New Italian “Permit of Stay” for Victims of Natural Disasters

By Matteo Tisato, Senior Immigration Analyst, Italy Practice Group.

A new Italian permit of stay (permesso di soggiorno) can be obtained by those who have been affected by severe natural disasters or other calamities in their countries.

Italy and Sweden are the only countries offering this specific protection. In general, persons eligible for this immigration status are third-country nationals who, while not fulfilling the criteria for refugee or subsidiary protection, could not be returned to their country of origin because of environmental circumstances.

Our Italian team in Florence and Rome can now assist you in applying for this permit. The competent Italian authority will make a determination based on the documentation provided at time of filing and will independently check the current situation of your country of origin. Unfortunately, the processing time to obtain this permit is still unclear. This Permit solution is valid for a period of 6 months and can be extended until the situation in those countries improves and it is safe for you to travel back.

If the Immigration authority does not extend your status, you may qualify for different permits and change your status while you are in the country. For sample, you can change your status to work, student, or family permits.

The Permit for natural disasters and calamities gives you extensive rights, including work authorization in Italy, enrolment in the Italian health care system (SSN), and access to the Italian public education system.

Our team in Florence and our Italian desk in Miami are already working on these solutions and are available to answer all your questions.  

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. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

India’s Economy Predicted to be Fastest Growing in World in 2021: Options for Expanding Your Business Overseas

The Indian economy is forecast to be the fastest growing in the world this year. According to a report by Global Data the Indian economy is predicted to grow by 9.7% as its vaccination program gets underway.

As India’s economy recovers and grows, its business owners and entrepreneurs are once again eyeing global growth. At Davies & Associates we are seeing an uptick in demand for US and UK business and investors visas, as well as some interest in new markets like Vietnam and Italy.

L-1 Visa: Expanding a Business to the United States

Our Indian clients have continued to want to expand their businesses to the United States throughout the pandemic. Travel restrictions and an immigration suspension have inevitably slowed things down, but with a vaccine and a new Biden administration, things are starting to open up.

The main visa for expanding a business to the U.S. is the L-1 Visa, which allows a manager, executive or specialized-knowledge employee to move to the U.S. to oversee the establishment of the new office. With its teams of corporate and immigration lawyers, Davies & Associates helps its clients establish the U.S. entity as well as conducting all the necessary visa work.

The L-1 is a time limited visa restricted to a maximum of seven years, so L-1 visa holders need to then return home or transition to another visa. There is a possibility of obtaining a green card under the EB1C Visa, provided the client is able to demonstrate that there was no immigrant intent at the time of applying for the L-1 Visa.

E-2 Visa: Starting a Business in the United States

The other key solution for setting up a business in the United States is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. We have been helping an increasing number of Indians with this visa, despite it not been a typical route to America. In fact, we were one of the first law firms to obtain an E-2 Visa for clients from. This is because Indians are not directly eligible for the E-2 Visa because India does not hold a relevant treaty with the United States. Our Indian clients need to first become a citizen of an E-2 Treaty Country. Typically they opt for Grenada in the West Indies.

The E-2 Visa allows a person to move to the US with their family to invest in and run a business. The investment required needs to be appropriate to the business plan and usually upwards of $100,000. The visa can be renewed as long as the business continues to operate and spouses can apply to work outside the business.

The Grenada Citizenship by Investment application is quick and relatively cost effective. It takes just a few months and the applicant does not need to appear in person. The price starts from $150,000 for a donation to the national fund or $220,000 for an investment in real estate. Grenada has continued to process applications throughout the pandemic.

EB-5 Investor Visa

India was the largest market in the world for the U.S. EB-5 Investor Visa in 2019. That was before the investment requirement increased from $500,000 to $900,000 in November of that year to account for inflation that had not been applied since the program started in the 1990s.

The sticker shock of the price rise combined with Covid-19 dampened demand for EB-5 in 2020, but demand is on the rise again. It is good timing. Indians are limited to remitting a maximum of $250,000 each financial year – which will reset on April 1. This means that half the funds for and EB-5 investment can be remitted at the end of March and the remainder at the end of April. This should be done in a legally compliant way and we urge you to discuss this with our team.

Congress will debate the future of EB-5 at the end of June. The industry is hoping for long term reauthorization that will provide a clear steer to applicants. The changes could well be positive, but investors who wish to proceed with the certainty of the current regulations ought to consider applying before then.

UK Immigration Options

The UK has emerged from Brexit and is starting to look to Asia and to the Commonwealth. India ticks both boxes, and the UK remains a popular destination for our Indian clients. Entrepreneurs have the option of moving to the UK as the Sole Representative of their company, by transferring to the UK office of the business they work for, or by applying for a Start-up or Innovator Visa. The UK also offers residency by investment, albeit for considerably more than the U.S. with a starting price of £2 million.

