Investor Visa Application

Biden Administration Confirms Trump-Era Changes to EB-5 Investor Visa

The Biden Administration has moved to quash a lawsuit brought about by an EB-5 Regional Center that questioned the validity of changes to the EB-5 Investor Visa Program introduced in November 2019. By ratifying the changes, the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas puts an end to any speculation that the minimum investment level for the EB-5 Visa could be reduced back to $500,000 from the current $900,000.

Court Case

The principle line of argument in the court case was that the head of the Department for Homeland Security at the time had not been properly appointed. The then Acting Secretary, Kevin McAleenan, assumed leadership for the Department following the departure of Kirstjen Nielsen earlier in 2019.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a decision on this issue last summer stating that McAleenan was not in the line of succession and that his leadership was therefore invalid. Mayorkas acted to re-ratify the changes to ward off any uncertainty – going forwards at least.

Old EB-5 Regulations

If it had been successful, the case could have forced a return to the pre-November 2019 regulations. This not only included the lower investment amount, but also different rules surrounding what governs a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). These are zones that qualify for a lower EB-5 investment level because they have weaker employment levels. Outside of TEAs, the minimum EB-5 investment level is $1.8 million (or $1 million prior to November 2019).

The increased investment amount since November 2019 has pushed the EB-5 Investor Visa out of reach of many potential investors . Many of these clients have shifted their interest in the US to the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which has lower investment amounts. There is no fixed investment level for an E-2 Visa, but it must be appropriate for the business being invested in and generally starts from around $100,000.

Upcoming EB-5 Reauthorization

A reversal to the EB-5 rule change would have been short-lived in any case. The EB-5 Regional Center Program is facing reauthorization in Congress before the end of this quarter (June 30). We are confident that Congress will support a long term reauthorization of a reformed program since EB-5 is responsible for creating so much employment and investment all across America.

An EB-5 reform bill introduced jointly by Senior Democrat, Patrick Leahy, and a senior Republican, Chuck Grassley aims to reauthorize the program through to 2026 and make reforms to ensure high standards are met by EB-5 Regional Centers.

Despite some uncertainty over the next few months, the future of the EB-5 program looks strong. It played a valuable role in helping America recover from the 2007/8 financial crisis and can support the economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. EB-5 has brought in millions of dollars in foreign investment and has created hundreds of thousands of jobs all around the country. All at no cost to the US taxpayer.

What is the EB-5 Investor Visa?

The EB-5 remains a fast route to a Green Card (except for people born in mainland China who face delays because of strong historic demand). A single investment can cover a qualifying family unit (applicant, spouse, children under the age of 21). It is important to work with an immigration attorney from the outset of the process. One of the most complicated aspects of an EB-5 application is proving that your investment funds came from legitimate sources.

At Davies & Associates we support each EB-5 client with a strong and talented team, which includes not only immigration attorneys, but also tax lawyers, and accountants who can advise on remittance laws in your home country. Green Card holders are subject to tax on worldwide earnings, so it is important to understand and plan for this at the outset of the process.

Read more about EB-5 Investor 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.


Investor Visa Application

EB-5 Visa: Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Investment-Level Increase

A lawsuit filed by an EB-5 Regional Center is taking aim at the November 2019 price hike for the EB-5 Investor Visa. If successful, the minimum investment amount for EB-5 would return to USD 500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area. A federal judge in California has indicated she may be willing to reverse the Trump-Era changes to the EB-5 program rules after a lawsuit filed by Behring Regional Center. 

If successful, any changes would likely be short-lived. The EB-5 Regional Center Program is set to expire at the end of June and a reform and reauthorization proposal has started working its way through Congress could set the USD 900,000 minimum investment level in stone.  It is our opinion that the new EB-5 law in June would be revised to increase the price back to itS current level.

This means that there may be an extremely short window of time, possibly as little as days, in which to file an EB-5 I-526 Petition at USD 500,000.   Properly preparing a case to be filed can take weeks or longer depending on where the funds are coming from and will require investors to fund an EB-5 project which is configured to accept investment at that investment level.  Any investor potentially interested in availing themselves of the USD 500,000 investment level should therefore have their case ready so it can be filed at a moment’s notice.  

The minimum investment requirement for the EB-5 Investor Visa to USD 900,000 in November 2019 to take account of inflation since the program’s inception in the 1990s. The $900,000 amount relates to investments in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) – areas with relatively high unemployment. Outside of TEAs the minimum investment requirement rose from USD 1 million to UDS 1.8 million. The November-2019 rule change also centralised decision making around what constitutes a TEA, transferring authority for this to the Department for Homeland Security.

The rule changes had a significant impact on EB-5 uptake with a sharp drop-off after November 2019. This was partly due to so many people rushing to apply, exhausting pent up demand. Covid slowed the recovery, but green shoots have been emerging as the pandemic recedes. Long term reform and reauthorization in June will provide much-needed certainty and confidence to future investors. 

This federal court case could change calculations for some investors. If the price temporarily drops to USD 500,000 it could cause a massive rush to file EB-5 applications. The application process requires careful documentation of the source of funds used for the EB-5 investment. This can take time to prepare, so anyone considering an application or monitoring this court case for a drop in the investment level should contact us immediately. 

