EB-5 Visa Quotas in 2021

Should Vietnam and India be granted E-2 Visa Status?

D&A Global Chairman Mark Davies argues the time is ripe to grant E2 and E1 Visa status for Vietnam and Indian citizens.

Before coming to Vietnam I did not realize that the US is Vietnam’s largest export market. Having spent years in India I did know of the massive potential to grow cross-border business between the US and India.

We are seeing a lot of interest in the L1 Visa and E2 Visa from companies in our offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai much of it being Vietnamese and Indian businesses looking to access the US market. Many Vietnamese and Indian firms are looking to increase their trade with the US through E2 and L1.

Vietnam and India both represent a huge opportunity for US businesses to expand and invest. Vietnam is Asia’s fastest growing market and companies want to grow by investing through a business there.

At the moment, obtaining an E2 Visa means a Vietnamese or Indian national has to obtain a second nationality, popularly Grenada and Turkey.

It’s time to put an end to the need for Citizenship by Investment in Vietnam and India and for the US to enter into a treaty with both Vietnam and India allowing for both the E2 and E1 Visa. Such a treaty would allow Vietnamese businesses access to the US and streamline the process by which US businesses can access the lucrative Vietnamese market.


Thẻ xanh “dương”: Câu trả lời của Châu Âu đối với Thẻ xanh “lá” của Hoa Kỳ

By Matteo Tisato & Simon Nguyen

Trong những tháng qua, thế giới phải đối mặt với tình huống khó khăn do đại dịch CoVid 19 bùng phát ảnh hưởng nghiêm trọng đến đời sống và kinh tế của các quốc gia.

Trong khi đó, ngày 22 tháng 6 năm 2020, Tổng thống Donald Trump vừa ký sắc lệnh tạm thời ngừng cấp các visa không định cư cho công dân ngoài Hoa Kỳ như L1, H-1B, H4, L, etc. cho đến cuối năm nay (31 tháng 12 năm 2020). Điều này đã ảnh hưởng quan trọng đến mong muốn đến Hoa Kỳ làm việc và sinh sống của đa phần người Việt.

Tuy nhiên, một số thị thực được quan tâm nhiều như thi thực Đầu tư Hiệp ước E2 không bị ảnh hưởng bởi sắc lệnh trên. Điều này như một minh chứng cho thấy sức hút của thị thực E2 đối với các nhà đầu tư về tính ổn định và các lợi ích khác của nó.

Tuy nhiên, vẫn còn có một số lựa chọn di trú đến những quốc gia khác ngoài Hoa Kỳ thu hút không ít nhà đầu tư trên khắp thế giới như các quốc gia Châu Âu.

Trong vài ngày qua, các văn phòng của chúng tôi ở London, Rome và Florence đã nhận được một lượng lớn các cuộc gọi từ khắp nơi trên thế giới từ những người tìm kiếm thông tin về con đường họ có thể làm việc và cư trú hợp pháp ở châu Âu. Chúng tôi nhân cơ hội này để cung cấp cái nhìn rõ nét về “Thẻ xanh” của châu Âu, được tạo ra với mục đích đặc biệt để biến châu Âu trở thành điểm đến hấp dẫn hơn cho các công dân không thuộc EU/EEA có trình độ cao. Ủy ban châu Âu đã chọn tên ‘thẻ xanh dương” như dấu hiệu cho những người nhập cư tiềm năng rằng thẻ xanh dương là lựa chọn thay thế của châu Âu cho thẻ xanh “lá” của Mỹ.

Thẻ xanh châu Âu là giấy phép cư trú cung cấp các quyền về kinh tế và xã hội toàn diện và con đường khả quan hướng tới thường trú và nhận quốc tịch châu Âu. Nó có giá trị ở tất cả các quốc gia thành viên EU, ngoại trừ Đan Mạch, Ireland và Vương quốc Anh. Đây là một hệ thống dựa trên thành tích, trong đó ứng viên phải chứng minh họ có bằng đại học và đã được mời làm việc ít nhất 12 tháng với mức lương hàng năm bằng hoặc cao hơn mức liên quan được xác định bởi Quốc gia thành viên. Ví dụ, ở Đức mức lương tối thiểu hàng năm cho người đăng ký Thẻ xanh EU là khoảng 55.200 EUR, hoặc 43.056 EUR cho các ngành nghề thiếu hụt, chẳng hạn như bác sĩ, kỹ sư, nhà khoa học tự nhiên, nhà toán học và chuyên gia IT. Giấy phép làm việc được cấp theo chương trình Thẻ xanh không tuân theo bất kỳ hệ thống hạn ngạch nào và không cấp phép cho các công việc tạm thời hoặc các hoạt động tự làm chủ. Nếu chủ thẻ EU Blue mất việc, họ được cho 3 tháng để ở lại trong nước và tìm kiếm việc làm, và có quyền yêu cầu trợ cấp an sinh xã hội.