Italian Immigration Options

Italy still has some way to go to be as popular with our Indian clients as the U.S. or the U.K., but people are nevertheless showing increasing interest in the country. Our recent expert webinar on One Euro Homes proved particular popular, and people have been intrigued by the Elective Residency Visa. This offers Italian residency to anyone who can prove they have at least €32,000 a year from income outside Italy to support themselves. Italy offers a residency-by-investment visa which is much cheaper than the U.S. or the U.K. The government recently reduced the price as a result of Covid, and investment now starts from €250,000.

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. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

November Visa Bulletin Analysis for EB 5 Investor Visa

January Visa Bulletin Analysis for EB-5 and Employment-Based Visas

The U.S. Department of State’s January Visa bulletin shows very little change since our previous analysis. In the EB-5 immigrant investor visa category, only China and Vietnam continue to face delays. There has been no movement in the priority dates for EB-5 applicants born in China and only very slight progress for Vietnam with a revised Final Action Date of September 15, 2017.

India continues to remain “current”, meaning Indian EB-5 applicants are still no longer subject to retrogression delays. Yet, this could change. Our firm is seeing a recovery in demand following the initial “sticker shock” of the increased EB-5 investment amounts in November 2019.

Understanding Priority Dates

The date referred to in the visa bulletin is a “priority date”. This is the date that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services receives your initial EB-5 petition (form I-526).

If your country of birth is not listed in the visa bulletin or it is listed with a “C” next to it (meaning current), this means there is no waiting list for people born in your country and your application can proceed immediately.

If there is a date next to the country in which you were born, you will need to wait until your priority date becomes current. That means waiting until your priority date is before the date listed in the visa bulletin.

So this month, for EB-5 we only saw very slight movement in the Final Action Date associated with Vietnam. It moved from September 1, 2017 in the December 2020 visa bulletin to September 15, 2017 in the most recent one. This means there is expected to be a visa available to any EB-5 investor from Vietnam with a priority date in this two week window.

Final Action Date vs Dates for Filing

The visa bulletin has two tables associated with EB-5 and other employment-based visa categories. This is because they are signalling two different things to applicants.

One relates to “Final Action Dates”, which is when there is expected to be a visa available to people born in that particular country. The other table is the “Date for Filing”, which is when you can submit a visa application to the National Visa Center, even though there might not yet be a visa available. For applicants already inside the US making an “Adjustment of Status” (AOS), this may have implications for your rights to work.

The Date for Filing remains current for all countries except China. The Date for Filing for China-born applicants has not moved this month.

Final Action Dates Table

Note: EB-5 is – as the name suggests – the fifth of five employment-based immigrant visa category

Date for Filing Table

Understanding Waiting Lists

The reason some countries are subject to a waiting list is because these employment-based immigrant visa categories are subject to an annual per-country quota. In terms of EB-5 this is just over 700 visas per country per year, determined by a person’s citizenship at birth rather than any subsequent changes to citizenship.

When demand exceeds supply, countries are subject to a waiting list. Priority dates can sometimes cause confusion, especially as they can move backwards as well as forwards. This happens partly because it can be difficult to predict the exact number of people in the queue and much relies on a series of assumptions based upon past averages.

The number of applications is not equal to the number of visas / Green Cards. A single EB-5 visa application can cover not just the applicant, but a spouse, and children under the age of 21 – which means multiple visas are required for the one application.

Furthermore, it is difficult to know exactly how many people ahead of you in the queue would be denied or required to provide further evidence (RfE).

One of the main reason for a denial or demands for more evidence is poorly documented Source of Funds. To avoid this happening, it is vital to select a reputable law firm who has a strong track record in this area. Here at Davies & Associates we have never had a client rejected because of a Source of Funds issue.

Other Employment-Based Categories

For the EB-3 visa category for highly-skilled workers, every country is current except for India and China. The EB-3, which is essentially the long-term immigrant counterpart to the H-1B visa, is inevitably very popular in India. The waiting list for Indian applicants is very long and only moved forward one week from March 15, 2010 to March 22, 2010. China moved forward six weeks from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2020.

For the EB-1 visa category for extraordinary talent, researchers, and managers & executives, again India and China are the only country in retrogression. One of the reasons these two countries appears so often in this analysis is that the annual quotas do not take account of population size and are not determined on a per capita basis. China and India have the world’s largest populations as well as a long tradition of immigration to the United States.

The Final Action Dates are the same for both countries at September 1, 2019, having both moved forward by the same five month period since the last visa bulletin.

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. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Why OCI may be the Next Best Thing to Citizenship for Indians

India does not allow dual citizenship, but Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) status offers a form of permanent residency with many of the benefits of Indian citizenship.

Second Citizenship and OCI

We have experienced a sharp rise in demand for second citizenship among our Indian clients over the past few years. While many wish to relocate to long-popular destinations like the UK, Canada & Australia, a new trend has been quietly emerging.

Indians have started to obtain citizenship of less well-known places like Grenada in the West Indies. Places they have never visited and sometimes never even heard of before.

Why are they doing this? Well Grenada has lots to offer in its own right – a stable economy, beautiful beaches, and cricket, to name just a few. But one of the primary motivating factors is the fact that it offers Indians access to the United States E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.

The E-2 Treaty Investor visa allows a person to move to the United States with their family for the purposes of investing in and running a business. Unlike the popular H-1B Visa, there are no limits or quotas, and it is not subjected to the same fast changing political whims.

The E-2 Treaty is governed by treaties with sovereign states, which outlast one particular president or another. But it is precisely because it is governed treaties that India is not eligible. India does not have a relevant treaty with the United States.

Therefore, to become eligible the E-2 visa, Indians need to first obtain citizenship of an E-2 Treaty country. The E-2 Treaty countries with the quickest and most cost-effective pathways to citizenship are Grenada and Turkey. Grenada has typically been more popular with our Indian clients.

What is OCI?

The only reticence we see with Indian clients pursuing the Grenada + E-2 route surrounds the issue of citizenship.

While Grenada allows dual citizenship, India does not. So, our clients are faced with the prospect of giving up their Indian citizenship for citizenship of a much smaller country a long way from home.

While for some, this is entirely worthwhile. They see the strength of the Grenada passport worldwide (it is one of the few countries to have visa free access to China, as well as the European Schengen area, and the U.K. – not to mention its access to the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa).

But for others, the decision can be more daunting.

That is where OCI or Overseas Citizenship of India comes in. Anyone faced with the prospect of giving up their Indian citizenship can apply for OCI status and have many of the same rights as full citizens.

The principle differences between OCI and full citizenship are that Overseas Citizens of India are not eligible to vote, are not eligible to hold public office, and are not eligible to acquire agricultural land.

In most other aspects Overseas Citizens of India are treated much the same as Non Resident Indians (NRIs), Indian citizens who reside outside of India for at least 182 days per year.

The OCI is essentially a life-long, multiple-entry visa to visit or live in India for any purpose including work. It is essentially a form of permanent residency.

Some benefits of OCI
  • No need to report presence in India to the authorities
  • Same rights as Non Resident Indians except not able to acquire agricultural land
  • Additional permission required for work in fields of journalism, research, missionary and mountaineering
  • Same rights as Indian citizens to domestic air fares and to the admission price for national parks
  • Same rights as Non Resident Indians to work in registered progressions, e.g. doctors, dentists, nurses, advocates, architects, and chartered accountants.

And it is not only people who surrender their Indian nationality that are eligible for OCI status. Anyone with an Indian parent, grandparent or great grandparent is eligible. This makes the OCI program very popular in countries with large Indian diaspora communities like the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

Restrictions on OCI
  • Cannot vote
  • Cannot run for political office
  • Cannot obtain government jobs
  • Cannot acquire agricultural land

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

Citizenship of Grenada can be obtained within an average of less than three months for an investment in real estate starting from $220,000 or a donation to a public fund from $150,000. The Turkish program requires an investment in real estate starting from $250,000 or deposits in a Turkish bank of $500,000 or more.

What is the E-2 Visa?

The E-2 visa allows a person to move to the U.S. with their family to actively invest in and run a business. The required investment should be suitable for the business, usually starting from $100,000, and this should be reflected in a credible business plan. Spouses can apply for work authorization outside the business and the family is free to travel to and from the United States.

It is possible to invest in a franchise business, or set up a business from scratch. It is important that the business is structured in a way that complies with all immigration regulations. We advise E-2 applicants to engage not just our immigration lawyers, but also our corporate lawyers. Both teams work closely together to maximize the chances of a successful application and subsequent renewals.

Reversing the Process: Becoming a Citizen Again

The decision to surrender Indian citizenship is rarely taken lightly. OCI offers many of the same benefits, and for people whose minds or circumstances have changed, there is a route to re-obtaining Indian citizenship.

A person who is registered as an OCI for 5 years is eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship if they have been living in India for one of those five years.

This is, nevertheless, an immensely important decision. We recommend that you speak with our attorneys so you are fully apprised of OCI, citizenship by investment, and where applicable, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. Please contact us to discuss your personal circumstances.

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. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Keeping a Family together through the E-2 Visa: Client Case Study

Our client wanted to be temporarily reunited with his wife who was living in the United States, but time limitations to his visitor visa meant he had to seek a longer- term alternative. The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa proved the optimal solution.

By Verdie Atienza, Senior Attorney, Head of E-2 and L-1 Visa Practice

Our firm assisted a Jordanian national to with obtaining an E-2 visa and subsequently a green card. While he is married to a US permanent resident, he did not initially wish to reside in America permanently.

Since he did not want to be apart from his wife for too long, he entered the US on his visitor’s visa and was given a period of 6 months of authorized stay.

Prior to the expiration of his period of authorized stay, he has decided that he wants to stay for a longer period of time to determine whether he wants to permanently decide to live in the US or convince his wife go back with him to Jordan. We recommended the change of status to E-2 option for him.

Our firm assisted him in setting up his E-2 company and guided him on making the investments. He opened a bakery restaurant which offers a variety of Lebanese-style flatbreads with a variety of toppings, with options for meat-lovers, vegetarians, and vegans.  

Having a permanent resident wife posed a hurdle in terms of proving his non-immigrant intent. We worked with the client in documenting ties to Jordan and we successfully obtained an approval which granted a period of authorized stay of two years on E-2 status.

The success of his business changed his mind about his future in America. He decided to apply for permanent residency by virtue of his marriage to a Green Card holder.

The priority date for spouses of permanent residents had recently become current and so we advised him to immediately file an adjustment of status application.

The application has been approved and he is now waiting for his Green Card. With careful planning, our firm managed to lessen the client’s physical separation from his wife.

What is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

The E-2 Visa allows a person to move to the United States for the purposes of investing in and running a business. The visa is renewable indefinitely, provided the underlying business remains in operation.

Spouses can move to America along with the primary applicant and can apply to work outside the business. Dependant children can also move to the United States with their parents.

Investors can choose to purchase a ready-made franchise business provided it complies with the E-2 visa regulations. Davies & Associates has a team of corporate lawyers to make sure the franchise or start-up is structured in a way that complies with all the immigration regulations.

While many E-2 clients opt to invest in restaurants or retail, some choose to have businesses that do not necessarily require a bricks-and-mortar presence. These people benefit from a recent innovation to the E-2 visa program that no longer requires the business to have a physical premises.

Who is eligible for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

Eligibility for the E-2 Visa is determined by country of citizenship. An applicant must hold citizenship of a country that holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States.

The full list of countries with E-2 Treaties can be found here. Jordan holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States, so this client was directly eligible for the program. Since there are no quotas for this program, the client was not subject to any waiting lists and his application could progress quickly.

Furthermore, since the E-2 Treaty is governed by treaties, it is less exposed to political machinations than most other visa categories. These treaties tend to outlast short-term political changes in Washington.

If the client had not been from an E-2 Treaty Country, the client would need to have first obtained citizenship of an E-2 Treaty Country. The two E-2 treaty countries offering the quickest and most cost-effective pathways to citizenship are Grenada and Turkey.

Grenada offers dual citizenship within just a few months in exchange for an investment in real estate starting from $220,000 or a donation to a government fund starting from $150,000. Turkey requires a $250,000 investment in real estate or $500,000 deposits placed with Turkish banks.

Please contact us for more information:

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. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Immigration Outlook for 2021

Happy New Year from the entire team at Davies & Associates. With a global vaccination program underway, 2021 looks set to bring a welcome return to something closer to normality.

Despite the difficult circumstances, we were delighted to move so many families and businesses around the world in 2020, and we look forward to serving many more in the coming year.

Best wishes,
Mark I. Davies Esq.
Global Chairman, Davies & Associates

United States Immigration

Much of how immigration policy plays out during Biden’s first two years in office will depend on which party ends up in control of the Senate after a run-off election in Georgia today, January 5. Then tomorrow, January 6, Congress is required to sign off on the election results in what will be President Trump’s last opportunity to contest them ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. The political theater may calm down in late January, but questions will remain about how Biden will approach immigration policy as he attempts to repair the nation’s finances after Covid-19.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program in 2021

The EB-5 Investor Visa brings investment and jobs to the United States. It offers Green Cards for a qualifying family group in exchange for a minimum $900,000 investment that creates ten jobs. It is for this reason that the EB-5 Program was deliberately not suspended by President Trump in 2020. The program has enjoyed the support of politicians from both main political parties and showcases how the immigration system can be a net benefit to the economy and employment.