The court case comes at a time of brief uncertainty for the EB-5 Investor Visa Program. With reauthorization of the Regional Center Program required before the it expires in June, would-be investors need to weigh their options carefully. 

On the one hand, you could tie up your capital under uncertain conditions to pursue the EB-5 Regional Center in case it ends forever in June. Or on the other hand, you could wait until there is certainty in the second half of 2021, but know that the price of that certainty could mean the EB-5 route is closed to you forever. The risk is up to the client, but it is worth talking through your options with an immigration attorney. 

The likelihood is that the program will be renewed. The EB-5 Investor Visa brings in millions of dollars in investment and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs all across America at no cost to the taxpayer. It played a valuable role in America’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and could do something similar as the US economy recovers from Covid.

Anyone who has already applied for an EB-5 Visa but is waiting an adjudication may wish to file a writ of mandamus in federal court ahead of the June 2021 expiry date. Usually applicants should wait at least two years before resorting to legal action against the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), but the June expiration may change this. Contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.


Investor Visa Application

Lawsuit Seeks to Reverse 2019 EB-5 Investor Visa Price Increase

A lawsuit filed by an EB-5 Regional Center is taking aim at the November 2019 price hike for the EB-5 Investor Visa. If successful, the minimum investment amount for EB-5 would almost halve back to $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area. A federal judge in California has indicated she may be willing to reverse the Trump-Era changes to the EB-5 program rules after a lawsuit filed by Behring Regional Center.

If successful, any changes would likely be short-lived. The EB-5 Regional Center Program is set to expire at the end of June and a reform and reauthorization proposal has started working its way through Congress could set the $900,000 minimum investment level in stone.

The minimum investment requirement for the EB-5 Investor Visa to $900,000 in November 2019 to take account of inflation since the program’s inception in the 1990s. The $900,000 amount relates to investments in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) – areas with relatively high unemployment. Outside of TEAs the minimum investment requirement rose from $1 million to $1.8 million. The November-2019 rule change also centralised decision making around what constitutes a TEA, transferring authority for this to the Department for Homeland Security.

The rule changes had a significant impact on EB-5 uptake with a sharp drop-off after November 2019. This was partly due to so many people rushing to apply, exhausting pent up demand. Covid slowed the recovery, but green shoots have been emerging as the pandemic recedes. Long term reform and reauthorization in June will provide much-needed certainty and confidence to future investors.

This federal court case could change calculations for some investors. If the price temporarily drops to $500,000 it could cause a massive rush to file EB-5 applications. The application process requires careful documentation of the source of funds used for the EB-5 investment. This can take time to prepare, so anyone considering an application or monitoring this court case for a drop in the investment level should contact us immediately.

The court case comes at a time of brief uncertainty for the EB-5 Investor Visa Program. With reauthorization of the Regional Center Program required before the it expires in June, would-be investors need to weigh their options carefully.

On the one hand, you could tie up your capital under uncertain conditions to pursue the EB-5 Regional Center in case it ends forever in June. Or on the other hand, you could wait until there is certainty in the second half of 2021, but know that the price of that certainty could mean the EB-5 route is closed to you forever. The risk is up to the client, but it is worth talking through your options with an immigration attorney.

The likelihood is that the program will be renewed. The EB-5 Investor Visa brings in millions of dollars in investment and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs all across America at no cost to the taxpayer. It played a valuable role in America’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and could do something similar as the US economy recovers from Covid.

Anyone who has already applied for an EB-5 Visa but is waiting an adjudication may wish to file a writ of mandamus in federal court ahead of the June 2021 expiry date. Usually applicants should wait at least two years before resorting to legal action against the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), but the June expiration may change this. Contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.


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.

Behring Regional Center


Vietnam clients of Davies & Associates

Phân tích bản tin thị thực tháng 3 và Giải thích thời gian chờ EB-5


Bộ Ngoại giao đã công bố bản tin thị thực tháng 3 năm 2021 cho thấy có sự thay đổi nhỏ đối với Thị thực đầu tư định cư EB-5 so với Bản tin thị thực trước đó vào tháng 2 năm 2021.
 
Thời gian chờ EB-5 hiện chỉ áp dụng cho những người sinh ra ở Việt Nam và Trung Quốc. Ấn Độ đã hết thời gian hồi quy visa vào tháng 7 năm ngoái và không có danh sách chờ đối với người nộp đơn ở nước này.
 
Tất cả các quốc gia khác trên thế giới được liệt kê là “C” (“current”) có nghĩa là Hiện tại. Điều này có nghĩa là hạn ngạch của các quốc gia này không được đăng ký quá hạn mức và họ có thể tiến hành đặt lịch hẹn với Trung tâm Thị thực Quốc gia (NVC) sau khi Mẫu I-526 của họ được chấp thuận.
 
Lý do Ấn Độ, Trung Quốc và Việt Nam xuất hiện thường xuyên trong các bản tin thị thực là vì hạn ngạch mỗi quốc gia không được xác định trên cơ sở bình quân đầu người. Cả ba quốc gia này đều có dân số đông và mục đích di cư đến Hoa Kỳ.



