Humanitarian Parole for Afghans

Senators Show Support for New EB-5 Investors

Amid all the excitement of the EB-5 Regional Center Program returning, a key question remains unresolved: that of Regional Center “redesignation”. But a group of leading Senators are giving new investors grounds for hope that this will be cleared up soon. 

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) argues that the recent legislation means that all Regional Centers must re-apply for authorization and cannot accept new investors until this has been granted. This could cause delays given the administrative burden on USCIS of having to adjudicate on hundreds of Regional Center applications at once.

However, a group of senior Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have issued a letter to the head of USCIS stating that it was never the intention of the legislation to de-authorize existing Regional Centers. 

How USCIS will respond is yet to be seen. Since this is an evolving story, our firm will keep your updated of any new developments. Once Regional Centers are able to start accepting new investors, we predict an uptick in new EB-5 applications. This may have serious impact on demand in places like India. There are only 700 visas available for each country each year, after which that country enters so-called visa retrogression. To avoid such a waiting list – which can span multiple years – it is advisable to start preparing your application in advance, so that it is ready for submission as soon as this issue is resolved. 

What is EB-5?

EB-5 is an immigrant visa that offers a pathway to US permanent residency (Green Card) through investment. The minimum investment threshold is $800,000 and it must create ten jobs. In addition to the Regional Center route, the Direct EB-5 route remains open to new investors. Click here to learn more about the EB-5 Visa.
 
To discuss how this impacts you, please request a call with Mark Davies or Blake Harrison in our EB-5 Team by replying to this email or contacting Neena Singh in our Delhi office: 
WhatsApp: +91 95992 99322
Email: nsingh@usimmigrationadvisor.com


EB-2 Visa for Green Card

E2 Visa Approval for Bangladeshi Client in Vitamins & Supplements Business

We closed last week with another E-2 visa approval for another Bangladeshi national. The client is the second Bangladeshi national that we have assisted in obtaining an E-2 visa this year. 

We helped the client set up a Limited Liability Company in Texas that will sell vitamins, supplements, and other health-related products, both imported and sourced from local suppliers, online, via its e-commerce store and sales platforms, such as Amazon.com and Walmart.com. Additionally, the Company will operate as a wholesaler selling these products to other wholesalers and retailers.

This approval follows a number of reason successful visa petitions for Bangladeshi nationals, as we continue to enjoy a 100% success rate for our Bangadeshi clients

The E-2 Visa allows citizens of Treaty countries to invest in and run a business in the United States. Anyone who is not from a Treaty country can become eligible by obtain citizenship of a Treaty Country. The Grenada and Turkish citizenship by investment programs offer the fastest and most cost-effective pathways to the E-2 Visa.

Click here to learn more about the E-2 Visa


New EB-5 Visa Rules: What is Concurrent Filing in EB-5?

The changes affect EB-5 applicants who are waiting to file their I-485 adjustment of status application.

By Blake Harrison, Senior Counsel, Investor Visa Practice

On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed long-anticipated EB-5 reform measures into law.  One of the most significant changes under the new law is the ability to file Form I-526 and Form I-485 at the same time, which is commonly referred to as “concurrent filing.”  Before the EB-5 Reform Bill was enacted, EB-5 investors had to wait for their I-526 petitions to be approved before filing for adjustment of status. Under the EB-5 Reform Bill, concurrent filing allows investors living in the United States on non-immigrant visas to apply for adjustment of status when filing their I-526 petitions. We expect that investors who filed their I-526 petitions before the EB-5 Reform Bill was enacted may also apply for adjustment of status prior to the adjudication of Form I-526.

Blake will be hosting a client workshop for clients who are impacted by this change next Wednesday 20 April at 11 am Eastern time. If you are not a Davies & Associates client, but think you might be affected by the changes to concurrent filing rules, you are also welcome to attend. Click here to sign up or contact us to discuss.


The EB-5 Visa Program is a route to US Permanent Residency by investment. The minimum required investment is either $800,000 or $1,050 million depending upon where the investment is made. The investment must create ten jobs and the source of funds must be legitimate and clearly documented. A single investment can include the applicant’s spouse and children under the age of 21.

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.


O-1 Talent Visa for Kenyan Entrepreneur in the Beauty Industry

We are delighted to announce another petition approval this time for an O-1 Visa for a Kenyan CEO. The petition was approved first time without any Requests for Evidence (RFE)

By Verdie Atienza, Senior Immigration Attorney, Davies & Associates

Since the client is a CEO of an existing company in Kenya, we initially considered new office L-1 petition. The L-1A Visa allows for the transfer of managers and executives to the existing or newly established US office of a related overseas firm. However, since she meets the O-1A criteria as well with all her awards, recognitions and press coverage, we decided to go with entrepreneurial O-1A petition since it could get her a three-year visa instead of 1 year with new office L-1 petition.

The Beneficiary is an alien of extraordinary ability in the field of business with a focus in beauty entrepreneurship.  Her specific skills lie in the creation, formulation, marketing and branding of natural and organic haircare products.  She created her own brand of hair care and beauty products consisting of natural and organic hair products such as conditioners, moisturizers, cleansers, stylers, body butters and pure oils. Her unique skills of creating, marketing, and branding has had a significant impact in the black community, not only by empowering black people to take pride in their natural hair, but by also enabling them to raise above anti-blackness and the discrimination against afro-textured hair. 

She is one of the few black-owned natural hair product designers, who has created a business selling high-quality hair product for naturally kinky textures, which until most recently, very few mainstream brands were doing. The demand for natural and organic hair products, and the safe authentic ingredients used in her products has led to a high demand for the brand, worldwide.  

The client’s company in Kenya was launched and established in 2015. It is a high-quality hair product line that guarantees affordable natural and organic hair products such as conditioners, moisturizers, cleansers, stylers, body butters and pure oils, among other things. All products are made from African natural ingredients such as coconut oil from Kenya, shea butter from Uganda and natural fragrances from South Africa.  The star ingredient is Coconut Oil from the Coast of Kenya, a touristic country called Mombasa, famous for its pristine beaches, palm trees and “mnazi,” which is Swahili for pure coconut oil or water.

What is the O-1 Visa?

The O-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for individuals who can demonstrate extraordinary talent in a range of fields, from business and arts, to science and athletics. Our firm has helped hundreds of talented individuals move to the United States on both immigrant (permanent residency) and non-immigrant visas.


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.


Italian Immigration Options

Italy Plans “Digital Nomad” Visa to Entice Remote Workers

The Italian government has announced that remote workers will soon be able to apply for a “Digital Nomad” Visa, permitting them to work in the country for up to one year. The move is part of a package of measures designed to help Italy recover from Covid-19. The hope is that these professionals will come to the country for the Dolce Vita and spend lots of money in the process.

The details are yet to be released, but it is specifically aimed “highly qualified professionals” who are able to work remotely because of modern “technological tools”. The pandemic has upended working practices around the world. While many companies are trying to tempt people back to the office, or permitting hybrid working practices, others have gone fully remote. This adds to a trend that was already growing before the pandemic, and it is these people Italy is seeking to reach.

It is not clear how Italy plans to define “highly qualified professionals” and what the visa criteria will be. There may be a minimum income requirement, an educational-attainment requirement, and/or a job seniority/experience requirement. We will keep you updated as the rules are set.

The visa will be valid for up to one years and it is not yet clear whether there will be options to extend. However, for anyone who falls for the Italian way of life and wishes to remain longer, there are multiple options for staying on. The Elective Residency Visa is currently our most popular Italian option and offers residency to anyone who can prove funds of €32,000/year earned outside of Italy to support themselves.

Visit our Italy Practice page for full details on all your Italian immigration options.


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.


EB-1, E-2 Visa for NIEs during Covid

Biden Administration Announces Plan to Improve Visa Processing Times

The Biden Administration has announced that it is prioritizing the need to grapple with visa waiting lists. To that end, it plans stricter internal processing targets, as well as the expansion of premium processing whereby applicants pay extra for a swift adjudication. Waiting times have extended because of Trump-era policies combined with the Covid-pandemic shutdowns.

Premium Processing

Premium Processing is an expedited option open to certain visa applicants who pay extra (currently $2,500) to secure a quicker adjudication (within fourteen business days). The planned expansion of premium processing would include anyone applying as a non-immigrant worker under Form I-129 – this includes the O-1 Visa, the H-1B Visa, the L-1 Visa, etc. Although, some of these visa categories covered were already eligible for premium processing.

