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U.S. Immigration News and Articles - ACS Law Offices, Inc.

Our last article shared an accurate status of the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa, explaining that, while much of the news reported about the program sounds bad, that is not entirely the case. Sometimes, wrong stories just get more press. Our previous article focused on the realities of pending EB-5 legislation. Be sure to read it and understand that bills pending bills in Congress does not mean that any changes will happen.

Let’s deal with the “what is” instead of the “what ifs.”

#1 - Direct Investment

The direct investment option was and still is the fundamental underpinning of the EB-5 visa program. The direct investment option puts the investor in much closer relationship to his investment. With the direct investment option, the investor may:

  • Create his own new business.
  • Invest in an existing business.
  • Invest in an existing, troubled business to help it recover and save jobs.
  • Purchase a franchise.

If an EB-5 petitioner is willing to fund a project in a rural location or a Targeted Employment Area that is based solely on its existing high unemployment rate, the investor:

  • Is not dependent upon political redistricting to create a previously non-existent TEA to substantiate a multi-million-dollar project.
  • Is not dependent on the actions of a multitude of individuals and factions over which he has little or no influence or control.

A Direct Investor puts some skin in the game. Although the investment must still be “at risk,” the investor may put himself (or herself) in a position to be able to mitigate the risk by participation in the actual management of the venture.

The Direct Investor must still create (or, in the case of a struggling business, save) 10 jobs for American workers, but they do not have to be created until a year and a half after their I-526 application has been approved.

#2 – Alternative Entry Options

We have mentioned these in previous articles, but a summary here is worthwhile.

The interested immigrant may pursue a different visa status. Some Chinese and Russian candidate may be eligible to enter the U.S. through the EB-1C, EB-2, EB-3, and L-1 Visas options. Please click on the links to read the articles for more in-depth information to help determine if any of these paths are potential options for you and your family.

And remember, the United States is not anti-immigration. America is a country built on immigration and built by immigrants. The current administration is focused on growing the U.S. economy. They know that cannot be done by keeping immigrants out, but by attracting the right immigrants so that they, too, can prosper and enjoy the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Published in EB-5 program

Sometimes it seems all news about the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa is bad.

The good news is that not all the bad news is completely accurate. For instance,

News: If Congress fails to pass impending spending legislation, the EB-5 program will no longer be available.

Not true.

Fact. If Congress fails to pass impending spending legislation, it will more like pass yet another Continuing Resolution that funds government programs in question just as they are currently funded and have been for the past several years.

Fact: Only the continuation of the EB-5 Regional Center program might be at risk. If Congress passes a Continuing Resolution, the program will continue.

Fact: The EB-5 Direct Investment program will continue regardless.

News: Congress is considering revisions to the EB-5 program.

True, but not entirely factual.

Fact: There have been and are several Bills submitted for Congressional consideration and approval.

  • Senate Bill S.232 was introduced by California Senator Diane Feinstein on January 24, 2017. This bill proposes the termination of the EB-5 program and reallocating the 10,000 visas set aside for EB-5 to other EB (employment-base) visa classifications. The bill was read twice in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on January 24th. No other action has been taken.
  • House Bill H.R.1502 was introduced by Iowa Senator Steve King on March 10, 2017. This bill proposes the termination of the EB-5 program. The bill referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary on March 10th, then referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. No other action has been taken.

Fact: On average, more than 10,000 bills are introduced during every Congressional term. Only 4% (400) of all bills introduced ever become law. It has been rightly said that most bills introduced in Congress are dead on arrival when they are submitted to a committee.

Fact: Conversely, over 90% of all bills that are introduced fail.

Fact: Expert analysis currently gives S.232 a 15% chance of becoming law.

Fact: Expert analysis currently gives H.R.1502 a 21% chance of becoming law.

While others may be alarmists, often with the possible motive to gain clients, American Corporate Services, Inc. is committed to integrity. Part of that commitment is providing clarity when others are saying that the sky is falling.

Granted, the EB-5 program has its problems, but they are not fatal to the program. We will continue to provide additional clarity in our next article. Specifically, that article will address options available for EB-5 applicants, particularly with respect to quicker processing.

Published in EB-5 program

Recently we have published articles discussing the potential of using EB-1C and E-2 visas to expedite investor immigration into the U.S. Both avenues have the advantage of shorter processing times and significantly less up-front investment.

This article provides a comparison of the EB-1C and E-2 visa programs to help our clients and readers understand which approach may be the best for them and their families.

Review

Visa Description Permanent Resident Status
EB-1C Multinational Manager Immigrant Visa
E-2 Treaty Investor May apply for permanent residence

Benefits

Benefit EB-1C E-2
Faster than EB-5 Yes Yes
Green Card Yes No
Family Green Cards Yes No
Desires Dual Citizenship Yes No
Investment Required1 No Yes
Active Management Yes No
Passive Management No Yes
Startup a New Business No Yes2
Invest in a Single Franchise No Yes
Invest in Multiple Franchises Yes Yes
Taxation on Global Income Yes No
Dealing with USCIS Yes No
Need for Overseas Business Yes No

The following table offers a bit more insight into how these two visa’s compare.