Giải thích danh sách chờ EB-5
 Với chỉ hơn 700 thị thực EB-5 có sẵn cho mỗi quốc gia một năm, điều dễ hiểu rằng hạn mức này có thể nhanh chóng được sử dụng hết so với nhu cầu thực tế của người dân mỗi quốc gia. Thị thực EB-5 cung cấp thẻ xanh cho khoản đầu tư tối thiểu từ 900,000 USD.
 
Cả gia đình có thể tham gia vào một khoản đầu tư duy nhất – đó là người nộp đơn, vợ / chồng của họ và bất kỳ con cái nào dưới 21 tuổi. Mặc dù đó chỉ dược tính là một khoản đầu tư, nhưng mỗi người sẽ yêu cầu một thị thực riêng cho họ. Điều này làm cho việc sử dụng hết hạn ngạch 700 so với việc nó được tính trên 700 khoản đầu tư/đơn xin EB-5 diễn ra nhanh hơn.
 
Vì vậy, khi quốc gia của bạn không áp dụng thời gian hồi quy, con đường đến với EB5 có thể nhanh chóng. Ấn Độ chỉ mất một vài năm để đạt được 100 thị thực EB-5/năm cho đến khi bắt đầu tính hồi quy. Những nơi như Hàn Quốc và Đài Loan đang sử dụng gần đến hạn mức hàng năm.
 Ngày hành động cuối cùng (Final Action Date)Bản tin thị thực tháng 3 một lần nữa cho thấy không có động thái chuyển tiếp đối với các ứng viên EB-5 Trung Quốc và chuyển tiếp một cách hạn chế đối với các ứng viên EB-5 Việt Nam.
 
Trung Quốc vẫn bị đứng yên vào ngày 15 tháng 8 năm 2015 và Việt Nam chuyển ba tuần sang ngày 22 tháng 10 năm 2017. Các cập nhật trong bản tin thị thực của tháng này – liên quan đến EB-5 – chỉ ảnh hưởng đến một số lượng rất nhỏ những người đến từ Việt Nam và có ngày ưu tiên của họ trong khoảng thời gian từ ngày 1 đến ngày 21 tháng 10.
 
Được dự kiến ​​sẽ có thị thực dành cho những người có ngày ưu tiên trước ngày được liệt kê. Các ngày được liệt kê trong bản tin thị thực có thể lùi lại cũng như lùi về phía trước vì có rất nhiều yếu tố được áp đụng để tính toán ngày.
 
Có một ngày khác trong bản tin thị thực, Ngày nộp hồ sơ, cho biết thời gian chuẩn bị cho những hồ sơ đang chờ để chuẩn bị nộp cho Trung tâm Thị thực Quốc gia. Không có cập nhất mới nào trong tháng này, chỉ có Trung Quốc vẫn bị trì hoãn, vẫn là vào ngày 15 tháng 12 năm 2015.
 Bài viết này được viết dành cho khách hàng, bạn bè và khách hàng đang quan tâm khác với mục đích cung cấp thêm thông tin. Nội dung của bài viết không được xem như tư vấn pháp lý và không nhất thiết phản ánh ý kiến ​​của tôi hoặc ý kiến ​​của Davies & Associates hoặc bất kỳ luật sư hoặc khách hàng nào của bài viết.

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US Business Immigration Visas: L1, E2, EB5 Comparison Table

Our firm has helped hundreds of business owners and families move to the United States on EB-5, E-2 and L-1 visas. Which visa is best depends entirely on your unique personal circumstances. We recommend every new client have a free consultation with our team to discuss the various options in light of their personal goals, budgets and interests.

L-1 VisasE-1 VisasE-2 VisasEB-5 Visas
Visa available to nationals of any country?Nationals of treaty trader countries onlyNationals of treaty trader countries only
Must I have worked for a related company abroad for one year?
Ability of dependent Spouse to work in US
Can the visa be renewed into perpetuity assuming I re-qualify?
Is a business plan a very key element of a successful application?
Minimum investment RequiredSufficient to operate valid foreign business and US office or business entityNo theoretical minimum, but enough investment to create a real, viable, businessSufficient to fund business enterprise, generally > $100,000 although less is possibleEither USD 900,000
or USD 1,800,000

Visa Duration

One of the key differences is the length of time you can remain in the United States on each visa. The EB-5 visa leads directly to a Green Card (permanent residency). This means you can stay in the United States permanently until such a time as you opt to surrender your Green Card or apply to naturalize as a US citizen.

The L-1 visa and the E-2 visa are both non-immigrant visas. These do not offer permanent residency, but the E-2 visa is perhaps the next best thing because you can renew it indefinitely. Unlimited renewals means that you could technically live in the United States forever, provided the underlying business remains in operation.

The L-1 Visa is renewable up to a maximum of seven years for the L-1A visa and five years for the L-1B visa. After this time you would need to leave the US or transition to another visa or apply for a Green Card. It is best to discuss your options with an immigration attorney. Good fits for the L-1 visa are the EB-1(c) visa or the EB-3 visa. You can of course, also explore options for transitioning to a Green Card from an E-2 visa if you wish to make your presence in the US more permanent and not tied to the E-2 business.