Premium processing will also now apply to anyone seeking a Green Card through the EB-1 Visa (Extraordinary Ability Visa), EB-2 Visa (Advanced Degree Visa, Extraordinary Ability Visa) and EB-3 (Skilled Worker Visa). The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will make a phased introduction of the new rules and will work to ensure that the expansion of premium processing does not adversely affect the processing times of non-premium-processing applicants.

Internal Visa Processing Improvements

New internal targets are being introduced with the aim of speeding up processing times for all visas. The Administration hopes to utilize improved technology and increased staffing as a way to reduce waiting lists. According to USCIS, the new internal targets should be met by the end of 2023.

The commitment to reduce waiting lists represents a significant shift in tone from the US government and is great news for aspiring immigrants across the board. A more nimble, better staffed USCIS, assisted by better technology, will mean a smoother immigration process for all. Of course, Administrations change and clients are advised to keep up to date on US politics so that they understand how things can change over time.


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 in Food Industry

O-1 Talent Visa Petition Approved for Chef of Michelin-Guide Recommended Italian Restaurant in NYC

By Verdie Atienza, Senior Immigration Attorney, Davies & Associates

I am delighted to announce that my team has secured the approval of an O-1 Petition for an Italian Executive Chef.

The Petitioner is an award-winning and Michelin Guide-recommended authentic Tuscan Italian restaurant in New York City. The restaurant is one of the most highly rated and recommended Italian restaurants in the city, which happens to be one of the most competitive gastronomy markets in the world. It has achieved one of the highest distinctions in the international gastronomy industry: a Michelin Guide Recommendation as a top restaurant in New York City.

The Beneficiary will be working as the Executive Chef. He is a Top Chef and Culinary Artist who has worked in a leading and critical role for some of the most prestigious restaurants in the culinary world in the Italian cuisine industry.

The O-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for people with exceptional talent in the fields of business, arts, entertainment, sciences, education and more. The chef received an O-1B Visa for people with extraordinary ability in the arts.

My team also welcome another L-1A Visa approval for an Executive from India. The new office petition was approved with no RFE (Request for Evidence). 

The beneficiary works for a company in India which specializes in providing medical transcription services, medical scribing services, medical billing services, and IT-enabled services. It offers a variety of related services with the goal of enhancing its clients’ operations by minimizing  avoidable losses and expenses, as well as increasing revenues.

It primarily offers its services to clients in the United States. Consequently, it has established and grown a strong client base in this country. The company offers its services to healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, private medical practices and clinics, and physicians within the United States. The company furnishes medical practice supporting services that include remote realtime medical scribing, medical transcription, and revenue cycle management solutions. By offering a full range of professional medical services,  it has excelled in helping healthcare institutions and companies focus on minimizing preventable expenses and substantively improving their revenue as a result. Now, that they have established presence in the US, they aim to reach more customers and provide better services.

The L-1A Visa is a non-immigrant option for managers and executives to relocate to the existing or newly established US branch of their overseas company. The visa is valid for up to seven years, after which time it is possible to transition to a Green Card under the EB-1C Visa.


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.


Technology Visas

L-1A Petition Approved for Tech Company Managers

Davies & Associates is pleased to share another approval of an L-1A Visa petition, this time for an Armenian national. The beneficiary is the second executive to be transferred to the the US company from the Armenia firm.

We initially secured approval of the L-1 Visa new office petition for its CEO and now we have secured approval of the petition for the second beneficiary who will assume the position of Vice President for Customer Success.

The L-1A Visa is a non-immigrant category for multi-national managers and executives who are transferring to the existing or newly established US office of their foreign company. The visa is valid for up to seven years, during which time it is possible to apply for US permanent residency (Green Card) under the EB-1c Visa route.

The client’s foreign company is based in Yerevan, Armenia and it is involved in data center and telecommunications industries. It has developed an intent-based lifecycle management platform for open networking. The US company is a subsidiary of the foreign company. The subsidiary was set up in the US to replicate the foreign company’s success in the US and have access to a bigger market. 

Prior to the approval of this second petition, we also had the CEO’s L-1A status extended. The extension petition and the petition for the second executive of the US company were both approved without a “Request for Evidence” RFE).

He is interested in pursuing EB-1C Visa, which is a Green Card option for International Executives & Managers.