Trong số nhiều lợi thế đặc biệt có được khi trở thành chủ sở hữu Thẻ xanh EU, các điểm có lợi chính khác bao gồm: có được điều kiện làm việc và lương như nhau đối công dân của quốc gia đó; di chuyển tự do trong khu vực Schengen; có các quyền xã hội, có một hệ thống giáo dục và chăm sóc sức khỏe tuyệt vời và giá cả phải chăng, chương trình đoàn tụ gia đình; và có khả năng có được quyền thường trú. Trên thực tế, sau khi ở lại năm (5) năm hợp pháp và liên tục, có thể xin giấy phép cư trú dài hạn của EU và được hưởng các quyền giống như công dân, bao gồm quyền làm việc cho bất kỳ hoạt động việc làm hoặc tự làm chủ.

Bài viết được viết với mục đích cung cấp thông tin. Bài viết này không bao gồm tư vấn hoặc ý kiến pháp lý. Vui lòng liên hệ với chúng tôi để thảo luận về hoàn cảnh cụ thể của bạn.

This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice. Please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances


The “Blue Card” Europe’s Answer to the US Green Card

Matteo Tisato, Senior Immigration Analyst in our Italy Practice Group, examines the requirements for a European Blue Card.


After a tough few months in Europe, which saw tens of thousands of deaths from the global pandemic, cities in lockdown, and borders closed, early signs of normality are appearing as European countries are reopening their borders to foreign travelers, with some exclusions.

In the last few days, our offices in London, Rome, and Florence are experiencing a massive volume of calls from all around the world from people seeking information about how they can work and legally reside in Europe.

We take this opportunity to offer an insight of the European Blue Card, which has been specifically created to make Europe a more attractive destination for highly qualified non-EU/EEA nationals. The European commission chose the name ‘blue card’ to signal potential immigrants that the Blue Card is the European alternative to the American Green Card.

The European Blue Card is a residence permit that provides comprehensive socio-economic rights and a possible path towards permanent residence and European citizenship. It is valid in all EU member states, except Denmark, Ireland, and the UK.

It is a merit-based system where applicants must prove they have a college degree, and have been offered a job for at least 12 months with a gross annual salary equal to or higher than the relevant salary threshold defined by the Member State.

For example, in Germany the minimum annual salary for EU Blue Card applicants is in the range of EUR 55,200 (or EUR 43,056 for shortage occupations, such as doctors, engineers, natural scientists, mathematicians, and IT-specialists).

Work permits issued pursuant to the Blue Card program are not subject to any quota system and are not allowed for temporary assignments or self-employed activities. If EU Blue Card holders lose their job they are given three months to remain in the country and look for work, and are entitled to claim social security benefits.

Amongst many exceptional advantages gained by becoming an EU Blue Card holder, additional key beneficial components include: obtaining equal work and salary conditions to national citizens; having free movement within the Schengen area; having social rights, having a great and affordable education and health care system, family reunification; and potentially obtaining permanent-residency rights.

In fact, after five years of legal and continuous stay, it is possible to apply for an EU long-term residence permit, and enjoy the same rights as nationals, including access to any employment and self-employed activity.

Contact our team to discuss your interest in the European Blue Card and other European and international residency & citizenship programs.


This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice. Please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.


E-2 Visa: Worried about your Children “Ageing Out”?

Are you worried about your children “ageing out” of a family E-2 visa? Are you worried about leaving behind extended family members? We can help you solve this issue with some careful planning.

By Verdie Atienza & Sukanya Raman

If you are planning to move to America but are concerned about your child age and your extended family members to be a part of your application, we have a solution for you.

We see that a lot of Indian nationals are enthusiastic to move to America for obvious reasons like business opportunities, better standards of living, healthcare, education, etc. Though, take a step back as in most visa categories are limited to spouse and children below the age of 21 including the E-2 Treaty Investor visa.

The spouse and children may apply for E-2 derivative visas. The spouse may apply for Employer Authorization Document (EAD) to work for any US employer and the children are permitted to study.  

There are ways to structure the E-2 enterprise to address the issues of ageing-out for children and qualifying other family members. As once the children turn 21 they will cease to qualify as dependents under the E-2 Visa.

We can structure the E-2 enterprise in such a fashion that it qualifies children over the age of 21, dependent parents, unmarried siblings.

To qualify for the E-2 Treaty Investor visa, the requirement is to own at least 50% of the E-2 company to show operational control. For this reason, the E-2 company may qualify two Treaty Investors having 50-50 ownership. The child who may age-out can make an investment to acquire at least 50% of the E-2 enterprise to qualify himself as a Treaty Investor.

If the goal is to bring members of the extended family like parents or siblings, they can be made 50% owners of the E-2 company, and they may also obtain derivative visas for their spouse and dependent children as well.

In cases where there are multiple family members, two or more E-2 enterprises can be set up. With relatively low investment requirements, it should not be too difficult for foreign entrepreneurs to raise capital.

Another advantage of the E-2 option is that the E-2 enterprise may file a petition for E-2 employees who must be the same nationality as the treaty investor. The prospective employees must either be engaged in duties of an executive or supervisory character or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.

Children over 21, parents, siblings, and other extended family members may potentially qualify for E-2 Employee Visas provided they have the same nationality, and they meet the requirements for employees under the treaty.

India is not a Treaty country, but with attractive Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs offered by countries that have E-2 treaties with the US like Grenada, Turkey and Montenegro, the path to the E-2 visa are clear. Compared to the investment the amount for EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and the wait time to get a green card is much longer than the E-2 Visa.

The processing time for E-2 visa is much quicker ranging from six to eight months from the date of application. Meaning, your children can start school in American from the next academic year onwards. E-2 visa is not like other non-immigrant visas. E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely, which gives you stability and permanency. There are no country limit or quota limit under the E-2 Visa.

To conclude, below are the most well-known advantages of the E-2 visa:

1.           Quick Processing Times

2.           No Quota Limitations

3.           Relatively Less Capital Investment Needed

4.           Funds to be Invested may come from various sources

5.           Control of Investment Funds and the Treaty Enterprise

6.           You may opt for a franchise

7.           Dependents are entitled to E-2 derivative visas

8.           Flexibility with Travel

9.           Potential Tax Advantages

10.         Relatively Low Legal Costs     

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients.


D&A Newsletter July 2020: India, US, Italy, Vietnam Immigration

Join our EB-5 Visa Webinar | July 8 2020

Interest in EB-5 visa is growing quickly because it has not been included in President Trump’s “immigration ban”. 

Join us for a free webinar where our Global Chairman, Mark Davies, will answer all your EB-5 questions. Mark will be joined by Matt Hogan, Vice President of Project Development at CMB Regional Centers. The EB-5 visa offers a path to US permanent residency (Green Card) for a minimum $900,000 investment per family. Conditions apply.

July 8, 2020 – 5:30pm India | 7pm Vietnam | 1pm London | 8am New York

Click here to register

Davies & Associates Italy: Expansion

We are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Italian-speaking team member, Matteo Tisato. Matteo is based in our Miami, Florida office and brings experience from working for law firms on both sides of the Atlantic. Matteo is already busy assisting our Italian clients with realizing their US immigration goals. He is also our go-to staff member for anyone seeking residency and citizenship of Italy. Matteo can be reached at mtisato@usimmigrationadvisor.com 

Siamo lieti ti annunciarvi l’ingresso di Matteo Tisato nella squadra Davies & Associates. Matteo gestisce il nostro ufficio a Miami (Florida), assiste tutti i nostri avvocati americani ed è punto di riferimento per la clientela Italiana. Matteo si occupa inoltre di permessi di soggiorno e naturalizzazioni Italiane

Read Matteo’s latest blog on the Italian Elective Residency Visa

Davies & Associates India: Remittance Taxes

The Indian government is changing the way it collects tax on remittance payments from October 1. People seeking to emigrate who do not wish to pay this tax at source and rather account for it later may wish to move their money ahead of the new rules coming into effect. It is possible to pre-emptively move money into an escrow account in the United States until such a time as they are ready to proceed with emigration process.

Read more about India’s remittance tax at source 

Davies & Associates Vietnam: New Hanoi Office

Davies & Associates is opening a new office to meet demand in Vietnam. Our new premises are located in the Hanoi Lotte Center in Ba Dinh, Hanoi. This complements D&A’s Ho Chi Minh City office, located in the landmark Bitexco Tower. Davies & Associates Global Chairman Mark Davies is currently based out of our Vietnam office and is available for meetings. 

Davies and Associates đang mở một văn phòng mới để đáp ứng nhu cầu tại Việt Nam. Cơ sở mới của chúng tôi được đặt tại Trung tâm Lotte Hà Nội, quận Ba Đình, Thành phố Hà Nội.

Contact us to schedule a meeting with D&A Chairman Mark Davies

Davies & Associates India: Retrogression

Big news for EB-5 in India is that the country is technically no longer in retrogression. This may be the artificial result of a slowdown in processing at USCIS. Given recent changes to the way USCIS sequences applications, this could be a favourable time to make an application before processing picks up and India potentially returns to retrogression.

Contact us for a more detailed explanation. 

D&A in the News

Davies & Associates was quoted in the Financial Express on the impact of President Trump’s suspension of H-1B, J-1 and L-1 visas through the end of the year. Mark Davies, Global Chairman of D&A, explained that restrictions on the H-1B have been tightening for years, and that we are seeing an increasing number of H-1B holders looking at the E-2 and the EB-5 visa as alternatives. Both visas have been exempted from the “immigration ban”.

Read the article here.

Finally: Happy Independence Day to Those Celebrating on Saturday

UK Government Extends Citizenship offer to Hong Kong Residents

The British government is proposing to offer a pathway to citizenship for around 3 million residents of Hong Kong. The move is a response to China’s introduction of a new national security law in the Special Administrative Region. The UK views this as a breach of the agreement surrounding the handover of the territory in 1997.

“We made clear that if China continued down this path we would introduce a new route for those with British National Overseas Status to enter the UK, granting them limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the UK, and thereafter to apply for citizenship,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom.

Some three million Hong Kong residents are thought to be eligible for British National Overseas Status. Under current regulations, a British Overseas National is able to move to the United Kingdom for six months.

In response to developments in Hong Kong, the British government is planning to extend that period from six months to five years. UK rules mean a person can apply for citizenship if they can prove they have lived in the United Kingdom for five years.

This is not the first time the United Kingdom has taken such a step. In the 1970s, thousands of Ugandans of Indian descent emigrated to London after they were expelled by Idi Amin. Many Kenyan Indians also migrated to the United Kingdom around this time.

With Hong Kong, the scale could be one-hundred-times larger. While it is estimated that around 30,000 Ugandan Asians emigrated to Britain in the 1970s, around 3,000,000 Hong Kong residents could claim the right to take up the British government’s opportunity.

Just how many people would seek to emigrate is uncertain. The younger generation are likely to be more receptive to the move. Hong Kong remains a major global business hub, despite the febrile situation on the streets.

That said, to be eligible for the British National Overseas Status, a person must have been born prior to the handover in 1997. This means that a person under the age of 23 might not be eligible.

So what are the alternatives? Well, Britain is just one of the options open to Hong Kong residents seeking a way out. The United States, for example, has a range of visas that could be attractive to Hong Kong residents. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program offers a Green Card in exchange for a $900,000 investment in the US.

Each country is limited to 700 EB-5 visas per year. Fortunately, Hong Kong is eligible for its own quota, separate to China. The EB-5 program in China has been oversubscribed for years, and Chinese face a long waiting list. Please note, the EB-5 program is determined by country of birth.

Alternatively, countries all around the world offer citizenship by investment programs. The two countries with the fastest and most cost-effective programs are Grenada and Turkey. Grenadian citizenship can be obtained in less than two months starting from just $150,000.

Both Turkey and Grenada offer the additional benefit of providing Hong Kong residents with access to the United States E-2 Visa. This non-immigrant visa allows a person to move invest around $100,000 or more to acquire or start-up a business in the United States.

Davies & Associates can help our Hong Kong clients with all the aforementioned visas, including their interest in the United Kingdom. Please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.

Written by Duncan Hill, Marketing Director, D&A. This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients.


Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme

Grenada Citizenship by Investment: Spouses & Single Applicants

Grenada has one of the most cost-effective citizenship by investment programs in the world. A $150,000 donation to the National Transformation Fund or a $220,000 investment in real estate leads very quickly to citizenship of a beautiful, stable, economically diverse country.

The investment route is especially popular, because it offers the chance of having the capital returned. The main investment opportunities are luxury hotel developments under construction on the island. Yet some people opt for the donation route because it better suits their own circumstances.

Unlike the investment route, the donation requirement changes depending upon the number of family members seeking Grenadian citizenship. A single applicant is required to invest $150,000. However, that increases to $200,000 if you plan to bring a spouse with you.

The extra $50,000 may be prohibitively high to some applicants. This could be the case if they are planning an E-2 investment and need capital to start-up or acquire a business in the United States.

There is a way around this. The Grenadian constitution entitles the spouse of a Grenadian citizen to Grenadian citizenship. So it is possible to apply as a single applicant, save $50,000, and arrange citizenship for the spouse at a later stage.

There is a timing issue here. Citizenship by Investment processing times are incredibly short – averaging just 45 days. If both spouses require citizenship quickly then it you should consider a dual CBI application.

However, if you are in no rush for the spouse to obtain Grenadian citizenship, you could consider the slower route. Applying for Grenadian citizenship as a spouse through the general processing route may take two years.

Such a situation might suit someone considering an E-2 application. Provided that the E-2 applicant is the same as the Grenada CBI applicant, an accompanying spouse does not need to have citizenship of an E-2 Treaty country. This explains why there are small numbers of E visas granted to Indians (221 visas in 2019) and Vietnamese (19 in 2019). Neither is an E-2 Treaty Country.

Each person or family’s situation is different. It is vital to engage with an attorney to discuss the best options to suit your circumstances. The information in this blog is for illustrative purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us directly to arrange a consultation.