The amount of time granted on your initial L-1 and E-2 visa will vary depending upon where you are from. Each country has a so-called reciprocity schedule which dictates the maximum visa validity period. Note that your visa might not be granted for the full period listed under your particular country. The authorities may wish you to return sooner to check on the status of your business. For example, “New Office L-1 visas” are granted for just a year initially, so checks on your progress can be made.

Investment Requirements

Each visa comes with a different associated investment requirement. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa – as the name suggests – offers a Green Card by investment. The investment requirements are $900,000 for investments in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and $1.8 million outside these areas. In practice, the Regional Centers who manage the vast majority of EB-5 investments all work in TEAs and so only the $900,000 applies. If you wish to do Direct EB-5, we would need to make sure the investment is placed in a TEA to qualify for the lower amount.

By conducting due diligence on the Regional Center and its project, an EB-5 investor can mitigate risks not only to the Green Card but also to the return of your capital. Most Regional Centers offer very low rates of interest (in many ways the Green Card itself is the return on the investment). By investing with a reputable Regional Center in a reliable project there is no reason why the investor should not see the return of their capital after several years.

There is no fixed investment requirement for the E-2 Visa. A good rule of thumb is that it should be in excess of $100,000 and must be appropriate for the business you are proposing to start or acquire. We have seen some successful E-2 applicants for less than $100,000, so we encourage you to contact us regardless. The investment does not only need to be cash – it can also be in stocks of inventory, patents, equipment etc.

The L-1 visa does not require investment if you are simply transferring from the overseas branch to the existing branch of a multinational company. New Office L-1 visas inevitably require investment to set up and grow the new US office. This needs to be suitable to the needs of the business.

Work Authorization

The EB-5 visa offers complete freedom to work (or not work) in the United States. A single application/investment can include not just the applicant but any spouse and children under the age of 21. Each family member receives their own Green Card meaning they are free to work in the United States. We find many of our EB-5 clients are motivated by their children university education and work prospects after graduation.

The primary applicant for the E-2 and L-1 visas are obviously required to work in the role they moved to the US to fulfil. Spouses of these visa holders, however, can apply for work authorization in the United States. This offers a lot more employment flexibility than the popular H-1B visa for example, since you are not tied to a particular employer. As non permanent residents, you are only taxed on your US earnings.

There are many different pros and cons to each of these visa categories. It is vital to discuss your personal circumstances with our team so we can take you through every eventuality and thereby determine the best visa for you and your family.


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.


How Could a Writ of Mandamus help with the Upcoming EB-5 Visa Reauthorization?

The EB-5 Regional Center Program faces reauthorization in the US Congress before the end of June 2021. The likelihood is that the program will be renewed, but some EB-5 clients are choosing to mitigate any risk by filing a writ of mandamus.

Congressional Reauthorization

The EB-5 Regional Center program requires periodic reauthorization. This is usually bundled up with “must-pass” appropriations legislation, so there was rarely a chance it would not be renewed. This is not unusual, Congress has so much to consider they often package topics together to lighten the work load. However, this time around is different.

This year, the EB-5 Regional Center program has been decoupled from the “must-pass” spending bills and requires reauthorization by itself. This means Congress needs to evaluate the program on its own merits and determine its future.

The timing is good. The EB-5 investor visa program brings in millions of dollars in foreign investment and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs at no cost to the US taxpayer. It played a helpful role as the US navigated its way out of the 2007/8 financial crisis. It can do the same as the US economy recovers from Covid-19.

There are also thousands of people working in the EB-5 industry all over America. It is not an industry whose benefits accrue to a narrow cluster. In fact, the Targeted Employment Area (TEA) requirements deliberately try to target EB-5 investment at areas of high unemployment as well as rural areas. This aspect was strengthened during the most recent reform to the program in November 2019.

Risk to the EB-5 Regional Center Program

So things augur well for reauthorization. However, in the febrile world of American politics there is always a risk that it would not be renewed . And with risk comes uncertainty. If the program was discontinued, it is not yet clear how existing and new investors will fare.

What is the EB-5 Investor Visa Program?

For new investors, i.e. people who choose to file an EB-5 petition (Form I-526) between now and June, there is a trade-off. On the one hand, you could tie up your capital under uncertain conditions to pursue the EB-5 Regional Center in case it ends forever in June. Or on the other hand, you could wait until there is certainty in the second half of 2021, but know that the price of that certainty could mean the EB-5 route is closed to you forever. The risk is up to the client, but it is worth talking through your options with an immigration attorney. D&A offers free consultations on this an EB-5 Investor Visa more generally.

For existing investors – those that have filed their Form I-526 but have not yet had an adjudication – there are things you could do to try to push USCIS into making a decision on your case faster.

Speeding up your EB-5 adjudication

It is best to engage your immigration attorney at the outset of this process to make sure all steps are taken properly and in a timely fashion. 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.

The second, perhaps contemporaneous step, is to contact the senator or congressional representative covering the state or district where the EB-5 project is located. Depending upon your circumstances, contacting other lawmakers may also be appropriate.

