The Immigration 'Problems' of Cardiologists Making Half a Million a Year

By David North on February 22, 2022

The total lack of imagination of some would-be immigrants wanting green card status, and the equally unknowing reporters who write about them, was displayed in a recent D.C. publication about a cardiologist and the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program.

This all too typical story about an unfortunate alien was illustrated by a photo of a handsome 30-ish guy all dressed in surgical gear. It told of this India-born worker who wanted a quick citizenship, and who has “stressed out” because his EB-5 investment was, in effect, frozen, by congressional non-action in extending that highly controversial program. The sob story appeared in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

Let’s bear in mind, before going much further, that two years ago cardiologists in the U.S. were making on average $454,000 a year, so many of them must have gross incomes well over half a million by now. This doctor is certainly in the top 5 percent of earners, nationwide, if not the top 2 percent. Remember that the individual, Chandro Ojhe, must be working on an H-1B visa, that he could continue to use for the rest of his career; at that point he could move into a part-time H-1B.

Further, if he has an alien wife (and he looks highly marriageable as well as prosperous) she can work full-time without applying for a work permit; she would have an H-4 visa. So we are not talking about some Honduran peasant fleeing from crime back home, and caught trying to wade the Rio Grande.

Does Roll Call share any of this information about Dr. Ojhe’s wealth and privileges? Or show him in his typical working costume, with a shirt, tie and, lab coat? Of course not.

This hugely fortunate professional enters the story as a “victim”, because a few years ago he ponied up $500,000 or so to join the EB-5 program for alien investors. The money was supposed to create ten full-time jobs in the U.S. (a feat which requires much governmental flexibility, to say the least). Then he and his H-4 wife and the kids, if any, would be on their way to a set of green cards. Congress, however, let the main part of the EB-5 program die on June 30, 2021, separating the Ojhe family from both the investment and the promised green cards.

As far as Roll Call, and maybe the doctor, are concerned the only way out of the situation is for Congress to dust-off and reinstate the deeply corrupt EB-5 program.

One option, unmentioned by the paper, is the quite comfortable prospect of a life-time of H-1B and H-4 privileges; yes it is nice to be a citizen of the place where you live, but being a half-million-dollar-a-year non-immigrant is not to be sneezed at.

One immediately available option is for the doctor to use what remains of the EB-5 program, that of direct investments at the $500,000 level; these are being offered all the time, and bring the same immigration benefits as those of the now-suspended pooled investment program. The doctor would probably have to sue to get his original investment back, which he apparently has not done.

If the doctor does not have another $500,000 on hand, given his likely income he could borrow it. Yes, you not only can buy your way into this country, you can do so with someone else’s money – it's all OK with the EB-5 program.

A more distant and less reliable prospect involves the couple’s kids, if they have any. If born here, one or more of them, when past 21, could file for their parents to be admitted as parents of citizens. Or one of the foreign-born children could marry a citizen, become a citizen himself, and file the same set of papers.

Maybe if you write for a paper focused on Congress the only options in sight are changes in the law, and maybe the doctor has managed to find himself an inept immigration lawyer. How someone who has put half a million into one (now-defunct) part of the EB-5 program does not seem to know about the other (surviving) part remains a mystery to me.

The moral of this story is that sometimes migrants and would-be migrants create their own problems due to their own limitations. Remember the story of the illegal alien who had to climb a tree when the Rio Grande (a body of fresh water) flooded; he was dying of thirst when the Border Patrol rescued him.