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.


EB-5 Investor Visa

What is the Latest on EB-5 Investor Visa Reauthorization?

The EB-5 Regional Center program lapsed last summer pending reauthorization by the United States Congress. Potential reauthorization could come as early as this week if it is combined with spending legislation due to be passed before this Friday, 11 March.

If EB-5 Regional Center reauthorization is added to the spending bill, and if the spending bill is passed, the EB-5 program will return, but with likely new rules.

What are the likely new EB-5 rules?

The most significant change in a reformed EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program would be the investment amounts. The minimum investment requirement for EB-5 will increase to $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and to $1,050,000 outside of these designated areas.

The program would also be reauthorized for five years, providing longer-term certainty for both investors and the industry as a whole.

Some visas would be reserved for certain investors, including 20 percent for those investing in a rural areas, 10 percent for those investing in areas of high unemployment, and 2 percent for those investing in infrastructure projects.

There are not yet any guarantees on this. This is the nature of the democratic process and we will keep you updated as soon as we find out more. The Direct EB-5 Visa option currently remains open at the $500,000 minimum investment level. However, the window for applying under the current terms is fast closing – presuming the legislation is enacted.

What is EB-5?

The EB-5 investor Visa offers a pathway to US Permanent Residency (a Green Card) via an investment that creates ten jobs. A qualifying family unit can each receive Green Cards under a single investment, but parents need to carefully plan to avoid their children “ageing out” of the process.

Many thousands of people have moved to the United States under the EB-5 Visa program over the past three decades. EB-5 has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and brought in billions of dollars of foreign investment at no cost to the American taxpayer.

This is an evolving situation, please keep checking our blog for more information. We will be holding as series of webinars on this subject as soon as the future of EB-5 becomes clear.

Click here to read more about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program


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.


Business Immigration from the UK to the USA

UK Scraps Investor Visa – What are my options?

The US investor visa requires an investment amount five times lower than the UK investor visa

The UK Government has announced it will be scrapping its Tier One Investor Visa program. The program had come under fire for the perception that it provided a legitimate route for illicit wealth to enter the United Kingdom.

The UK Investor Visa program was relatively expensive when compared with other countries’ residency and citizenship by investment programs. The minimum investment requirement started from £2 million – which is around five times as much as the corresponding US program, the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa Program. Investors had the option of investing more money to reduce the length of time before they could be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and by extension applying for citizenship a year after.

United States EB-5 Investor Visa

The price tag of the UK investor visa meant that it only attracted a few hundred applicants each year. That contrasts starkly with the US EB-5 investor visa, which attracts thousands and regularly meets its annual quota of 10,000 visas – thanks in part to a large backlog of Chinese applicants.

The US program currently has a minimum investment requirement of $500,000, which must create ten jobs. A key aspect of the program – the Regional Center program – is likely to come before Congress in the very near future and the rumor is that the investment amount may increase. This could be to $700,000 or $750,000, but this is only speculation and there are no guarantees.

The popular Regional Center route is currently closed awaiting reauthorization. This could potential occur within the next few weeks if it is included in Congress’s spending legislation. The alternative so-called “Direct EB-5” route is currently open at the minimum $500,000 threshold right now.

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

One of the most cost-effective citizenship or residency programs around the world is offered by Grenada, an island in the Caribbean. Grenadian citizenship starts from just $150,000 for a donation or $220,000 for an investment. Processing times are relatively fast and can take less than three months. Grenada has a relatively strong passport and it hold an E-2 Treaty with the United States. There is no tax on income earned outside of the island’s jurisdiction.

Turkey Citizenship by Investment

You can obtain citizenship of Turkey in around 6 months in exchange for a $250,000 investment in real estate or holding deposits in excess of $500,000 with a Turkish bank for at least three years. Turkey is a global transportation hub and it also holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States. This means that, like Grenada, you could become eligible for the US E-2 Visa by first obtaining Turkish citizenship.

Italy Investor Visa

Italy’s investor visa starts from just €250,000. However, most of our clients prefer the country’s elective residency visa, which allows you to live in Italy provided you have €32,000/year from funds earned outside Italy to support you. The country also offers generous flat tax rates to high-net-worth-individuals.

Contact us to discuss any of the options listed above.


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.