Read more about delayed EB-5

Writ of Mandamus

After these two steps have been exhausted, and if they do not cause an adjudication then you could consider filing a writ of mandamus. This is a lawsuit in a federal court to determine whether your immigration petition has been unreasonably delayed.

Don’t worry, it 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. 

It is advisable to seek advice from an attorney throughout. Contact D&A for a free consultation to determine whether a Writ of Mandamus 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 and filed 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. 


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.


Vietnam clients of Davies & Associates

Cập nhật tình hình EB5

Chương trình EB-5 diện Trung tâm Vùng (EB-5 RC) đang phải đối mặt với việc gia hạn ủy quyền (uỷ quyền lại) vào tháng 6 năm 2021.
Điều này đã dẫn đến một số điều không chắc chắn cho các khách hàng hiện tại và tương lai.Mặc dù chúng tôi không dự đoán chắc chắn các vấn đề đối với những người nộp hồ sơ trước ngày 30 tháng 6, nhưng vẫn có những cách để giảm thiểu rủi ro của bạn như sau:Nếu trường hợp của bạn gần đây đã được chấp thuận và bạn đang cư trú bên ngoài Hoa Kỳ, chúng tôi sẽ 
liên hệ với đơn vị EB-5 tại USCIS yêu cầu họ xúc tiến việc chuyển hồ sơ của bạn đến NVC để quá trình xử lý thị thực có thể bắt đầu sớm nhất có thểNếu trường hợp của bạn đã được chấp thuận gần đây và 
bạn sống ở Hoa Kỳ, chúng ta nên nộp đơn Điều chỉnh tình trạng (“Adjustment of Status”) của bạn càng sớm càng tốtNếu đơn I-526 của bạn vẫn đang chờ xử lý, bạn có thể muốn xem xét đến 
Writ of Mandamus (xem thêm về thông tin này bên dưới email)Xin vui lòng tiếp tục đọc để biết thêm thông tin và các phân tích của chuyên gia về vấn đề này. Nếu bạn có bất kỳ câu hỏi nào, xin vui lòng liên hệ với chúng tôi.Liên hệ với chúng tôi

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Tình hình EB-5 hiện tại
 
Chương trình Trung tâm Vùng EB-5 hiện đang được cho phép (ủy quyền) trên cơ sở tạm thời. Điều này có nghĩa là chương trình được cấp phép trong một khoảng thời gian nhất định và sau đó chương trình sẽ hết hạn trừ khi được gia hạn bởi ủy quyền tạm thời lần nữa.
 
Chương trình EB-5 RC hiện được ủy quyền đến ngày 30 tháng 6 năm 2021. Ngày 30 tháng 6 này khác với các ngày kết thúc ủy quyền trước đó vì đây là lần đầu tiên ủy quyền Chương trình EB-5 không bị ràng buộc với dự luật trích lập ngân sách Liên bang. Trước đây, khi dự luật ngân sách được thông qua, điều đó có nghĩa là Chương trình EB-5 RC sẽ tự động được gia hạn. Vào tháng 12 năm 2019, Quốc hội đã tách ủy quyền Chương trình EB-5 RC khỏi ngân sách, vì vậy, điều đó có nghĩa là Quốc hội cần thông qua một dự luật riêng để mở rộng (gia hạn) chương trình EB-5 RC.
 
Thượng nghị sĩ Grassley và Leahy được cho là có một dự luật được soạn thảo sẽ gia hạn vĩnh viễn Chương trình EB-5 RC nhưng điều đó cần nhận được phiếu tán thành của đa số Thượng nghị sĩ để thông qua. Chúng tôi lạc quan rằng dự luật sẽ được thông qua ở một số điểm nhất định và do đó sẽ không có gián đoạn trong Chương trình EB-5 RC. Tuy nhiên, rõ ràng là có một số điều chưa chắc chắn về những gì có thể xảy ra sau ngày 30 tháng 6 sắp tới.
 
USCIS chưa đưa ra bất kỳ kết luận nào về điều gì sẽ xảy ra (1) nếu có khoảng cách giữa ngày 30 tháng 6 và khi luật EB-5 RC mới được thông qua hoặc (2) nếu Quốc hội không bao giờ thông qua luật EB-5 RC mới và EB -5 – Giấy phép Chương trình RC sẽ hết hạn vĩnh viễn vào ngày 30 tháng 6.

Quan điểm của chúng tôi về việc Ủy quyền lại Chương trình EB-5 RC
 
Chúng tôi lạc quan rằng trong trường hợp có một khoảng thời gian giữa ngày 30 tháng 6 sắp tới và khi luật mới được thông qua, điều đó sẽ không ảnh hưởng đến bất kỳ hồ sơ EB-5 nào đã được nộp trước ngày 30 tháng 6 năm 2021. Đã có những khoảng thời gian trước đây khi ngân sách liên bang không được thông qua kịp thời và do đó Chương trình EB-5 RC đã trải qua những khoảng thời gian ngắn không được phép thực hiện — những khoảng thời gian ngắn đó Chương trình EB-5 RC tạm dừng trong việc ủy ​​quyền, và không có bất kỳ tác động đến các đơn EB-5 đang chờ xử lý với USCIS vào thời điểm đó. Chúng tôi cũng lạc quan rằng ngay cả trong trường hợp khó xảy ra là Quốc hội không bao giờ thông qua luật mới ủy quyền lại đối với Chương trình EB-5 RC, USCIS vẫn sẽ tiếp tục xử lý tất cả các lợi ích liên quan đến EB-5 cho những người có đơn I-526 đang chờ xử lý hoặc phê duyệt của ngày 30 tháng 6.