The EB-5 program will find itself on the agenda of Congress this year as it faces reauthorization in June and as a bipartisan reform bill gains ground. While this could have a positive impact, some investors may wish to act in the first half of the year to lock in their investments with the surety of the current regulations. 

Read More

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa in 2021

The E-2 Treaty Investor is governed by treaties with sovereign countries, meaning it is more insulated from political changes than other types of visa. In fact, the oldest treaty (with the United Kingdom) was signed more than 200 years ago. The E-2 visa allows a person to move with their families for the purpose of investing in and running a business in the United States. It brings investment to the U.S. and creates jobs for U.S. workers. It was not covered by the Presidential Proclamation which banned the issuance of certain visas last year. 

Read Why You Should Apply for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa in 2021 in Silicon India magazine, by Verdie Atienza, the Senior Immigration Attorney in charge of our E-2 and L-1 Visa Practice.

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L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa in 2021

The issuance of L-1 Visas was suspended by President Trump last year. The President just extended the ban on L-1 (as well as H-1B visas) through to March 31, 2021. This means Joe Biden will need take the decision on whether to immediately roll back on President Trump’s policy on the L-1 category or let it lapse in three months time. Increasingly our firm is helping business owners make use of the L-1 visa to be allowed to move to America to set up a new office and oversee the expansion of their businesses. Despite the ban, our clients have been using the time to prepare an application for when the ban is lifted. 

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National Interest Exception

The U.S. border has been closed to the citizens of select countries with high rates of Covid-19. However, it is possible for L-1 and E-2 visa holders to apply for special permission to travel to the United States if they can make the case that this is in the national interest. Our firm obtained multiple National Interest Exceptions to allow our L-1 and E-2 clients to travel to the U.S. in 2020. Please contact us if this affects you. 

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Italian Immigration

Our Italian business grew rapidly in 2020, in spite of challenging circumstances. This year is set to be even stronger as the Italian government looks to the immigration system to help rebuild the economy. To that end, it cut the cost of the Italian residency-by-investment visa in half for certain types of investment. It has also fully reopened the Elective Residency Visa after some consulates stopped accepting applications because of Covid. Elective Residency, which is our most popular Italian visa, allows a person to obtain Italian residency if they can prove a regular income of at least €32,000 / year among other conditions. 

Our firm also helps clients with all matters relating to Italian tax, citizenship and property. At the end of 2020 we hosted a webinar on the famous One-Euro Homes project featuring an expert panel covering all aspects of the program – including someone who has been through the process.

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Click Here to Watch our One Euro Homes Webinar from December 2020

United Kingdom Immigration

The United Kingdom officially left the European Union at the end of 2020 and is gearing up its new points-based immigration system. It also recently launched a Global Talent Visa to attract future leaders in digital technology, academia, and the arts. The U.K. investor visa, skilled-worker visa, and start-up visa are all still available. Some of the details of the new system are yet to be determined, so we advise you to set up a consultation with our UK team.

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Grenada Citizenship by Investment

Demand for the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme grew during 2020 as more people sought dual citizenship amid the uncertainty of Covid-19. Grenada offers citizenship within a matter of months in exchange for an investment in Real Estate starting from $220,000 or a donation starting from $150,000. Grenada is an E-2 Treaty Country, which means people from a non E-2 Treaty Country (e.g. India, South Africa, Vietnam, Russia & China) can become eligible for the U.S. E-2 Treaty Investor Visa after obtaining citizenship of Grenada.

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Start a Business Anywhere in the World in 2021

Davies & Associates has helped hundreds of clients move their existing businesses overseas or start new ones around the world. The tasks of setting up an overseas office and of applying for the necessary visas are intricately linked. Our teams of corporate lawyers and immigration lawyers work closely together to ensure the business is set-up in a way that complies with all local immigration regulations. We then remain by our clients side, providing all the necessary ongoing corporate and immigration support as they grow and thrive in their new home.

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Vương quốc Anh và Việt Nam ký biên bản kết thúc phiên đàm phán Hiệp định Thương mại Tự do: Khám phá các lựa chọn nhập cư vào Vương quốc Anh

Chiều ngày 11/12, lễ ký kết Biên bản Kết thúc đàm phán Hiệp định Thương mại Tự do (FTA) Việt Nam-Vương quốc Anh (UKVFTA) chính thức diễn ra tại Hà Nội.

By Simon Ngyuen

Theo số liệu của Tổng cục Hải quan, năm 2019, tổng kim ngạch xuất nhập khẩu hai nước đạt 6,6 tỷ USD, trong đó xuất khẩu đạt 5,8 tỷ USD và nhập khẩu đạt 857 triệu USD. Tuy nhiên, khi Anh rời EU, các ưu đãi mang lại từ Hiệp định thương mại tự do Việt Nam-EU (EVFTA) sẽ không được áp dụng tại thị trường Anh. Bởi vậy, việc ký kết một FTA song phương sẽ tạo điều kiện cho hoạt động cải cách, mở cửa thị trường, thuận lợi hóa thương mại ở hai quốc gia trên cơ sở kế thừa các kết quả đàm phán tương đối tích cực ở EVFTA, tránh gián đoạn các hoạt động thương mại do hệ quả mang lại của Brexit.Sau 6 phiên làm việc chính thức và nhiều phiên làm việc kỹ thuật, 2 bên đã chính thức đi đến ký kết biên bản kết thúc đàm phán Hiệp định thương mại tư do Việt Nam-Vương quốc Anh.Bộ trưởng Bộ Công Thương Trần Tuấn Anh khẳng định, đây là bước quan trọng để 2 nước sớm đi đến ký kết chính thức Hiệp định này trong thời gian tới.Hiệp định song phương UKVFTA giữ nguyên các lợi ích trong quan hệ thương mại hiện tại giữa Vương quốc Anh và Việt Nam thông qua Hiệp định Thương mại EVFTA, đồng thời có những điều chỉnh để phù hợp với cả 2 bên. Hiệp định UKVFTA được kỳ vọng sẽ tiếp nối động lực thúc đẩy quan hệ thương mại, đầu tư của hai bên trong những năm tới.Những cơ hội và lợi ích lớn nhất tạo ra từ Hiệp định UKVFTA là thúc đẩy xuất khẩu các mặt hàng chủ lực của Việt Nam. Các ngành hàng xuất khẩu được hưởng lợi là thủy hải sản, gạo, dệt may, gỗ, rau quả, da giày… Theo đó 99% thuế xuất nhập khẩu giữa 2 nước sẽ được xóa bỏ sau khi kết thúc lộ trình cắt giảm thuế quan.Theo Bộ trưởng Thương mại quốc tế Anh Liz Truss, Vương quốc Anh và Việt Nam có chung cam kết chiến lược đối với thương mại toàn cầu và tự do hóa giao dịch vốn và đầu tư. Thỏa thiện UKFTA là một bước tiến quan trọng trong bối cảnh nước Anh sẽ chính thức xin gia nhập Hiệp định Đối tác Toàn diện và Tiến bộ xuyên Thái Bình Dương (CPTPP) vào đầu năm 2021.

Điều này cũng mở ra cơ hội cho nhiều doanh nghiệp Việt Nam muốn mở rộng thị thường và hoạt động kinh doanh tại Vương Quốc Anh thông qua các chương trình thị thực dành cho các doanh nhân, quản lý. Trong số đó, phải kể đến các lựa chọn đang là ưu tiên với quy trình giải quyết nhanh, chi phí thấp như:

1.    Sole-Representative Visa: Thị thực yêu cầu người nộp đơn thiết lập sự hiện diện thương mại đầu tiên của công ty tại Vương quốc Anh, bằng cách mở một chi nhánh hoặc công ty con đã đăng ký tại Vương quốc Anh

.2.    Start-up Visa: Một trong những loại thị thực được giới thiệu gần đây, thị thực này đã thay thế thị thực Doanh nhân (Entrepreneur) và tốt nghiệp (Graduated). Thị thực này rất phổ biến do người nộp đơn không yêu cầu bất kỳ khoản tiền nào trong giai đoạn nộp đơn. Thị thực này dành cho những cá nhân có đầu óc kinh doanh với mong muốn xây dựng một công ty theo ba tiêu chí chính là (i) ý tưởng kinh doanh sáng tạo, (ii) tính khả thi và (iii) có thể mở rộng

3.    Innovative Visa: Loại thị thực này nhằm vào những doanh nhân có kinh nghiệm hơn, những người đang muốn thành lập doanh nghiệp tại Vương quốc Anh với quỹ đầu tư tối thiểu 50.000 bảng Anh. Tương tự như thị thực khởi nghiệp, người nộp đơn phải được sự chứng thực từ cơ quan được chỉ định của Vương quốc Anh đối với ý tưởng kinh doanh.

Liên hệ ngay với Davies and Associates LLC để biết thêm thông tin chi tiết và chúng tôi có thể tư vấn lựa chọn phù hợp nhất cho dự định làm việc, sinh sống của bạn tại Vương quốc Anh.

Explore UK Immigration Options as Vietnam & UK sign Free Trade Agreement

On the afternoon of December 11, the signing ceremony of the Agreement on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Vietnam-UK (UKVFTA) officially took place in Hanoi.

According to the General Department of Customs, in 2019, the total import-export turnover of the two countries reached 6.6 billion USD, of which exports reached 5.8 billion USD and imports reached 857 million USD. However, when the UK leaves the EU, the incentives brought in from the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will not be applied in the UK market. Therefore, the signing of a bilateral FTA will facilitate the reform, opening of markets and trade facilitation in the two countries on the basis of inheriting relatively positive negotiation results in EVFTA. and avoid disruptions in commercial activities as a result of Brexit.

After 6 official working sessions and many technical sessions, the two sides officially came to sign the conclusion of the negotiations on the Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh affirmed that this is an important step for the two countries to soon come to the official signing of this Agreement in the coming time.

Bilateral Agreement UKVFTA retains the interests in the current trade relationship between the UK and Vietnam through the EVFTA Trade Agreement, and at the same time makes adjustments to suit both sides. The UKVFTA Agreement is expected to continue the driving force of the two sides’ trade and investment relations in the coming years.

The greatest opportunities and benefits created from the UKVFTA Agreement are to promote the export of Vietnam’s key products. The export sectors to benefit are seafood, rice, textiles, wood, vegetables, leather and shoes … Accordingly, 99% of import and export taxes between the two countries will be eliminated after the tax cut is completed. concerned.

According to British International Trade Minister Liz Truss, the UK and Vietnam share a shared strategic commitment to global trade and liberalization of capital transactions and investment. The UKFTA agreement is an important step in the context that the UK will officially apply to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in early 2021.

This also opens up opportunities for many Vietnamese businesses to expand their markets and do business in the UK through visa programs for entrepreneurs and managers. Among them, there are options that are priority with a fast, low-cost process such as:

  1. Sole-Representative Visa: The visa requires the applicant to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, by opening a branch or subsidiary registered in the UK.
  2. Start-up Visa: One of the recently introduced visas, this visa has replaced the Entrepreneur (Entrepreneur) and Graduated (Graduated) visa. This visa is very popular because the applicant is not asking for any money during the application stage. This visa is for business-minded individuals wishing to build a company under three main criteria: (i) innovative business idea, (ii) feasibility and (iii) open wide
  3. Innovative Visa: This visa is aimed at more experienced entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business in the UK with a minimum investment fund of £ 50,000. Similar to a start-up visa, an applicant must obtain endorsement from a designated UK agency regarding the business idea.

Webinar: Grenada: Gateway to the United States E2 Visa

Sign up for our the next in our series of free expert immigration webinars

Grenada & The E-2 Visa Webinar | Thursday 17 December

8 am Eastern |6:30 pm India

Grenada is an island paradise with a stable government and a well-established investment environment. A Grenada passport can be obtained in just a few months without ever needing to visit the island. Grenada has a strong passport, offering visa-free access to more than 120 countries, including the UK, China, Singapore, and the whole European Union. There is no tax on worldwide income and processing times are extremely fast. 

Find out more

Fast & Cost-Effective Citizenship
– Gateway to the US E2 Visa –

Mark Davies, Global Chairman, Davies & Associates
Maryam Mansouri, Business Development Director, Range Developments
Verdie Attienza, Senior Immigration Attorney, Davies & Associates

Click Here to Register for the Webinar

Why Grenada Citizenship?

Grenada: Access to the United States E-2 VisaGrenada has an E-2 Treaty with the United States. This means its citizens are eligible for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. The E-2 Treaty allows a person to move to the United States with their family to own and operate a business. Processing times for both Grenada and the E-2 visa are very quick. It is possible to complete the entire process in a matter of months.

If the country of which you hold citizenship does not have an E-2 Treaty with the United States, it is necessary to first become a citizen of an E-2 treaty country like Grenada. India, China, Vietnam do not hold E-2 Treaties. Click the link below to see the full list.

Find out if your country has an E-2 Treaty with the United States 

Benefits of the E-2 Visa

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows a person to move to the United States with their spouse and dependent children for the purposes of owning and operating a business. The E-2 Visa offers many advantages including:

Grenada: Access to China

Grenada is one of the few passports in the world that has visa-free access to China. Our clients with business interests in China are pursuing a Grenada passport to ensure their access to the Chinese markets is not disrupted. They anticipate that geopolitical events, such as the trade war and border disputes, may cause challenges.

Register for the Webinar Here

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Case Study: Green Card for L-1 Visa Client Switching to EB1C Visa

Davies & Associates has filed yet another adjustment of status for an L-1 visa client to transition to a Green Card on an EB1C Visa. The client, whose business specializes in satellite solutions for remote communications, initially moved to the United States on an L-1 Visa in 2017.

