US Travel Ban to be Lifted on November 8th

President Biden has announced the United States will reopen to all vaccinated travellers who can produce a negative test from November 8, ending a twenty-month ban on most visitors from a range of countries worldwide.

Under the Covid-19 travel ban, most people who had been in the Europe, the UK, China, India, South Africa and Brazil in the past 14 days were prohibited from traveling to the United States. The lifting of the ban means anyone can enter the United States provided they are fully vaccinated and can produce a negative test.

Many of our clients have put their US plans on hold until they can be physically present in the United States. For example, some of our E-2 Visa clients have expressed an interest in visiting the US to search for businesses before commencing their application. Similarly, some EB-5 Visa applicants have wanted to visit the US to view a Regional Center project, but changes to the program (investment thresholds and reauthorization) have played a greater role in decision making than Covid-19.

Despite the imminent lifting of the travel ban, Covid-19 continues to have an impact on US immigration. It has caused a slow down in processing at both the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and at US embassies and consulates worldwide. Some embassies are back to near-normal services, while others remain closed. Either way there is a backlog of applications to process and clients are advised to act soon to position themselves in the line.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which allows people to invest in and actively run a business in the United States has remained open to applicants throughout the pandemic. At a time when President Trump closed most other categories, the E-2 remained open to new applicants. This visa is governed by treaties with sovereign governments and is less exposed to political changes in Washington. The country in which you hold citizenship must hold a relevant treaty for you to be eligible. Click here to find out if your country holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States. If it does not, you first have to obtain citizenship of an E-2 country – see Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program – before you can apply for the E-2 Visa.

E-2 Visa Processing only involves your local embassy and does not involve the USCIS. In normal times, processing times are very quick, which means the whole Grenada + E2 Visa process could take nine months on average. Covid has increased that time, but it is still relatively quick (depending upon the impact of Covid on your local embassy).

L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa

The L-1 Visa is also open to new applicants after it was temporarily suspended by President Trump because of Covid. The lingering influence of Covid-19 has continued to impact processing times. Unlike the E-2 Visa, the L-1 visa is open to people of all nationalities. You can use this visa to move staff from an overseas office to the US office of the same company, and you can also set up a new US office of your foreign business and move yourself to the US to manage its growth. See new-office L-1 Visa.

EB-5 Investor Visa

The EB-5 Investor Visa has also been open to applications throughout much of the Covid-19 pandemic – President Trump deliberately exempted this revenue-raising, job-creating visa from his immigration ban last year. A federal judge reduce the investment threshold back to $500,000 in June causing a spike in demand. While the Direct EB-5 pathway remains open, the Regional Center pathway is currently on hold pending reauthorization in the United States Congress. If the EB-5 program reopens, it is anticipated that demand could be high, so some clients are already working on their source of funds to position themselves at the front of the line when things reopen.

These visa categories represent just some of the immigration solutions our firm can support clients with. While processing times have slowed down during Covid-19 and some visa categories were temporarily suspended, commerce always finds a way. Business owners, investors and entrepreneurs will always be welcome in America. Our firm has filed plenty of successful immigration applications during the past 20 months and we are excited to accelerate that as the world gets back to normal.


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.


HƯƠNG TRÌNH ĐỊNH CƯ BỒ ĐÀO NHA

CHƯƠNG TRÌNH ĐỊNH CƯ BỒ ĐÀO NHA

Bồ Đào Nha có một số chương trình nhập cư hấp dẫn và cạnh tranh và một trong những chế độ thuế cạnh tranh nhất dành cho người nước ngoài chuyển cư trú thuế của họ đến lãnh thổ Bồ Đào Nha.

CHƯƠNG TRÌNH THỊ THỰC VÀNG

Bồ Đào Nha đã triển khai chương trình cấp giấy phép cư trú cho phép công dân nước ngoài có được giấy phép cư trú tạm thời và tự do lưu thông trong Khu vực Schengen, thông qua một số khoản đầu tư đủ điều kiện (ví dụ: bất động sản và đầu tư vốn giữa những người khác). Các nhà đầu tư phải có thời gian lưu trú tối thiểu là 14 ngày cho mỗi 2 năm, trong thời gian tối thiểu là 5 năm. Việc tập hợp gia đình cũng có sẵn theo chương trình của Bồ Đào Nha.