Quan điểm của IIUSA về việc Ủy quyền lại Chương trình EB-5 RC
 
Trong hai tuần trước, một luật sư EB-5 nổi tiếng trong ngành đã trình bày quan điểm của IIUSA về việc ủy ​​quyền lại Chương trình EB-5 RC. Quan điểm này cho rằng nếu Chương trình Trung tâm Khu vực EB-5 không được ủy quyền lại, thì bất kỳ ai không ở Hoa Kỳ với tình trạng “thẻ xanh có điều kiện” vào ngày 30 tháng 6 năm 2021 sẽ bị chấm dứt đơn xin EB-5 và sau đó sẽ phải đăng ký lại tất cả một lần nữa (có thể là với số tiền mới) khi chương trình quay trở lại.


Điều này ảnh hưởng đến trường hợp của tôi như thế nào?
 
1. Điều gì xảy ra nếu tôi chưa nộp đơn bảo lãnh EB-5 (I-526) trước ngày 30 tháng 6 năm 2021?:

Nếu chương trình hết hạn vào tháng 6 năm 2021, thì bạn sẽ mất cơ hội nhận được thẻ xanh Hoa Kỳ thông qua Chương trình EB-5 RC và bạn sẽ phải chờ xem liệu Chương trình EB-5 RC có được đưa trở lại trong tương lai hay không.
 
2. Tôi đã nộp đơn I-526 nhưng nó đang chờ xem xét:
 
Mặc dù rủi ro có thể nhỏ, theo quan điểm của IIUSA, trường hợp của bạn vẫn có thể bị chấm dứt và bạn sẽ phải làm đơn đăng ký mới trong một dự án mới trong tương lai. 

3. Tôi đã được chấp thuận I-526 nhưng tôi đang chờ một cuộc phỏng vấn lãnh sự:
 
Trong trường hợp này, chúng tôi tin rằng rủi ro đối với bạn là thấp hơn, mặc dù theo quan điểm của IIUSA, trường hợp của bạn vẫn có thể bị chấm dứt.

 Writ of Mandamus 
 
Nếu đơn I-526 của bạn vẫn đang chờ xử lý, bạn có thể muốn gửi đơn khiếu nại đến USCIS tại tòa án Liên bang càng sớm càng tốt để yêu cầu tòa án cấp Giấy chứng nhận Mandamus (WoM), về việc sẽ yêu cầu USCIS đưa ra quyết định nhanh chóng về trường hợp của bạn. Vui lòng liên hệ với chúng tôi nếu bạn muốn thảo luận thêm về lựa chọn “Writ of Mandamus” này.
 
Mặc dù công ty của chúng tôi có truyền thống tư vấn cho khách hàng rằng không có gì đảm bảo với WoM cũng như việc nộp WoM trên thực tế không ảnh hưởng đến trường hợp I-526 của họ cho đến khi việc nộp đơn I-526 đã được xử lý trong hai năm, vấn đề ủy quyền lại vào tháng 6 năm 2021 thay đổi quan điểm của chúng tôi về những rủi ro liên quan. Xin lưu ý, nộp WoM yêu cầu một khoản phí bổ sung phải trả.

 Vui lòng Hoàn thành Khảo sát Khách hàng EB-5 của Chúng tôi
 
Xin lưu ý rằng các đơn xin EB-5 liên quan đến đầu tư trực tiếp vào một công ty (có nghĩa là KHÔNG được thực hiện thông qua Trung tâm khu vực) hoàn toàn không bị ảnh hưởng bởi ngày ủy quyền lại 30 tháng 6 này



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.

March Visa Bulletin Analysis: EB-5 Visa Wait Times Explained

March Visa Bulletin Analysis: EB-5 Waiting Times Explained

The Department of State has issued a March 2021 visa bulletin showing little change to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa from the previous Visa Bulletin (Feb 2021).

The EB-5 waiting times currently only apply to people born in Vietnam and China. India came out of visa retrogression last July and no one born in this country is currently subject to a wait.

All other countries around the world are listed as “C” which means Current. This means these countries’ quotas are not oversubscribed and they can progress to booking an appointment with the National Visa Center (NVC) once their Form I-526 is approved..

The reason India, China and Vietnam show up so prominently in visa bulletins is because the per-country quotas are not determined on a per capita basis. All three of these countries have large populations and a long tradition of emigrating to the United States.

EB-5 Waiting Lists Explained

With just over 700 EB-5 visas available to each country each year, it is understandable that these can be quickly used up. The EB-5 visa offers a green card for a minimum of $900,000 investment.

