The Solution to a Stuck EB-5 Visa Application – Filing Writ of Mandamus

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has slowed the pace at which it adjudicates I-526 petitions. The I-526 form demonstrates a petitioner’s eligibility for the EB-5 visa and constitutes the first official step in the application process for would-be immigrant investors.

The slowdown in adjudications are the result of political, administrative and external factors. They are evidenced in the fact that “priority dates” for countries in visa retrogression are quickly shifting forward. The changes to the priority dates is most likely the artificial result of low demand for visas caused by a slow rate of adjudication rather than meaningful changes to the number of applicants waiting for EB-5 visas.

 

USCIS Ombudsman

There are several courses of action open to any immigrant petitioner who suspects their I-526 application to have been unreasonably delayed. In the first instance, petitioners should contact the USCIS ombudsman’s office. This may not ultimately expedite your adjudication, but it is helpful to show evidence of seeking a solution should a petitioner need to subsequently escalate their case. Another option is to contact the senator or congressional representative covering the state or district where the EB-5 project is located.

 

Writ of Mandamus

It is possible to file a lawsuit in a federal court to determine whether your immigration petition has been unreasonably delayed. This lawsuit, known as a writ of mandamus, will have no bearing on whether or not your I-526 application is successfully approved. It does, however, force USCIS into adjudicating your case quickly if it is judged to have been unreasonably delayed. Sometimes simply initiating proceedings can galvanize action as USCIS has been known to adjudicate a plaintiff’s application in order to avoid progressing with the lawsuit.

 

Filing a Case

Since filing a writ of mandamus is a legal course of action which may require litigation, it is always advisable to seek advice from an attorney. Contact D&A for a free consultation to determine whether it would be advantageous for your I-526 petition. Our team has filed dozens of successful writs of mandamus actions against USCIS for unreasonably delaying immigrant petitions. We can assist regardless of whether your I-526 application was prepared by Davies & Associates. The average time between filing a writ of mandamus and receiving an adjudication is around two months, in some cases it can be significantly less.

 

Act Quickly

It is anticipated that USCIS might suddenly start processing applications at a faster pace. It is advisable to file a writ of mandamus as soon as possible to have your case reviewed ahead of a possible surge.


Types of Visa That Are Perfect for Entrepreneurs, Investors or Business Owners

Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice

 

If you are a business owner or an entrepreneur, then you might have your dreams of launching your business in the US. In order to do that, you will need proper documents as well as a US immigration business visa. You might consult a US visa attorney to know the various details about what type of visa you will need to start your business in the US. Here a list of the most popular visas that are suitable for investors or entrepreneurs or business owners.

E-2 Investor Visa:

If you are looking to run a business in the United States, then the E-2 visa may be the most cost-effective option.It allows a person to move to America for the purpose of running a business. The E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa and does not directly lead to obtaining the green card. In order to get this visa, you will need to start a business or at least buy a company or franchise . The investing amount depends on the type of business that you plan to run. The E-2 Visa is renewable indefinitely and allows you to stay in the US as long as you run the business. If the business becomes large enough, it is possible to apply for a Green Card under the EB-5 Program. Your children and spouse will also be able to join you in the US, and your spouse will also be able to apply for authorization to work outside of the business. Only citizens of countries with a relevant treaty with the United States are eligible for an E-2 Visa. This excludes citizens of India, China, Vietnam, and Russia among many others. Citizens of these countries must first obtain citizenship of an E-2 Treaty country like Grenada or Turkey.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa:

If you are seeking a US Green Card, then an EB-5 Visa a better option than the E-2 Visa. The visa requires a $900,000 investment in the United States economy for a period of approximately 5-7 years. Investors are able to invest in their own business, but the investment must create ten American jobs, which can prove challenging. Instead, more than 90% of EB-5 applicants invest with a “Regional Center” which uses the funding to build hotels, residences and sports complexes. Such projects have a high demand for jobs, and mitigate the risk any risks to obtaining the Green Card. A whole family can come under on investment – this can include the investor, a spouse, and any children under the age of 21. Green Card holders are able to access in-state tuition at US universities.

L-1 Visa:

The L-1 Visa allows companies to transfer their employees from an overseas office to a US office. It is also possible to set up an office for your existing business in the United States and then transfer yourself or a manager to the United States to run that business. Entrepreneurs and business owners seeking to open a US branch of their existing business could utilize the L-1 Visa, but the period of validity differs depending upon the country of origin. The US business and the foreign business must be tied together by the same ownership, but do not need to be operating in exactly the same field. 

 

These are the primary types of US immigration business visas that on offer to business owners, investors and entrepreneurs who want to set-up or expand their business in the US. Davies & Associates offers free uconsltations to determine the best visa option for our clients.


Investors look to the E-2 Visa as the Cost of an EB-5 Visa Increases from Thursday

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Duncan Hill is marketing director at Davies & Associates LLC. Duncan is not a lawyer and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

 

Barring an eleventh-hour intervention, the minimum investment required for an EB-5 application is increasing from $500,000 to $900,000 in areas of high unemployment and from $1 million to $1.8 million everywhere else.

 

Given the time it takes our attorneys and paralegals to prove that a client’s source of funds meets with strict US requirements, it is most likely too late to apply for an EB-5 at the current rate. 

 

For those who can afford the higher investment amount, the EB-5 visa remains one of the fastest routes to a Green Card. 

 

For those who cannot afford the higher investment amount there are a range of options available. Here at D&A, the team picking up most of the slack is the E-2 Visa team (although there are a range of other options available and we advise you to discuss them with us.)

 

The E2 Visa is designed for people seeking to move to the United States to own and operate a business. Processing times are quick, and spouses are eligible to apply for work authorization in the United States. It is possible to expand an existing business, open a new one, or buy an off-the-shelf franchise.  

 

Only citizens of countries with a relevant commercial treaty with the United States are eligible for E-2 visas. This excludes some countries where demand for US visas is the highest, including India, China and Vietnam. Citizens of these three countries already face a multiple-year wait for an EB-5 visa because demand has far outstripped supply.

 

Yet at D&A we are part of a wave of pioneering law firms working to help citizens of such countries become eligible. For example, we have helped clients obtain E-2 visas by first becoming citizens of Grenada in the Caribbean. Coupling an E-2 Visa with Grenadian citizenship in this way has allowed people to live and work in the United States while on the EB-5 waiting list. If the business becomes large enough, it is feasible that it could be transitioned to a Green Card via EB-5.

 

Grenada is a cost-effective option with no residency requirement or tax on worldwide income.  Processing times are quick and have just got even faster. It is possible for the whole process of Grenada and E-2 to take just a matter of months. Grenada is not the only option available and D&A works with a range of E-2-eligible citizenship by investment programs around the world, including Turkey, Montenegro, and various EU countries. 

 

Contact our team today to discuss a bespoke immigration solution to suit your needs.


Key Benefits of Working with A Regional Center in EB 5 

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

 

EB 5 Visa or also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, enables foreign investors to get a US Green Card through investment. An individual needs to fulfil the following requirements to be eligible to apply for this visa.

 

  1. The investor has to invest a minimum amount of $500,000 via an EB 5 regional center
  2. The investor also needs to demonstrate that the investment capital has come from legitimate sources.
  3. The investor should have a clean criminal record. 

If you too want to invest in the US economy, you have two options: make and manage the investment yourself (Direct EB5) or invest with a Regional Center.

 

 Over 90% of investors choose the Regional Center route, and here’s why.

What are these regional centers? 

These are public or private organizations designated to sponsor capital investment projects by the US Immigration Department. Their work is limited to a specific geographical area they are assigned to monitor.

Here are some key benefits of taking EB 5 visa through the regional center program.

1. EB 5 visa conditions require an investor to create 10 full-time jobs in the country. Regional Centers are allowed to make advanced calculations which includes indirect jobs created by the project. This increases the chances of compliance with the job-creation requirement and mitigates the risk of losing the Green Card. When making an investment yourself, it can be harder to prove that jobs have been created.

2. Investments made through Regional Centers are usually made in targeted employment areas. These areas are targeted because either they are rural areas or they have a very high unemployment rate. The benefit that you get in this case is that the minimum investment requirement reduced by half. For investments in targeted employment areas, the minimum capital requirement is just $500,000 as opposed to $1 million in all other cases. When making the investment yourself through the Direct Route, it can be harder to prove that you have made the investment in a targeted employment area.