ĐIỀU KIỆN ĐẦU TƯ

  • Chuyển khoản € 1.000.000,00 trở lên, thông qua.
  • Tiền gửi ngân hàng,
  • Thành lập một công ty
  • Mua lại các khoản nợ của chính phủ Bồ Đào Nha, cụ thể là trái phiếu kho bạc;
  • Mua lại chứng khoán và mua lại cổ phần trong các công ty thương mại
  • Tạo ít nhất 10 công việc
  • Mua bất động sản với mức đầu tư tối thiểu € 500.000,00 hoặc € 400.000,00 ở một số khu vực mật độ thấp
  • Mua bất động sản với mức đầu tư tối thiểu € 350.000,00, đã được xây dựng xong cách đây ít nhất 30 năm, hoặc nằm trong khu vực phục hồi đô thị, có các công trình phục hồi tài sản; hoặc € 280.000,00 nếu bất động sản nằm ở một số khu vực mật độ thấp
  • Chuyển vốn từ 350.000 € trở lên áp dụng cho hoạt động nghiên cứu do các cơ sở nghiên cứu của cơ quan khoa học nhà nước hoặc tư nhân thực hiện, được tích hợp vào hệ thống khoa học và công nghệ quốc gia
  • Chuyển khoản 250.000,00 € trở lên, được áp dụng để đầu tư hoặc hỗ trợ sản xuất nghệ thuật, phục hồi hoặc duy trì di sản văn hóa quốc gia
  • Chuyển khoản bằng hoặc cao hơn tới € 350,000,00, để mua lại các đơn vị trong quỹ đầu tư hoặc doanh nghiệp đầu tư mạo hiểm, hoặc để vốn hóa các công ty đáp ứng các yêu cầu nhất định
  • Chuyển khoản bằng hoặc cao hơn € 350.000,00, để thành lập một công ty có trụ sở chính tại Bồ Đào Nha, kết hợp với việc tạo ra năm công việc cố định hoặc để củng cố vốn cổ phần của một công ty có trụ sở chính trên lãnh thổ Bồ Đào Nha, đã được thành lập, với tạo ra hoặc duy trì công việc, với tối thiểu năm lao động toàn thời gian, trong thời gian ba năm

Giấy phép cư trú được cấp có thời hạn 2 năm, luôn được gia hạn trong 2 năm, cho đến tối thiểu là 5, tại thời điểm đó bạn có thể nộp đơn xin giấy phép cư trú vĩnh viễn hoặc quốc tịch Bồ Đào Nha, nếu bạn đáp ứng các yêu cầu tương ứng.

Đại dịch và nhu cầu đầu tư mà nó mang lại đã khiến chính phủ bỏ lại phía trong việc hạn chế đầu tư đủ điều kiện, vì vậy đây là thời điểm thích hợp để bạn đầu tư và hưởng lợi từ chương trình Golden Visa.

Nhà đầu tư cũng có quyền đăng ký đoàn tụ gia đình, cho những người thân trực hệ của mình, bao gồm vợ / chồng hoặc bạn đời, con riêng và con riêng, anh chị em phụ thuộc, bố mẹ và bố mẹ chồng/vợ.

ĐIỂM MẠNH CHƯƠNG TRÌNH

  • Có được giấy phép cư trú cho phép bạn sống, làm việc và học tập ở Bồ Đào Nha
  • Di chuyển tự do trong khu vực Châu Âu
  • Thời gian lưu trú thực tế bắt buộc ngắn (14 ngày sau mỗi 2 năm)
  • Đoàn tụ gia đình
  • Nhập tịch sau 5 năm
  • Quốc tịch sau 5 năm
  • Chế độ thuế đặc biệt dành cho cư dân ở Bồ Đào Nha – Cư trú không thường xuyên

CÁC CHƯƠNG TRÌNH CƯ TRÚ KHÁC

Không giống như chương trình Golden Visa, các giấy phép cư trú sau đây yêu cầu người nộp đơn phải ở lại lãnh thổ Bồ Đào Nha hơn 183 ngày mỗi năm, trong trường hợp đó người đó có thể được hưởng lợi từ chế độ thuế thuận lợi nhất đối với người không thường trú.

  • Thị thực và giấy phép cư trú để giảng dạy hoặc có trình độ cao hoặc hoạt động văn hóa
  • Thị thực và giấy phép cư trú cho doanh nhân
  • Visa và giấy phép cư trú cho người đã nghỉ hưu
  • Thị thực và giấy phép cư trú và công dân nước ngoài có thu nhập riêng

QUÔC TỊCH BỒ ĐÀO NHA

  • Những người tạm trú có thể nộp đơn xin nhập quốc tịch Bồ Đào Nha sau 5 năm
  • Con cháu của cha mẹ người Bồ Đào Nha hoặc hậu duệ của thế hệ đầu tiên, những ngườimất quốc tịch
  • Trẻ em sinh ra ở Bồ Đào Nha có cha mẹ là người nước ngoài đã sống ở Bồ Đào Nha hơn 1 năm (ngay khi Luật Quốc tịch mới có hiệu lực)
  • Những công dân sinh ra ở quốc gia cũ của Ấn Độ và con cháu của họ
  • Hậu duệ của những người Do Thái Sephardic ở Bồ Đào Nha
  • Vợ / chồng hoặc trên thực tế là “de facto” của công dân Bồ Đào Nha

Visit https://www.usimmigrationadvisor.com/vietnam-vietnamese.html


What is Humanitarian Parole and How Could it Help Afghans?

It is possible to gain entry to the United States if you are in urgent humanitarian need by applying for Humanitarian Parole. Parole does not confer any legal status in the United States, but it does provide the opportunity to get out of harm’s way, obtain urgent medical care, donate an organ, or reunite with family in exceptional circumstances. Once in the United States, it may be possible to adjust your status by applying another visa category or to apply for asylum. 

Each request is handled on a case-by-case basis on the discretion of the Attorney General. It is important to note, however, that parole is a way to enter the United States physically rather than admitting in the US legally. This may be an advantage for several people, as since this is not a legal admission into the United States, applicants need not show they are admissible for parole – meaning those with prior criminal convictions and/or immigration violations also have the chance of being granted parole. 

While every case is considered individually, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website does lay out some general factors that are considered for parole:

  • Whether the purpose of the parole request may be accomplished within a specific temporary period of time;
  • Whether the beneficiary intends to leave the United States once the parole expires or has the means to obtain lawful immigration status during the parole authorisation period or any re-parole period;
  • Whether there is evidence of any national security concerns, criminal history, fraud, or previous immigration violations;
  • Whether the beneficiarie’s presence would benefit or otherwise affect an US citizen or lawful permanent resident or community in the United States;
  • Whether the beneficiary will have sufficient financial support while in the United States;
  • Evidence of the beneficiaries character;
  • Whether there are other means than parole available to the beneficiary so they can travel to and remain in the United States for the stated parole purpose.

It is also immensely beneficial if you are admissible for entry when you gain parole – this means that if you are eligible for an immigrant visa when you enter the United States as a parolee, it might be easier for you to gain an adjustment of status and remain in the US legally. 

If you are seeking Asylum under the ‘Parole directive’, an asylum seeker who has established a credible fear of persecution should be granted parole in the public interest and released from detention while pursuing his or her asylum claim if the individual: (a) establishes his or her identity to the satisfaction of the Department of Homeland Security; and (b) presents neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. Evidence that can be submitted in support of a request for parole includes:

  • Letters of support from friends and family in the United States about reliability, likelihood of attending court hearings, and lack of criminal record or behaviour;
  • Documents showing  your identity;
  • Documents showing that you have a sponsor in the United States who can support you financially and in your immigration case. 

It is also possible that again for urgent humanitarian reasons such as to receive medical treatment or for family reunification purposes. This means that you can be granted entry for medical reasons including to serve as an organ donor or if you need care for a seriously ill or terminally ill family member in the United States. You can also gain entry under humanitarian parole for family reasons including reuniting with family for urgent humanitarian reasons for attending a funeral or settling the affairs of a deceased relative. 

Under INA s 212(d)(5), you can receive parole if you present yourself at a port of entry for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public health benefit. It may be useful to note however, that since the Covid-19 pandemic, Title 42 of the US Code s 265 Has been used to prevent the entry of individuals into the United States if they present a danger of introduction of a communicable disease; this means hundreds of thousands of parolee requests have been denied since Title 42 was asserted in March 2020. You should have your counsel contact the CBP counsel or the specific port director and send a humanitarian parole package over. They should signify your unique circumstances and vulnerabilities and why granting you a parole would be warranted. 

By Tishita Agarwal


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.


Biden Plans Reopening of US Border in November as our Firm Obtains Another National Interest Exception to Travel to US

President Biden has indicated that the US border will reopen in November, until then the National Interest Exception remains the only viable option for many people to enter the country.

The US border has been closed to people from Schengen countries in Europe as well as the UK, Ireland, India, Brazil and a number of other countries. President Biden announced this week that the eighteen month ban will be lifted at some point in November without giving much detail. The exact date remains uncertain and it is not clear whether the ban will be rescinded for all countries or only apply to the UK and the Schengen Zone.

So, for now there are only two viable options: spend two weeks in a permitted third country or make the case that your visit is in the US national interest.

Our firm has secured a good number of National Interest Exceptions NIEs for clients since the start of the Covid pandemic last March. This week, for example, we obtained an NIE for an Italian client seeking to travel to the United States on business.

The client is one of the leading Italian sales agents for the high-quality ceramic tiles. He represents the interests of a network of Italian tile companies – many based around the city of Modena. He is their global represenative and his area of responsibility includes the United States.

On behalf of the client, we argued that his work was within the permissible exceptions for travel as they came under the exceptions listed in the “Advisory Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers during Covid-19 Response”, issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on March 28, 2020.

His work supports the supply chain of building materials from production through application and installation, including cabinetry, fixtures, doors, cement, hardware, plumbing (including parts and services), electrical, heating and cooling, refrigeration, appliances, paint and coatings, and workers who provide services that enable repair materials and equipment for essential functions.

As we previously reported, these NIEs were recently bolstered to a year-long validity period with multiple entries to the United States permitted. That could soon be academic. If the restrictions on vaccinated travellers visiting the United States is lifted as indicated by the president next month.

There is also a chance that Biden will keep restrictions in place on some countries, so keep those National Interest Exceptions in mind


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 Attorney Explains E-2 Visa Citizenship Requirement.

Senior Immigration Attorney at our firm, Verdie Atienza, details all the issues surrounding nationality requirements for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. In the video, which you can watch below, Verdie explains that you must be a citizen of an E-2 Treaty country. The full list of E-2 countries can be found here.

Don’t worry if you are NOT from an E-2 Treaty Country. You can obtain citizenship of an E-2 country and then apply. The two countries with the fastest and cheapest pathways to citizenship are Grenada and Turkey. Verdie outlines the process and costs in the video.

The E-2 visa allows you to move to the United States for the purposes of investing in and actively running a business. Your investment must be sufficient for the business and usually upwards of $100,000. Spouses can apply for work permits for the US and children under the age of 21 can accompany you. You can keep renewing the visa so long as the business continues to operate successfully.

Watch the video and contact Verdie if you have any questions.


US Immigration Pathway

E2 Treaty Investor Visa Advantages: Fast Processing Times

The head of our E-2 Visa Practice Verdie J. Atienza speaks in our latest video about some of the advantages of the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. Firstly, we look at the fast processing times of this visa.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is unique in that the work is primarily done by embassies and consulates rather than the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) US embassies and consulates have been closed or providing reduced services over the past eighteen month as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They have started to reopen, but this is all very much dependant upon the individual location. With places in Europe reopening after lockdown and places in the Far East and Australasia clamping down.

In normal times, applicants can expect to wait just a few weeks and up to a month for the embassy to review their petition. Premium processing is also available, whereby you pay a little extra on the administration fee to jump the queue.

What is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

The E-2 Treaty Investor allows a person to move to the US with their family for the purposes of owning and operating a business. The E-2 investor must be actively involved in managing the business, but the spouse can apply for authorization to work in the US. The visa is renewable in instalments up to 5 years, but provided the underlying business continues to operate, you can keep renewing it.

There is no minimum investment required for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, but it must be appropriate for the business in question and we usually recommend investments upwards of $100,000. This does not all need to be cash, but can also be inventory, intellectual property and other items.

The E-2 Visa offers flexibility in the type of business you can own and operate. You can expand your foreign business, acquire and existing US business, start a new business, or purchase a franchise business.

E-2 Visa Plus Citizenship by Investment (CBI)

To be eligible for the E-2 Visa your must be a citizen of an E-2 country. Click here to check if you are from an E-2 country. If you are not a citizen of an E-2 country then you need our E-2 + CBI package. This is where you first obtain citizenship by investment of an E-2 Treaty country and then progress to an E-2 application.