A whole family can come under one single investment – that is the applicant, their spouse and any children under the age of 21. While that would be one investment, each would require their own visa. This makes a much quicker path to using up the quota of 700 than if it was calculated on 700 EB-5 investments / applications.

So even if your country is not in retrogression, the path to getting there can be quick. It took India just a couple of years from being at 100 EB-5 visas/year to hitting retrogression. Places like South Korea and Taiwan inch close to the annual limit.

Final Action Dates

The March visa bulletin once again shows no forward movement for Chinese EB-5 applicants and limited forward movement for Vietnamese EB-5 applicants.

China remains stuck on 15 August 2015 and Vietnam moved three weeks to 22 October 2017. This means that the movements in this month’s visa bulletin – as far as EB-5 is concerned – only affects the very small number of people who are from Vietnam and have their priority dates between the first and twenty-first of October.

What this means is that there is expected to be a visa available to people with a priority date prior to the one listed. The dates listed in the visa bulletin can move backwards as well as forwards because a lot of assumptions have to go into calculating the date.

There is another date in the visa bulletin, the Date for Filing, which offers some preparation time for those in visa retrogression to prepare to submit to the National Visa Center. There is no movement this month, with only China being delayed, still at December 15, 2015.

EB-3 Visas

For the EB-3 Visa for highly skilled professionals (the Green Card equivalent of H-1B Visa), the delays mostly fall on Indians. The delays are very, very long, but there was a little bit of movement this month. The Final Action Dates for India EB-3 moved from mid-October 2009 to mid January 2010. A long delay, but Biden’s plan to remove country caps could get rid of this delay in one-fell swoop. There was little movement for China EB-3, currently at July 2013.


This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.


Investor Visa Application

EB-5 Investor Visa Reauthorization in June 2021. What you need to know.




The EB-5 Regional Center program is facing reauthorization in June 2021. This has resulted in some uncertainty for current and future clients. Although we do not predict issues for people who file before June 30, there are ways to mitigate your risk:


1. If you are a D&A client, your case was recently approved and you reside outside of the US, we have already contacted the EB-5 unit at USCIS asking them to expedite the transfer of your file to the NVC so that visa processing can begin as soon as possible 

2. If your case was recently approved and you live in the US, we should file your Adjustment of Status application as soon as possible  

3. If your Form I-526 petition is still pending, you may wish to consider a Writ of Mandamus (more on this below)

Click here to learn more about the EB-5 Investor Visa
Click here to contact us to discuss your case directly

Background to Current EB-5 Situation

The EB-5 Regional Center program is currently authorized on a temporary basis.  This means that the program is authorized for a discrete period of time and then it expires unless the temporary authorization is extended.

The EB-5 RC Program is currently authorized through June 30, 2021.  This June 30 date is different than those prior authorization end dates because this is the first time that the EB-5  Program authorization is not tied in with the Federal budget appropriations bill.  In the past, when the budget bill would pass, it would mean the EB-5 RC Program would automatically be extended.  In December 2019 Congress decoupled the EB-5 RC Program authorization from the budget, so that means Congress needs to pass a separate bill to extend the EB-5 RC program.  
 
Senators Grassley and Leahy have a bill drafted that will extend the EB-5 RC Program permanently but it will need receive the approval votes of a majority of Senators to pass.  We are optimistic that it will pass in some format and thus there will be no interruption in the EB-5 RC Program.  However, until it passes, there is obviously some uncertainty on what might happen after June 30.  

USCIS has not given any clarity about what will happen (1) if there is a gap between June 30 and when a new EB-5 RC law is passed or (2) if Congress never passes a new EB-5 RC law and the EB-5 RC Program authorization permanently expires on June 30.  

Our View on Reauthorization of EB-5 RC Program

We are optimistic that in the scenario where there is a gap in time between June 30 and when a new law is passed it will not impact any EB-5 petitions that were filed prior to June 30, 2021.  There have been periods of time in the past when the federal budget did not pass in a timely manner and thus the EB-5 RC Program experienced short periods when it was unauthorized—those short periods of time when the EB-5 RC Program experienced a gap in authorization did not have any impact on the EB-5 applications that were pending with USCIS at the time.  We are also optimistic that even in the unlikely event that Congress never passes a new law that reauthorizes the EB-5 RC Program that USCIS will continue to process all EB-5 related benefits for those who had pending or approved Form I-526 petitions as of June 30.

IIUSA’s View on EB-5 RC Program Reauthorization

In the last two weeks a well-known and respected EB-5 lawyer presented IIUSA’s view on the EB-5 RC Program reauthorization. This view is that if the EB-5 Regional Center Program is not reauthorized, then anyone who is not in the United States on a “conditional green card” on June 30, 2021 will have their EB-5 application terminated and will then have to re-apply all over again (probably with fresh funds) if and when the program comes-back.

How This Impacts My Case

1.         What if I have not filed my EB-5 petition (I-526) before June 30, 2021?:

If the program is allowed to expire in June 2021, then you will be unable to obtain a U.S. green card through the EB-5 RC Program and you would have to wait to see if the EB-5 RC Program is brought back in the future.