3. The Regional Center program offers the investor freedom to pursue other interests in the United States without the burden of complying with the Program’s rules. For example, when you invest through the Direct EB 5 route, you are expected to take up managerial jobs in the business. This is not the case with the Regional Center program. You can take up the role of a policy adviser and fulfil your responsibilities even when you are not in the country. This gives you the freedom to do away with the requirement of living near the business where you invested.

 

For more information about US business immigration rules and requirements, you should consult the experts.

 


5 Types of Startup Visas That Are Good for Entrepreneurs

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

 

Every year, several people from around the world migrate to the US in search of better business opportunities. Several studies by Inc have suggested that foreign entrepreneurs have started more than half of the private startups in the US. If you too, have been planning to move to the US and found a startup, you can read about these five different types of visas for entrepreneurs.

 

1. EB-5 Visa

This visa is also known by the name of the Immigrant Investor Program. After getting Eb-5 visa, you become eligible to become a permanent resident of the US. One condition for this is that you should invest at least $1 million in any business venture in the US. If you are investing in a business setup in any rural area, you can do that with an investment of only $5,00,000. While you do not need any employer for this visa, people face the difficulty in investing a large number of funds. There is also a cap on the maximum number of people who would be given this visa. The US provides this visa to only 10,000 people every year.

 

You will also be required to submit relevant documents like business loan agreement, investment agreement, etc. to the government.

 

2. E-2 Visa

While it is quite challenging to obtain an EB-5 visa, you can get an investor visa USA with a minimum investment of only $1,00,000. One shortcoming with this visa is that you need to be a resident of a country with which the USA has signed an investment treaty. At present, only 80 countries have signed this treaty with the US, and there are several potential countries like India and China, which aren’t on the list.

 

3. EB-2(C) Visa

If you lack sufficient funds to invest in a business, you can choose to apply for the EB-2(C) visa. Although it is a kind of employment visa, it doesn’t require you to be an employer. You can get this visa even if you have a master’s degree or if you are highly talented in your field. You will need to prove that you are skilled enough to be of value to the country’s interests.

 

4. O-1 Visa

This visa is similar to EB-2(C) visa, but it is not an immigrant visa. While you can work in the US if you are talented enough, you would not get a green card. If you are exceptionally talented in your field, you can apply for this visa, but you will have to find a business to sponsor you.

 

5. L-1 Visa

US offers two types of L-1 visa from USA to India to entrepreneurs. Only company managers and top executives are eligible to get L-1A visas. It also has the requirement of you working for at least one year in the company’s US office. You can also get this visa if you open an office for yourself in the US.


Everything You Need to Know about EB-5 Investor Visa

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

 

There are often a number of immigrants and other people who want to permanently live or work or do both in the USA. For this, there are a number of options available to them amongst which, one option is the EB-5 visa which is an investor visa for USA which is particularly a very attractive or lucrative option for individuals who want the freedom to live, work, retire or study anywhere in the United States. The reason why it is called an investor visa is because the participant is required to pay a minimum of $500,000 USD into an investment or Regional Center project in the United States. This minimum amount is set to increase to $900,000 in November.

 

Another condition of this visa is that your investment should create and sustain at least ten, full-time American jobs. The investment can be made directly by the applicant provided they comply with the EB-5 regulations or they can place their money with a Regional Center which uses the money to fund real estate projects across the United States. According to statistics, more than 94% of EB-5 applicants go for the EB-5 Regional Center option. 

The process of applying for an EB-5 visa: 

Although the steps for applying for an EB-5 visa are straightforward, difficulty arises with the paperwork and the proof of legitimate funds that are necessary to successfully attain a visa. Thus, throughout the process, it is always an option to have an EB-5 visa attorney to conduct thorough review of all the investor’s documents and keep track of the progress.

 

The first step is to choose between the 2 avenues available to apply for EB-5 visa i.e. whether to go with a regional center or for direct investment. The next step is filing for an I-526 petition which has all the personal and financial details as well as intended business plan. Finally, when all the information provided is deemed legitimate, the applicant can apply for residency and directly procure green card and citizenship.

 

Thus, EB-5 is a lucrative and easy option for investors who wish to gain residency and acquire or invest in US-based companies since the process entails very little work and huge rewards for serious investors and applicants for residency.


Quickest Visas Options For Investors For Immigration To The US

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

 

Are you planning to invest in a business in the United States? Or are you all set to expand the company and establish a brand new office in the US? If yes, then are you aware of L-1 and E-2 visas? These are both work visas which can be obtained in a matter of just a few months. These are most useful for the investors who wish to immigrate quickly to the States.

Both the visa classifications are solely intended for the investors’ US immigration business visa; however, there are few essential differences between these two classes. The ideal way of navigating through the L-1 and E-2 requirements is to come with a very clear overview of all that needs to be achieved. Do not panic if there is no plan yet. Here is a table to help you:

L-1 Visa

E-2 Visa

1-year start-up visa, usually three

5 Year Visa

Active management needed

Direct and develop the business

Strong presence in the U.S.

Flexible presence in the States

Elimination of no investment treaty

Investment Treaty required

Proof of sufficient funds with its source visible

Funds security source and path available

Direct path to attaining Green Card

No direct path to attaining Green Card

English Proficiency

English Proficiency

Executive/Managerial

No Management Required

Maximum of 7 years

Can be renewed for an indefinite period

Expanding business

Investing in new business

 

The L1 classification enables U.S employer to transfer a manager or executive from its affiliated foreign offices to the United States. This classification enables a foreign company that does not have a U.S office that is affiliated to further send a manager or executive to the States in order to publish one. The E-2 visa makes way for a national of a treaty country to get admitted to the States while investing a good amount of capital in the business abroad.

When the country does not have an investment treaty with the States, the only option an Investor is left with, is the L-1 visa. Even if there is eligibility to apply for either of the investor visa in USA, the choice depends on your intention and requirements involved.

The requirements of E-2 investor visa doesn’t demand minimum amount of investment. The amount, however, needs to be substantial relative to the entire cost of purchasing or creating a company. On the contrary, in L-1 visa scenario, for opening a brand new office in the States, you are required to prove that it has been funded adequately so that the investor is able to maintain the operation and also pay salary to the employees. Moreover, you will also be asked to show physical premises for the new office you intend to build. Hence, you need to obtain a lease agreement for US business immigration.

Thus, these two Visas help attain immigration to the US for investors. Now that you are aware of the information and its process, it is time to go online and apply.


Requirements For E-2 Treaty Investor Visa That You Must Know

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

 

If you are looking forward to moving to the US, there are several options available to you. Out of all the options, E-2 visa stands out. E-2 visa enables an investor to live and develop business in the US. Also known as investor visa for the US, it is relatively easy to obtain this visa as compared to other types of visas like H1-B.

Qualifying for an E-2 visa can be a bit complicated and here are the requirements for it.

E-2 treaty investor visa is the one reserved for entrepreneurs of countries that are signatory to the treaty of trade and commerce with the US. This visa allows an investor or businessman to carry out trade activities in the US. There is a conundrum relating to what amounts to investment activities for E-2 visa. You must remember that a substantial amount of investment is a must for obtaining this visa which includes the cost of purchasing and establishing the business. The total amount must be sufficient to run and develop the business successfully.

 

Here are some of the requirements for the investor visa:

1. You should belong to a country which is a signatory to the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the US. The list of these countries is available with the Department of State

2. You have already invested or are in the active process of investing substantial capital in any business enterprise in the US. The definition of significant amount has previously been mentioned above

3. You sole aim to enter the US should be through direct investment in an enterprise. Proof that you own at least 50% assets in that enterprise

An investment for those obtaining the US business immigration visa means placement of funds or assets in the enterprise with the motive of making profits and subject to loss, either partial or full. A treaty investor needs to prove that the funds used for the investment have not been obtained by any criminal activity.

Additionally, the enterprise in which a treaty investor is planning to invest should not be a marginal enterprise. An enterprise is marginal when its capacity to generate income is less than what is required to give minimum living to the investor and his family. There are other conditions attached to this, and these conditions depend on the age of the enterprise.