The two E-2 countries with the fastest and most cheapest routes to citizenship are Grenada in the West Indies and Turkey on the eastern edge of Europe. Grenada Citizenship starts from $150,000 for a donation and $220,000 for an investment. Turkish citizenship starts from $250,000 for an investment and $500,000 for deposits in a Turkis bank.

Average processing times for both Turkey CBI and Grenada CBI are fast – just a few months and in some instances just a month or two. When you couple that with the fast processing times of the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, this dual step route can take just a matter of months.

Contact us to learn more.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Advantages: Quick Processing Times

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.


Investor Visa Application

Changes to EB-5 Investor Visa Processing

The impact of the changes are being felt at different stages of the process, with greater leniency surrounding the I-829 process.

USCIS is extending the time that a receipt notice can be used to show evidence of lawful permanent resident status from 18 months to 24 months to take account of increased processing times for Form I-829.

What does this mean in practice?

When you file your Form I-829, USCIS will send you a Receipt Notice in the mail. That Receipt Notice, when presented along with your expired Green Card, provides proof of your lawful permanent resident status (for purposes such as border re-entry after international travel, employment authorization, bank verification requirements, and driver’s license applications).

Up to now, you were allowed to use the Form I-829 Receipt Notice as evidence of continued status for up to 18 months past the expiration date stated on your Green Card. That has been increased to 24 months past the expiration date stated on your Green Card.  USCIS has stated that they will be re-issuing Receipt Notices for those with pending Form I-829 applications to reflect this new 24 month extension.  We cannot predict how long it will take USCIS to re-issue those Receipt Notices.  If you have a pending Form I-829, please ensure that USCIS has your current mailing address on file.

What is Form I-829? 

Form I-829 is the petition by a EB-5 investor to have the conditions on their Green Card removed. Successful EB-5 applicants are initially granted a two-year Conditional Green Card / Conditional Permanent Residency.  Before the expiration date on your Conditional Green Card, you must apply to have those conditions removed by showing that your investment complied with the requirements of the EB-5 program (such as creating the required amount of new jobs). Please see the EB-5 timeline below or contact us for more information. 
 
Regional Center EB-5 Visa Processing
The National Visa Center (NVC) has announced that it will no longer act upon any new or pending Regional Center EB-5 visa petitions until further notice. The EB-5 Regional Center Program lapsed at the end of June 2021 and the NVC will not work on Regional Center applications until the program is reinstated.  The NVC is the organization that receives an approved EB-5 file from USCIS, does document verification (DS-260 completion, birth certificates, police clearances, etc), and then issued interview assignments at the Consulates.

When will the EB-5 Regional Center Program be reinstated? 

We cannot say for certain if and when Congress will reinstate the EB-5 Regional Center Program, but it might be included in the must-pass spending legislation due by the end of this month (September).

What about Direct EB-5?

In the meantime, the Direct EB-5 visa option remains open and the NVC will continue to act upon any Direct EB-5 petitions. Direct EB-5 is currently open with a minimum investment threshold of $500,000.

Please contact us to discuss any aspect of the EB-5 process. 

Example EB-5 Visa Timeline (actual timeline will vary)

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.


Roll Over of Employment-Based Green Card Quotas

A large chunk of last year’s quota is going to waste, but there is likely to be a rollover from this year’s unused quota

By Tishita Agarwal

A recent report suggested that close to 100,000 employment based visas, or green cards, are liable to go to waste if they are not issued by the end of the month. A green card, or US Permanent Residency, is issued to show the bearer can reside permanently in the United States.

The quota for this year’s employment-based visas is set at 261,500 – much higher than the usual cut-off of 140,000 because of overspill from last year’s allocation that was not used because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, if they are not issued by the end of the month, they will all go to waste because the annual visa allocations reset on October 1 of each year. That said, the overspill from this year will likely result in another bumper year for employment-based Green Cards next year (October 2021 to September 2022).

Many are blaming this situation on the Biden administration, citing slow assignments and unchanging protocols and reaction times as the reason why the US government has been so slow to approve green cards and why the new quota will not be filled. In fact, about 125 Indian and Chinese professionals living in the US have also issued a lawsuit against the Biden administration on this issue. It is reported that almost 136,000 children from Indian families had to deport or transfer to a student visa when they became of age because they got caught up in this visa backlog. 