2.         I have filed an I-526 but it is awaiting adjudication:

Although the risk may be small, under the IIUSA view your case would be terminated and you would have to make a fresh application in a new project in the future.



3.         I have an I-526 approval but I am awaiting a consular interview:

In this circumstance we believe that the risk to you is lower, although under the strict IIUSA view your case would still be terminated.
 

Writ of Mandamus

 If your Form I-526 petition is still pending, you may want to file a complaint against USCIS in Federal court as soon as possible to ask the court to issue a Writ of Mandamus (WoM) that will order USCIS to make a speedy decision on your case.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss this Writ of Mandamus option further.

While our firm has traditionally counselled clients that there is no guarantee with a WoM and that filing a WoM may in fact have no impact on their I-526 case until the I-526 filing has been pending for two years, the June 2021 reauthorization issue changes our views of the risks involved. Please note, filing a WOM requires an additional fee to be paid. 


Please note, EB-5 applications related to direct investment in a company (meaning NOT done through a Regional Center) are not impacted at all by this June 30 reauthorization date.Copyright © *2020* *Davies & Associates*, All rights reserved.


 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.

End of US Travel Ban Releases Pent-Up Demand from Nigeria

President Biden’s decision to reverse President Trump’s travel ban has released pent up demand for US immigration services from Nigeria.

Nigeria was hit with a US travel ban in February 2020 after President Trump introduced new restrictions as part of his ongoing immigration reforms. The move added Nigeria and five other countries to what was widely referred to as a “Muslim Ban” that dated back to the start of his administration.

In Nigeria, where around half the population are Muslim, the ban specifically targeted those seeking permanent residency in the United States. This hit particularly hard in the family-based immigrant (Green Card) categories, but also effectively put a halt to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program in the country.

EB-5 Visa Nigeria

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program had been growing rapidly in popularity in Nigeria over the past few years, albeit from a low base. In 2016, 38 EB-5 visa were issued to Nigerians, and by 2018 that number had jumped to almost 100.

The travel ban coincided with an increase in the minimum investment amount for EB-5 to $900,000 and then the outbreak of Covid-19. So a temporary dampening of demand in 2020 was likely with or without the travel ban.

But now EB-5 reopens and the pent-up demand is able to unleash. There are just over 700 EB-5 visas available to each country each year. This means Nigeria has a way to go before it hits its annual cap. But if its EB-5 growth trajectory resembles other countries like India, things could move fast.

The EB-5 program provides a fast route to a Green Card for a minimum $900,000 investment that creates ten jobs. Most people invest with an EB-5 Regional Center to help ensure compliance, but it is also possible to make the investment yourself through Direct EB5. A single investment can cover the primary applicant, a spouse, and any children under 21.

L-1 Visa Nigeria

Where we are seeing the most interest right now from Nigeria is the L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa. Technically Nigerians were not prevented from applying for this visa as part of the travel ban, but it made the whole process much harder.

Then in June 2020, President Trump announced a worldwide ban on the L-1 visa among many other visas as part of his plans to contain the economic impact of Covid-19. The L-1 visa is only just reopening as Trump’s ban expires. The pent up demand has built up quite a queue worldwide, so it is a good idea to get started on an application.

The L-1A visa allows an international manager or executive to move from the Nigerian office to the US office of the same company. If you are looking to expand your business to the US, you can use the L-1 visa to move to the US to oversee the set-up and growth of the new office. The L-1B visa permits you to transfer an employee with “Specialized knowledge” to the US.

The L-1A visa is limited to a maximum of seven years and the L-1B for a maximum of 5 years. But you would not get the full amount in one go. Nigerian L-1 visas are issued up to a maximum of 2 years, at which time you would need to apply for a renewal. After the maximum period, you must switch to a different visa or return to Nigeria.

E2 Treaty Investor Visa Plus CBI

The other visa a lot of potential Nigerian clients ask us about is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. The E-2 visa allows a person to move to the US for the purposes of owning and operating a business. People use it to buy restaurant franchises or gas stations, but the business opportunities are much broader than this. You no longer even need physical premises.

The visa is hugely popular, but there is one catch for Nigerians. Nigeria does not hold an E-2 Treaty with the USA. This means that Nigerians seeking an E-2 visa need to first become citizens of a country that does have a treaty. The process is known as E-2 + CBI.

The two E-2 countries with the cheapest and fastest routes to citizenship are Turkey and Grenada. Turkish citizenship can be obtained with an investment in real estate from $250,000 or bank deposits worth more than $500,000. Grenadian citizenship can be obtained with a donation from $150,000 or a real estate investment from $220,000. Citizenship of both countries can be obtained in a matter of months.

The extra step can seem like a hassle, but we have helped clients through this prcoess and it is simpler than it sounds. Plus, for many, the E-2 visa is worth the effort. Spouses of the primary applicant can apply for a separate US work permit, investment requirements are relatively low, and the visa can be renewed forever – provided the business is still in good operation.


The combination of Covid-19 and a travel ban has hit Nigerian immigration to the United States hard. But the travel ban is lifting and the vaccination program is underway. The 2020s look set to be brighter for Nigerians hoping to move to the United States.


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.