Back then, he established a US branch of his Australian company so that he could then transfer himself on an L-1 visa. With our teams of corporate and immigration lawyers working together, Davies & Associates is able to help with both setting up a company and then with obtaining the necessary visas.

The L-1 Visa is for the intracompany transfer of employees from an overseas branch to the US branch of the same business. It is typically used by employees of large multinational organizations, seeking to move their employees around the world.

But Davies & Associates specializes in “new office L1 visas”, whereby a client can set up a US branch of their foreign company and then move to the United States to manage that branch.

The foreign entity and the US office need to have a “qualifying relationship”, a term that has a degree of latitude. It is important to discuss what this means with one of our attorneys.

The L-1 Visa allows for the transfer of a management or executive level employee, as well as an employee with specialized knowledge (the latter being eligible for a L-1B visa).

L-1 Visa holders can bring their dependant families with them, and spouses are able to apply to work in the United States outside of the underlying business.

L-1 is a time limited visa. It can be renewed for up to seven years (five years for L-1B). It does not offer permanent residency, so people seeking to stay in the US longer, need to find an alternative solution.

This is precisely what we did for our Australian L-1 client when he wanted to transition to a Green Card.

The optimal route to the a Green Card for an L-1 Visa client is the EB1C Visa. It is an immigrant visa for management and executive level employees.

But timing is important. For beneficiaries of EB1C petition who are currently in the US, they must have been employed by the qualifying entity abroad for at least one year in the three years preceding the date that they entered the US as nonimmigrant working for the US entity.


Since our Australian client obtained his L-1 Visa in 2017, the window of opportunity was starting to close on his eligibility for the EB1C visa. The adjustment of status was filed in good time and the adjustment of status can begin.

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. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

What Impact Will Biden have on E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

While Joe Biden spoke favorably about immigrants in the run-up to the 2020 election, he may find his ability to act favorably hampered by a hostile Senate and an economy ravaged by Covid. Despite this uncertainty, once visa category is likely to continue to be unscathed by all the dramas in Washington: the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.

This is because the E-2 Visa is governed by treaties with sovereign countries that long outlast one president or another. In fact, the oldest E-2 Treaty – with the United Kingdom – dates back more than 200 years.

The E-2 Visa allows foreigners to move to the United States with their families for the purpose of owning and actively managing a business. This could be something they start-up from scratch, or it could be an off-the-shelf franchise business.

There is no fixed investment required for an E-2 visa, but the amount of capital being brought into the United States needs to be proportionate to the needs of the business.

The spouse of the E-2 visa holder can apply for work authorization in the United States and is not tied to working in the E-2 business. This offers a lot more employment flexibility than the H-1B visa, which somewhat bounds and employee to a particular employer.

The E-2 Visa does not bestow permanent residency, but can be renewed indefinitely provided the underlying business is still in operation. There are options for transitioning to a Green Card – for example, through the EB-5 Visa Program.

The E-2 has enjoyed bipartisan support in the United States because it brings investment and creates jobs. In fact, when President Trump chose to suspend a swathe of visa categories in response to Covid, he deliberately exempted the E-2 Visa from the “ban”.

Unlike other visa categories, there are no quotas or country caps for the E-2 Visa, and processing times are very fast in comparison.

The key limitation is whether your country holds a relevant treaty with the United States. You can find out if you country holds a treaty with the US here.

If your country does not hold a Treaty then don’t worry, there are still options. Firstly, new countries are sometimes added to the list. For example, Israel and New Zealand are recent additions to the list of E-2 Countries.

Nevertheless, citizens of countries like India, China, Vietnam, South Africa and more are not eligible for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. Citizens of these countries have to obtain citizenship of an E-2 Treaty Country first.

The two countries that offer the most cost-effective and fastest routes to citizenship are Grenada in the Caribbean and Turkey. Once you have obtained citizenship of one of these countries, you can apply for the E-2 visa.

Grenada offers citizenship for a real estate investment starting at $220,000 or a donation of $150,000. Processing times are extremely fast and you are not required to visit the island. There is no tax on worldwide income and there are no residency requirements. Grenada allows dual citizenship.

Turkish citizenship can be obtained in a matter of months in exchange for a $250,000 investment in real estate or $500,000 deposits in a Turkish bank. Turkey is a popular option because of its helpful position as a global aviation hub.

Table: E-2 Countries Offering Citizenship By Investment

View our step-by-step infographic detailing the process of obtaining an E-2 Visa through citizenship by investment

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. External links are not an endorsement of the content.