However, this is only part of the picture – the United States Citizenship and Immigration Servicies (USCIS) has been affected by Covid lockdowns and staff shortages due to the pandemic. Similarly, embassies and consulates around the world are effected by the ebb and flow of lockdowns and the need to keep staff safe in each respective country.

Since this is an ongoing issue, this year’s unused allocation will roll over and should be more available if embassies and USCIS reopen as hoped.

The increased quota was a result of an unusually low number of family-based green cards being approved in the fiscal year 2020, causing them to ‘roll over’ into this fiscal year. As a result, USCIS had an obligation to approve more employment-based green cards than usual, and announced that it will accept applications from thousands of immigrants who had been waiting for years, some even decades. Employment-based green cards are subject to annual quotas based upon your country of birth. This quota takes no account of a country’s population, which means that the world’s most populous countries India and China have the same annual quota as small countries with tiny populations.

The result is that China and Indian applicants for various employment-based Green Cards face waiting lists. You can read about the latest in our upcoming analysis of the September visa bulletin. Generally speaking China faces a long wait for the EB-5 Investor Visa category (EB standing for Employment-Based) and India faces long waits in the EB-3 highly skilled worker category. Vietnam also faces shorter delays for EB-5 visa and India is often close to the annual allocation for EB-5 (which is approx 700 visas per country per year not counting any rollovers).

Our clients are always reminded that non-immigrant (non-permanent) alternatives are available and can be used as a stop-gap to live in the United States. The two strongest options are the L-1 Visa, which allows you to set up a US office of your foreign company and transfer to manage that business, or the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which allows you to move to the US for the purposes of investing in and running a business in America. Spouses can apply for a work permit under both the L-1 Visa and the E-2 Visa. To be eligible for an E-2 Visa, you must be from an E-2 country. India in not an E-2 Visa country, which means you must first obtain citizenship of an E-2 country like Grenada or Turkey to become eligible

As always, the best option is to speak to our team who can explore all the various options and help you to select the best immigration solution for you, your family and/or your business.


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.


New Office L1 Visas

L-1 Visas for Transferring Employees of Small & Medium-Sized Businesses (SMEs) to the United States

Our team has has a number of successes in obtaining L-1 Visas for clients in India last month. Read below to discover the broad range of industries eligible for the L-1 Visa.

By Tishita Agarwal.

The L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa is a non-immigrant visa that is a good fit for business owners who wish to expand and develop their business in the US, and send executives and specialized employees along to oversee the process. While the L-1 may seem a suitable option only for large corporations and franchises who already have the experience and skills for an overseas business expansion, Davies & Associates has helped several small and medium sized businesses set up and expand their enterprises in the US in the past month.

One such business is a Jaipur based jewellery manufacturing business that has been in the industry for many years. They specialise in gold jewellery, silver jewellery, rings, bangles, chains, and since they are not a large corporation, are able to focus on the highest quality of products with the finest purity and details. 

Another such business is one in the tech industry, providing a range of services such as end computing, cloud commuting, enterprise mobility, and smart city solutions with a client base of more than 800 clients, and the winner of several tech awards, this business was a strong applicant for the L-1 visa. 

Another technology driven and customer centric solutions provider business that Davies & Associates has helped offer an array of medical imaging and documentation software solutions, and they presented as a strong candidate for the visa application as their products and services were employed in over 50 countries, and they provide unique, specialised products. 

However, your business does not always have to be providing an extremely unique product or service –  Davies & Associates has also recently helped a business whose headquarters are now in Santa Clara, California – they are a professional consulting firm with applicants from all over the globe, and an impressive offshore delivery centre in Noida, India. They offer a range of services including Software Consulting, Software Development, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, and Knowledge Process Outsourcing. 

One more business that has qualified for the L-1 visa with the help of Davies & Associates last month is a company that manufactures and supplies orthopaedic and maxillofacial implants. Employing some of the most cutting-edge technology, the company believes in providing the best options as desired by surgeons and customers, improving the quality of life, all at an affordable rate. 

List of recent L-1 Business Recently Assisted by Davies & Associates

– Jewellery business

– Cloud Computing

– Medical Software

– Outsourcing business

– Medical implants

With our help it is easy to establish a new office of your business in the US and then send yourself or employees there on an L-1 visa. Our full-service law firm helps with both the corporate formation and the immigration paperwork. Click here to read more about New Office L-1 Visas.

