.
Dr. Ojha’s story is just one of thousands. EB-5 investors make substantial impacts not only through their investments into job-creating economic development projects but also through the role they play in their communities. IIUSA was proud to work with the American Immigrant Investor Alliance to help share this important story.
Opinion: I’m an El Paso doctor. The immigration system has put my future in jeopardy
By Dr. Chandra Ojha
The EB-5 Regional Center Program is used by qualified foreign investors who seek to gain legal, permanent residency in the United States. So long as they invest a certain amount of funds into a project that also creates or preserves at least ten full-time jobs, they should be granted permanent citizenship.
The program has created thousands of jobs, bolstered local communities and economies, and was always seen as one of the few things in government that both sides of the aisle agreed was a genuine benefit to the nation.
So, why take the time to discuss a policy that’s been around since the early 1990s? What’s the point in talking about it right now?
My name is Dr. Chandra Ojha. I am an interventional cardiologist, endovascular interventionist and assistant professor in the Division of Cardiology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences
It has been an honor and a privilege to have been practicing medicine in El Paso since 2017, with no intention of stopping. I initially came to the United States in 2007 with a J1 visa and after seven years of training in New York and New Jersey, embarked on building a heart hospital, including heart attack center in Duncan, Oklahoma.
Subsequently I moved to El Paso to help TTUHSC build up its complex cardiovascular procedural care in one of the United States’ medically underserved regions.
As an India born-Indian citizen, facing severe green card backlogs in EB-2 and EB-1 categories, I embarked upon the EB-5 Program to find permanent residency in the United States. My I-526 petition was accepted in mid-2018 and after 27 long months of waiting, it was approved in late-2020. Things were looking good for my permanent residency status.
That is until June 30, 2021, when the EB-5 Regional Center Program failed to see reauthorization by the United States Senate. Effectively immediately, the program had died. What would become of my immigration status now? What would become of the important work I had in front of me?