Basics

Item EB-1C E-2
Speed of Processing 8 months 6 months, or 15 days Premium
Green Card Immigrant Visa Available Later3
Family Green Cards Available Immediately Available Later
Desires Dual Citizenship Better Granada Citizenship4
Investment Required5 $0 $200,0006 + $100,000 or more
Management of Business Actively Involved Develop & Direct
Startup a New Business After 1 year Immediately7
Invest in a Franchise Better for multiple franchises Easy
Taxation Worldwide income Limited8
Dealing with USCIS Yes No
Need for Overseas Business Yes No

This information is a very simple overview to help potential applicants determine which path, if either, might be preferable to pursue. Please understand that each path is complicated and detailed and should not be pursued without expert legal advice.

1 This amount does not include processing expenses.
2 May require a minimum number of employees
3 Involves applying for another visa type
4 Or other applicable country, such as Nevis, St. Kitts, Costa Rica, and other Caribbean nations
5 This amount does not include processing expenses.
6 This amount is a gratuitous contribution to the Granada Island Transformation Fund
7 May require a minimum number of employees
8 Dependent upon the amount of time spent in the U.S.

The EB-5 investment visa has been plagued by long processing times and uncertainties for Chinese investors – especially those who wish to come to the USA in a shorter time. One of the better alternatives available is the EB-1C immigrant visa program for Multinational Managers.

Quicker Access via the EB-1C Visa Program

The processing time for EB-1C visas is typically much shorter than several years than for an EB-5 application to be approved. Cases are processed in the order they are received. Although times may vary, it is reasonable to expect that most cases can be handled within eight months – far better than for EB-5.

Qualifications for the EB-1C Visa Program

Of the U.S. employment-based, preferential visas available for foreign nationals, the EB-1C is specifically designed to expedite the transfer of executive and high-level managerial staff employees to a company’s U.S. facilities and to permit those persons and their families to enter the United States as permanent residents. The specific purpose of the EB-1C visa is to promote international commerce by expediting the immigration of current high-level employees to the U.S. to enhance a company’s operations here. Unlike most visas, where individuals are the applicants, the company is the applicant for EB-1Cs.

The USCIS has established simple, but separate, eligibility guidelines for the applicant company and the employee. Since the company must already be operating internationally and in the U.S., the U.S. entity is the petitioner or applicant. The immigrant must have a position in which he or she manages an essential function of the business. Mid-level managers or first-line supervisors do not qualify.

  • The Applicant (the company)
    • The company must have been operating continuously within the U.S. for a minimum of one year before the application.
    • The company must have a similarly continuously operating business in at least one other country.
    • The company must be related to a qualifying entity outside of the U.S. wherein there is both common ownership and control. Qualifying entities include:
      • Branch: a division of the company in a location distant from the main offices.
      • Subsidiary: a separate company that is owned in part or whole by another entity that controls its operations.
      • Parent: a company that has subsidiaries.
      • Affiliate: generally speaking, divisions or branches of a company that regularly conduct business with each other.
  • The Immigrant
    • The transferee must have been employed continuously by the related foreign entity at an executive level for a minimum of one year during the three years preceding the filing of the application.
    • The transferee must be reasonably qualified to successfully perform the responsibilities to which he or she will be assigned. That position must include responsibility for policy making, corporate level decision making and oversight of other management-level employees.
    • The transferee should have exposure to and experience with dealing with U.S. businesses.

Benefits of the EB-1C Visa

  • No investment required.
  • A direct path to permanent immigration.
  • Immediate family access to permanent immigration. (Immediate family includes spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
    • If they reside in the United States with valid nonimmigrant statuses such as L, H or F visa, they can file adjustment of status applications with USCIS and obtain immigration benefits such as employment authorization and travel documents.
    • If they reside outside the United States, the whole family, including the immigrant, spouse, and unmarried children under 21 years old, may start the consular process application to obtain green cards once the EB-1C petition is approved.

While this process is much more expedient than EB-5, it is also much more complicated. The information here is a summary. Every step includes understanding technical and timing details that require the expertise of qualified immigration attorneys.

If you have questions, we have answers. Contact us. We are here to help you.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 09:34

EB-5 Is Still Alive

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program and the Regional Center program will remain in effect and unchanged until December 8, 2017.

On Friday, September 8, 2017, the White House announced that the President signed into law:

H.R. 601, the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017," which amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to direct that it is U.S. policy to promote basic education through particular programs, and establishes the position of Senior Coordinator of United States International Basic Education within the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Division B of the bill, Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements, 2017, provides $15.25 billion in emergency funding for the Departments of Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration to support disaster response and assistance.

Division C of the bill temporarily suspends the statutory debt limit through December 8, 2017.

Division D of the bill includes a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that provides fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations through Friday, December 8, 2017, for the continuing projects and activities of the Federal Government.

Readers will notice that there is no mention of the EB-5 Visa program in the White House press release because it is included in Division D as part of the short-term continuing resolution that essentially keeps extends funding for all covered government activities. The continuing resolution is popularly referred to as avoiding a government shutdown.

Congress will have to act on the EB-5 program once again by December 8th at the latest. Look for our next article which will explain the options that Congress will have.

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 18:45

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