There are many benefits to the L-1 visa, such as no annual limits to the number of visas available, and no restrictions on which countries can apply. Spouses of L-1 visa holders can apply for work authorization and dependent minors can accompany you. The visa is renewable up to a maximum of five to seven years, but the good news is that the L-1 Visa allows for “dual intent” meaning you can actively seek permanent residency while you are in the US (most visas require you to demonstrate that you have an intention to ultimately depart the US when you make your application). The natural fit for the L-1A visa is the EB-1c visa which offers permanent residency to managers and executives. Thus, the L-1 is a feasible, and sometimes more suitable, option for small and medium sized business owners who wish to send their employees to the US. 


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.


Investor Visa Application

EB5 Visa Remains at $500,000 as US Government Appeals

The minimum investment level for the EB-5 visa remains at $500,000 for now, but the appeal is a clear signal the Biden administration is intent on increasing the price.

The US government filed a last-minute appeal against a federal court ruling that reversed Trump-era changes to the EB-5 Visa investment thresholds. A federal judge in California ruled in June that a decision to increase the minimum investment level from $500,000 to $900,000 in November 2019 was unlawful because the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had been improperly appointed. The Biden administration is now seeking to appeal her ruling and reinstate the changes.

The ruling saw the EB-5 investment level fall back to $500,000 in June for a short window before the Regional Center program expired at the end of that month. This resulted in a flurry of applications as people piled in to obtain Green Cards by investment for themselves and their families. While the EB-5 Regional Center route is on hold, Direct EB-5 remains open and accepting applicants the $500,000 investment amount.

Increasing the Minimum Investment for EB-5 Visa

The timeline on the appeals process is not clear. It could be done quickly, but is more likely to take many months. The appeal does underscore the Biden administration’s commitment to a higher EB-5 investment level than the current minimum threshold of $500,000. If the appeal process is successful, that would mean a return to $900,000 minimum investment level inside a Targeted Employment Area ($1.8 million outside these areas). The alternative is to go through the US Congress to change the rules for the EB-5 program and agree new investment thresholds.

There was a bipartisan attempt to reform and reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center program before it expired. However, this failed when a single senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, opposed passing the bill following an eleventh hour attempt to pass it by Unanimous Consent. Senator Graham is not opposed to EB-5, but wanted more discussion on what a reformed investor-visa program should look like.

Congress and the EB-5 Program

Congress will need to revisit EB-5 after its summer recess. There could still be another attempt at bespoke reform for EB-5, but the packed legislative agenda may mean that it is folded back into spending legislation due at the end of September. Any reform package would seek to bring greater integrity to the program, may review the differential between TEA investment and non-TEA investment, and, critically for of investors, it may also amend the investment thresholds.

The increase to a $900,000 minimum investment has resulted in a drop in applications since it has pushed EB-5 outside of the reaches of the global middle class who have been the backbone of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program since its inception in the 1990s. The US program is more affordable than many comparable citizenship or residency by investment programs worldwide – for example, the UK Tier One Investor Visa starts from £2 million (and is a visa that Davies & Associates can also assist you with).

The onset of the Covid pandemic soon after the price increase has also served to dampen demand, so it is tricky to draw conclusive trends based upon the 2020 EB-5 filing data.

A more modest increase in the minimum investment threshold to $700,000 or $750,000 could be a real possibility according to industry insiders. This would raise more revenue while keeping the EB-5 program within reach of more people. Such a change would require legislative approval.

Watch a recording of our most recent webinar where we delve deeply into this image and examine the potential reform and reauthorization of the Regional Center program.

Watch our recent webinar on the future of the EB-5 Regional Center Program

Next steps for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program

The good news is that EB-5 enjoys the backing of politicians from both main political parties. EB-5 brings in billions of dollars of investment and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs at no cost to the taxpayer. The EB-5 program played a vital role in bringing foreign direct investment to the United States amid the financial crisis in 2008 and EB-5 can serve in a similar manner as America emerges from Covid-19.

We cannot take any stance of the likelihood of success on the appeal, but it is a clear sign that the Biden administration intends to increase the investment minimum. But just filing the appeal does not have any immediate impact.  The investment amount remains at $500,000 until and unless they get a favorable appellate decision (or until they go through the rule change process properly). So, Direct EB-5 remains open to new applicants at the $500,000 limit, as would the Regional Center program – if and when it is reinstated. We will keep everyone updated as events unfold.


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.