Once E-2 visa is obtained, investor gets the benefit of traveling freely across the country and work legally with any company. Relatives or dependents can also accompany the investor to the US. Investors can also call their workers for the enterprise on this visa.


3 Reasons Why EB-5 Visa to USA is a Good Option for Indian Citizens

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

 

Indians opting US for studies find it increasingly difficult to find a job and live there due to massive backlogs faced by them in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories forcing almost a decade long wait. This massive waiting period is after application for H-1B visas has been made, which undergoes a lottery in which if successful, they must find an employer willing to sponsor for a green card after which they will face the backlog mentioned above. With the EB-5, permanent residency is offered to foreign nationals on the condition that they invest a minimum of USD 500,000 in a US based business through lawful sources which manages to create ten full-time jobs. With immigration laws becoming much stricter since the Trump administration, EB-5 seems like the only good option left for Indian citizens right now and here are a few more reasons why:

1) Fast route to a Green Card

Indian citizens are facing a delay in their EB-5 application process, but this remains far shorter than the wait in EB-2 or EB-3 categories. The EB-5 delay may be about four years, so it is vital to start considering an application to prevent any children from ageing out of a family application at 21 years of age.

2) H-1B visa difficulties 

With the Trump administration curbing immigration at full force, obtaining an H-1B visa is becoming tougher than ever before with various restrictive executive orders and policy memoranda. Since EB-5 does not need employer sponsorship for permanent residency, it’s more attractive to employers and you can enjoy more freedom in terms of career movement.

3) In- state tuition 

Under permanent residency many students become eligible for in-state tuition fees at public universities with in-state tuition fees being significantly cheaper than the full tuition fees charged to foreign nationals.

These are just some of the benefits EB-5 has to offer but with increasing restrictions from the Trump administration, it may turn out to be the only practical option for Indian citizens to apply for studies or for US business immigration. In the process you may have to hire an EB 5 visa attorney or an EB 5 immigration lawyer depending on your motivation for immigrating to US, to help you in process of immigration to the States.


A Complete Guideline to Get Investor Visa in USA for Indians

Cost of EB 5 Visa

Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.

If you are an Indian resident planning to move to the US, you might be searching for options which would allow you to do so. There are several options available to Indians, such as H1-B, L1, E-2, etc.

However, E-2 visa stands out from these options. This visa enables an investor to live in the US to develop business. Also known as an Indian investor visa, it is relatively easy to obtain as compared to other types of visas like H1-B and L1.

Qualifying for an E-2 visa has some specific requirements:

E-2 visa is reserved for entrepreneurs of countries which are signatory to  the treaty of trade and commerce with the US. This US business immigration visa allows an investor or businessperson to carry out their trade activities in the USA.

In this article, we will discuss how an Indian can apply for the investor visa.

One of the significant issues preventing Indian investors from obtaining the E-2 visa is its requirement of the investors being citizens of the treaty countries. Since India is not a party to this treaty with the US, only option available to investors is to obtain citizenship of any other country with which the US has signed the Treaty of Commerce.

Hence, Grenada becomes a leading option to achieve this end. Foreign nationals from countries not having a treaty with the US are allowed to obtain citizenship here. Located in the East Caribbean, Grenada is an E-2 country. It is one of the popular choices of investors because it offers a program of investment to them to obtain its citizenship. Also, it is possible to obtain its citizenship by investing USD 200,000 in the country.

For more advice on obtaining the citizenship of Grenada, it is advisable to consult with a reputed immigration lawyer.

Another country that can help secure a citizenship quickly, is Canada. Similar to Grenada, Canada too has its program for investors to grant them citizenship. Citizenship is allowed based on the investment done by the investor. Also, you can get this citizenship with an investment of CAD 800,000 in the country.

For more information on obtaining Canadian citizenship, you should consult a reputed immigration lawyer.

If you wish to conduct business in the US without giving up on your nationality, you can go for L1 visa:

L1 visa

This is a non-immigrant visa under which a foreign company is allowed to transfer one of its employees to work in a US firm related to it. The fact that under the L1 visa, the manager or employee of a foreign company can set up a new office in the US gives you opportunities to start your business until you satisfy the investor visa for USA requirements.

So get started on your dreams of moving to the US.