EB-5 Investor Visa

EB5 Trực tiếp: Con đường mới và nhanh hơn đến Thẻ xanh

Vào ngày 30 tháng 6 năm 2021, Chương trình Trung tâm Vùng EB5 đã hết hạn và USCIS ngừng chấp nhận Đơn I526 mới để xử lý. Đồng thời USCIS tiếp tục chấp nhận đơn EB5 cho các đơn EB5 Trực tiếp với mức đầu tư chỉ 500.000 USD.

Trong khi USCIS đã ngừng xử lý các Hồ sơ của Trung tâm Vùng EB5 và các Đơn nộp I485 liên quan, việc xử lý các Đơn kiện EB5 Trực tiếp và các Đơn nộp liên quan vẫn tiếp tục còn hiệu lực. Với việc các hồ sơ của Trung tâm Vùng EB5 đã dừng lại, một giả thuyết hợp lý rằng thời gian xử lý các trường hợp Trực tiếp EB5 sẽ cải thiện đáng kể.

Chương trình Trung tâm Vùng EB5 là một “chương trình thử nghiệm” được gia hạn liên tục. Chương trình EB5 Direct được ủy quyền vĩnh viễn, không hết hạn và hiện đang mở cửa cho các khoản đầu tư với giá 500.000 USD.

Nền tảng

Có rất nhiều thông tin sai lệch liên quan đến chương trình EB5 Trực tiếp. Bảng so sánh tóm tắt sau đây nhằm cung cấp thông tin rất cơ bản phần nào giải quyết được thắc mắc của nhà đầu tư đối với EB5 diện Trực tiếp và EB5 Trung Tâm Vùng

 EB5 Trung tâm Vùng (Đã hết hạn ngày 30/6/2021)EB5 TRỰC TIẾP
Yêu cầu đầu tư500.000 USD in TEA 900.000 USD outside TEA500.000 USD in TEA 900.000 USD outside TEA
Bạn có yêu cầu đầu tư vào chính doanh nghiệp của mình không?KhôngKhông, nhưng tự đầu tư doanh nghiệp rất phổ biến
Vốn đầu tư có cần là tiền mặt không?Mặc dù luật pháp không yêu cầu, các Trung tâm khu vực yêu cầu tiền mặt để tài trợ cho các dự án của họ.Không yêu cầu tiền mặt **. Công ty của chúng tôi đã giúp NĐT nhận được Thẻ xanh qua EB-5 Trực tiếp bằng cách tận dụng thiết bị, hàng tồn kho và các tài sản khác.
Thời hạn uỷ quyềnTạm hết hiệu lực vào ngày 30/06/2021Hiệu lực vĩnh viễn
Tạo việc làmCó thể sử dụng các công việc thích hợp, quy định theo một công thức kinh tế để làm bằng chứng cho mười (10) việc làm đã được tạo ra.Bằng chứng dựa trên sự ưu tiên việc làm, 10 công việc thực tế sẽ được tạo ra trong vòng 2,5 năm.
Có thể sự dụng các công việc hiện có không?Không, với một ngoại lệ riêng để tiết kiệm công việc trong một doanh nghiệp gặp khó khăn về tài chính **.Không khác nhau**.
Tham gia quản lý doanh nghiệp hằng ngàyKhông yêu cầu***Không bắt buộc nhưng điều này phổ biến hơn nhiều so với các trường hợp Trung tâm khu vực. ***

Tôi có cơ sở sản xuất đồ gỗ tại Việt Nam. Tôi có thể đầu tư cho Khoản đầu tư EB5 tại Hoa Kỳ của mình với hàng tồn kho là đồ gỗ Nội thất không?

Bạn có thể thành lập doanh nghiệp ở Mỹ để bán đồ nội thất bạn sản xuất ở Việt Nam bằng visa L. Hoặc, miễn là bạn đã đầu tư đủ yêu cầu đầu tư bằng hàng tồn kho là đồ nội thất và các nguồn vốn khác ở Hoa Kỳ, cũng như tạo đủ số việc làm tại Hoa Kỳ, bạn có đủ điều kiện để nộp đơn cho EB5.

Tôi có cơ sở sản xuất áo thun ở Ấn Độ. Tôi có thể đầu tư cho Khoản đầu tư EB5 tại Hoa Kỳ của mình với hàng tồn kho là Áo phông không?

Bạn có thể thành lập doanh nghiệp ở Hoa Kỳ để bán Áo phông bạn sản xuất ở Ấn Độ bằng thị thực L-1 hoặc thị thực khác. Miễn là bạn đã đầu tư đủ Áo phông và các nguồn vốn khác ở Hoa Kỳ và tạo đủ việc làm tại Hoa Kