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.


The Largest E Visa Market in the World

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.

 

Our team is heading to the Land of the Rising Sun amid strong demand for the E2 Visa. Davies & Associates has one of the strongest E2 legal teams in the business and we enjoy high success rates as a result.

 

Japan has the highest number of E2 Visa applicants in the world. Although this is somewhat unsurprising given Japan’s preeminent business culture and strong commercial ties with the United States, the numbers are staggering. 75% of all E visas issued in Asia last year went to Japanese citizens. In fact, 25% of all E visas globally were issued in Japan.

In addition, the country registered consistently strong demand for L visas with Japanese citizens claiming 7% of a much larger global total last year.

 

And the country’s appetite for US investor visas continues to grow. E visas overtook student visas as the most popular visa category last year, and EB-5 applications also registered a sharp growth in 2018.

 

Our Senior Leadership team in bound for Japan and available to consult on a range of USA visas, as well as the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme, as well as exciting new Italian residency options. Contact us for a free consultation.


5 Reasons Why One Should Apply for an Investor Visa for the USA

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.

 

US, while known for its competitiveness and robustness in the market, offers the most exciting business entrepreneurship to its residents and foreign investors. However for investing in the US market, it is imperative to hold an investor visa which comes with some additional benefits to look out for. Here is a list of reasons why one should apply for an investor visa for the USA:

  1. Largest consumer market

The GDP of US generates around USD 20 trillion and is a home to over 300 million people and has some of the highest household spending in the world. Hence the consumer market offers ample amount of business opportunities to the investors. Investor visa for the USA can help the investor access the consumer market.

 

  1. Hub of innovation

US has been recognized in the world as a leading nation for research and development as the nation offers a safe place for new innovations. Person holding an investor visa can apply for patent, copyrights and trademark.

 

  1. Talented workforce

US has some of the best universities and in the initial stages, the public school offers free education. There is an option to join vocational training school in case someone is not keen to pursue University education. Overall, due to the higher education rate in the country, a talented and creative workforce would come handy for an investor visa holder.

 

  1. Abundance of resources

Since US is a huge country, it holds borders with other countries with diverse climate and hence has no shortage of resources. Resources like minerals and metals are in abundance in the country and would be abundantly rewarding to investor visa holder.

 

  1. Competitive and robust market

US due to its massive landscape, gives an opportunity to the investors to invest in fields which impact the market globally. Industries like aerospace, chemicals, consumer goods, energy, environmental technology are cutting edge and developed. This gives a huge impetus to an investor visa holder.

To take utmost advantage of abovementioned benefits, seeking professional help while applying for  US business immigration and US visa investment program is of paramount importance.


EB-5 Visa Price to Rise to $900,000

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.

 

The clock in now ticking. The minimum price of an EB-5 visa is to increase by 80% to $900,000 as of November 21, 2019. Anyone wishing to lock in the current $500,000 rate should act fast.

 

A key requirement of the program is to document that the funds used to pay for EB-5 have come from legitimate sources, and this can take time. In India, our largest market, it takes an average of two months to prove source of funds, which effectively narrows the window to a deadline of late September.

 

The $900,000 rate is only for investments made in areas of high unemployment, which are so-called “Targeted Employment Areas” (TEAs). The price of investments made outside these areas will rise to $1.8 million from the current $1 million.

 

What constitutes a TEA is also likely to change when the new rules come into effect in November. Currently, individual states determine their own TEAs, but from November, this will be determined by the Department for Homeland Security instead. This change is designed to prevent wealthy districts being packaged together into a TEA with poorer ones.

 

The increase is not as steep as initially feared. The industry had been expecting the minimum investment level inside a TEA to increase to $1.35 million. This figure would have taken account of inflation since the program started in the 1990s. However, the US authorities opted for the lower level to maintain the same differential with EB-5 investments placed outside a TEA.

 

With an expected rush of applications over the next few months, anyone able to afford the higher rate may prefer to wait. By conducting due diligence on your Regional Center project or direct investment, you maximize the chances of having your money returned along with your Green Card – whether it be $500,000 or $900,000.

 

Davies & Associates continues to position itself at the forefront of the industry and we have been quoted in India’s leading newspapers on this issue. This includes the Times of India, the Hindu, the Financial Express, and the Hindu Business Line.

 

Indian-born clients also have the additional complication of visa retrogression, so we recommend discussing this with us directly. We will have a large team in India over the next few months helping our Indian clients with EB-5, as well as discussing alternative and temporary options such as the L1 visa, Grenadian Citizenship by Investment, and the E2 visa.

 

Outside of India, we have a large team of multi-lingual attorneys working with our global clients on their source of funds and I526 filing.

 

Contact us as soon as possible to maximise your chances of locking in the current EB-5 rules and rates.


EB-5 Visa Potential Fee Hike – File Your Application Now

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.

The cost of an EB-5 visa may soon increase as planned changes to the investment requirements moved a step closer to reality yesterday. The EB-5 visa, which currently requires a minimum investment of $500,000, is one of the fastest and most straightforward routes to a United States Green Card.

The required investment amount has not been changed since the program’s inception in the 1990s and calls have been made for this to be altered to take account of inflation. This would mean a new minimum investment level of $1.35 million per application if the investment is placed in a project in an area of high unemployment. Investments outside of these areas would increase to $1.8 million from the current $1 million.

Since this would have a significant impact on uptake, the industry has been pressing for a more modest increase. It is not yet clear which position has won out, so it is vital to keep an eye on developments and start preparing an application.

Grace Period

We expect the announcement to be made shortly after the July 4th holiday weekend. After this, there will be a “grace period” of either 30 days or 45 days before the new regulations take effect. For those who are unable to afford a higher investment, it is vital to begin an application as soon as possible. The US government has strict regulations regarding the source of the funds used to pay for EB-5 and proving compliance can take time.

Due Diligence & Risk Mitigation

For clients who can afford the higher minimum investment level of $1.35 Million, we encourage you to apply as normal. EB-5 will continue to offer one the fastest and most straightforward routes to a Green Card. While your investment is naturally at risk, Davies & Associates is uniquely positioned to help you assess the risks associated with various EB 5 Regional Center projects. This would allow you to mitigate risks to your investment and boost the chances of having your money returned, whether it be $500,000, $1.35 million, or something in between.

Securing your Child’s Future

Since the EB-5 Regulations allows for a whole family to come under one application, the higher investment level may still represent value for money for some clients. The majority of our clients are parents seeking educational and employment opportunities for their children in the United States and so, for those who can afford it, the higher investment level may still be worth the opportunity cost.

For Indian parents who now face retrogression delays, it is vital to make a family-based application many years before your children reach the age of 21 to prevent them from “ageing out” and requiring a separate application. For our clients in countries not facing retrogression there is more time, but we still encourage you to apply as soon as possible as well.

Alternative Options: Expand your Business with an L1 Visa

For some of our clients, the prospect of retrogression and a fee hike means that EB-5 is no longer an option. We recommend you contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options. We have a dedicated L-1 Visa Team in New York that specializes in helping clients expand an existing business from their country of origin to the United States. Under this package, our corporate lawyers help you set up a new US office and our L-1 team prepares an application to allow you or a colleague to relocate to the United States for the purpose of running that office.

Alternative Options: E2 Visas

Another alternative is the E2 visa, which allows an investor to live and work in the United States for the purpose of owning and operating a specific business. Many of our clients seek to purchase a franchise business specifically for this purpose. Only citizens of certain countries are eligible for E-2 visas. Citizens of countries like India, Nigeria, South Africa and China are not eligible. Nevertheless, we are able to troubleshoot measures to make a client eligible.

With so much change in the EB-5 industry, it is vital to engage with an immigration attorney to stay ahead of developments and be fully aware of your options. Davies & Associates offers free consultations so we can recommend the best solution to suit each client on the basis of their individual needs. Contact us today to arrange your consultation.


A Fast-Growing Market for the EB-5 “Green Card” Visa

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

 

 

D&A’s global chairman, Mark Davies, will be visiting South Africa next week to meet with existing and prospective clients and to present at the Global Investment Immigration Summit 2019.

South Africa has become an increasingly important market for our firm. The country has a strong business and entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a growing tradition for global mobility. South Africa has more high-net-worth individuals than anywhere else in Africa, and a recent survey by FNB Estate Agents found that 18% of property sales by this group were prompted by the owners’ plans to move overseas.

Although South Africans have traditionally been attracted to the UK, Europe and Mauritius, we are seeing a growing interest in the United States. US student visas are up by a third over five years as more South Africans opt to study at American universities, and issuances of the H-1B visa for highly-skilled workers has registered a 50% increase over the same period.

Yet it is the EB-5 Investor Visa that has experienced the sharpest growth of any visa category among South Africans. There has been a six-fold increase in the number of EB-5 visas issued to South Africans since 2014. This visa is the fastest route to a US Green Card for individuals or families that are able to make a $500,000 investment. A Green Card offers a whole range of benefits, including the freedom to live, work, retire or study anywhere in the United States.

There has also been growth in the number of L visas issued to South Africans, albeit at a slower rate than EB-5. The L1 visa allows for the intracompany transfer of employees between the South African office and an American office of the same company. Davies & Associates specializes in helping companies set-up a new American office for the purposes of transferring employees on an L1 visa.

We are also seeing increasing number of inquiries from South Africans seeking a second passport to allow them to travel more seamlessly around the world. One popular option is the Grenada passport, which allows for visa-free travel to 50% more countries than the South African passport, including to the UK, the EU, Hong Kong, Singapore and the People’s Republic of China.

The Grenada passport also makes South Africans eligible for the United States E-2 Visa, which allows the holder to live in the United States for the purpose of owning and operating a business.

Mark Davies is a leading US immigration attorney with experience of successfully filing hundreds of EB-5 applications for our clients around the world. Please contact me to schedule a free consultation with Mark to determine the best immigration solution for you.

Mark will be in Johannesburg from June 20th – June 23rd and in Cape Town on June 24th. If you cannot make these dates or cities, please contact us to set up a telephone consultation with a view to meeting on his next visit.