|Join our EB-5 Visa Webinar | July 8 2020|
Interest in EB-5 visa is growing quickly because it has not been included in President Trump’s “immigration ban”.
Join us for a free webinar where our Global Chairman, Mark Davies, will answer all your EB-5 questions. Mark will be joined by Matt Hogan, Vice President of Project Development at CMB Regional Centers. The EB-5 visa offers a path to US permanent residency (Green Card) for a minimum $900,000 investment per family. Conditions apply.
July 8, 2020 – 5:30pm India | 7pm Vietnam | 1pm London | 8am New York
Click here to register.
Davies & Associates Italy: Expansion
We are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Italian-speaking team member, Matteo Tisato. Matteo is based in our Miami, Florida office and brings experience from working for law firms on both sides of the Atlantic. Matteo is already busy assisting our Italian clients with realizing their US immigration goals. He is also our go-to staff member for anyone seeking residency and citizenship of Italy. Matteo can be reached at email@example.com
Siamo lieti ti annunciarvi l’ingresso di Matteo Tisato nella squadra Davies & Associates. Matteo gestisce il nostro ufficio a Miami (Florida), assiste tutti i nostri avvocati americani ed è punto di riferimento per la clientela Italiana. Matteo si occupa inoltre di permessi di soggiorno e naturalizzazioni Italiane
Read Matteo’s latest blog on the Italian Elective Residency Visa
Davies & Associates India: Remittance Taxes
The Indian government is changing the way it collects tax on remittance payments from October 1. People seeking to emigrate who do not wish to pay this tax at source and rather account for it later may wish to move their money ahead of the new rules coming into effect. It is possible to pre-emptively move money into an escrow account in the United States until such a time as they are ready to proceed with emigration process.
Read more about India’s remittance tax at source
Davies & Associates Vietnam: New Hanoi Office
Davies & Associates is opening a new office to meet demand in Vietnam. Our new premises are located in the Hanoi Lotte Center in Ba Dinh, Hanoi. This complements D&A’s Ho Chi Minh City office, located in the landmark Bitexco Tower. Davies & Associates Global Chairman Mark Davies is currently based out of our Vietnam office and is available for meetings.
Davies and Associates đang mở một văn phòng mới để đáp ứng nhu cầu tại Việt Nam. Cơ sở mới của chúng tôi được đặt tại Trung tâm Lotte Hà Nội, quận Ba Đình, Thành phố Hà Nội.
Contact us to schedule a meeting with D&A Chairman Mark Davies
Davies & Associates India: Retrogression
Big news for EB-5 in India is that the country is technically no longer in retrogression. This may be the artificial result of a slowdown in processing at USCIS. Given recent changes to the way USCIS sequences applications, this could be a favourable time to make an application before processing picks up and India potentially returns to retrogression.
Contact us for a more detailed explanation.
D&A in the News
Davies & Associates was quoted in the Financial Express on the impact of President Trump’s suspension of H-1B, J-1 and L-1 visas through the end of the year. Mark Davies, Global Chairman of D&A, explained that restrictions on the H-1B have been tightening for years, and that we are seeing an increasing number of H-1B holders looking at the E-2 and the EB-5 visa as alternatives. Both visas have been exempted from the “immigration ban”.
Read the article here.
Finally: Happy Independence Day to Those Celebrating on Saturday
By Mark Davies, Global Chairman, D&A
While the pandemic was not predictable economic shocks such as the mortgage crisis or just a plain economic downturn are.
Without making any comment at all on any specific EB-5 project, it is true that investors need to make sure that proper protections are in place when investing in any project. Many, not all, EB5 projects simply do not have the protections in them that a normal non-EB5 investor would demand.
There absolutely are real estate EB-5 projects in the market that are doing well, such as pre-leased warehouses or office buildings that are pre-leased to “AAA” clients.
There is far more to EB-5 project review than EB-5 compliance.
It is quite common to see EB-5 projects that have no language protecting clients from future subordination of the EB-5 position. In pre-leased commercial projects immigration lawyers often fail to take “due diligence” step 101 and read that lease on behalf of their client.
There are absolutely steps clients facing challenged projects must take now to protect themselves. Workouts 101.
Also, consider the position of a developer who is also a Regional Center in a workout or bankruptcy. Can they effectively represent the interests of EB5 investors?
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program offers a direct route to a US Green Card. The minimum investment requirement is $900,000 and other conditions, such as job creation, apply. The EB-5 Visa is exempted from President Trump’s current “immigration ban”.
Nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice, please contact Davies & Associates for a consultation with an attorney
The State Department has published the July Visa Bulletin, which offers some insight into the waiting times for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. The most notable change in this month’s Visa Bulletin is that EB-5 Visa Priority Date for India has become “Current”.
What this means is that India is no longer in retrogression and EB-5 applicants born in India can progress to the next stage and schedule their visa appointment once they are approved.
At first glance this is exciting news and would appear to spell the end of the waiting list for Indians seeking an EB-5 Green Card. However, as we have cautioned before, this is likely to be artificial.
The probable explanation is that the rate of I-526 adjudications at the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has slowed significantly. Only after an I-526 has been approved can an applicant progress to obtaining a visa. So with fewer adjudications there is likely to be less demand at the National Visa Center, causing India to appear as “Current”.
With Covid-19 compounding the slowdown at USCIS, we will be keeping a close eye on the priority dates for you over the next few months.
Sukanya Raman, Associate in our Mumbai office, analyses changes to India’s taxation of remittances.
In February, 2020 the Union Budget had proposed the levy of Tax Collected at Source (TCS) on remittances made under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Reserve Bank of India. Although, the Scheme was introduced in the year 2004 with a limit of USD 25,000. This is the first time TCS shall be levied at 5% on remittances over and above certain limit.
TCS was to be applicable for remittances on or after April 1, 2020, as per the budget 2020. However, the provision shall now be effective from October 1, 2020.
In a Financial Year (FY) April- March under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme a resident individual can remit USD 250,000, equivalent to INR 1,90,00,000 with an exchange rate of INR 76.00.
LRS is applicable to resident individuals which also allows minors to remit money to any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both. If remitter is a minor, then their natural guardian must undertake a declaration form. The LRS cannot be availed by corporates, partnership firms, HUF, Trusts etc.
TCS shall be collected at the rate of 5% on remittances aggregating to INR 7,00,000 or more in a financial year.
Per the RBI guidelines, LRS is permitted for private visits to any country (except Nepal and Bhutan), gift or donation, traveling abroad for employment, emigration, investment abroad, maintenance of close relative abroad, medical treatment abroad, overseas education and Any other current account transaction which is not covered under the definition of the current account in FEMA 1999.
Under the LRS, remittances can be consolidated in respect of close family members. However, it shall be subject to the individual family members complying with the terms and conditions of the LRS.
The remitter is eligible to claim credit for the tax collected (TCS) by the bank while filing their Income Tax returns, if it is remitted to the sender’s own account abroad.
Based on the data released by RBI, remittance rose by 36% in FY20 to USD 18.75 billion over the previous high of USD 13.78 billion in FY19.
This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant as legal advice. For advice on this matter, please contact our team.
President Trump has signed the Executive Order temporarily suspending some visa categories for an initial 60 days. This mostly applies to people outside the United States seeking permanent residency / Green Cards, excluding the EB-5 program.
The State Department has just issued a clarification stating that the Order is not retroactive and that “no valid visas will be revoked under this proclamation.”
There are a number of exclusions and exemptions. We recommend you contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.
What is NOT included in the ban:
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program
- Those already in the United States on a valid immigrant visa*
- Those inside the US eligible for Adjustment of Status*
- Click here for the full list of exemptions
What is also NOT included in the ban, but subject to a 30-day review:
- All non-immigrant visas, including:
EB-5 Visas Exemption
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa has been given a special exemption from the ban. EB-5 is a job-creating program. Each EB-5 investment is required to create ten American jobs. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a fast route to a Green Card for families or individuals able to invest $900,000.
Review of Non-Immigrant Visas
The Executive Order only covers immigrants outside the United States seeking permanent residency (Green Cards). Non-immigrant categories, such as the E-2 Visa, the L-1 Visa, and the H-1B Visa are not currently included in the ban.
However, the Executive Order does call for a review of non-immigrant programs within 30 days with a view to “other measures” affecting these categories. The Order instructs the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of State to report recommendations to the President within 30 days regarding restrictions (if any) on non-immigrant visas.
Adjustment of Status
The order only applies to those seeking immigrant visas (i.e. those outside the US seeking to go through consular processing). It does not impact those inside the US already on a valid visa that are eligible to do Adjustment of Status (AOS). Clients should consult us before traveling outside of the United States if they have a pending AOS application or may be eligible to file one in the near future.
We recommend that anyone seeking a US visa proceed with their application. Much can change in the time it takes to prepare one.
With flights grounded and American embassies closed to consular appointments, the Executive Order makes limited material difference in the short term. There are likely to be a number of lawsuits challenging the ban. This is also an election year. A new administration could be expected to reverse this Order.
We will provide updates on the 30-day review of non-immigrant visas. Some non-immigrant categories, such as the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, bring investment to the United States and create jobs.
Each client’s circumstances are different. Please contact us to discuss how this may affect you.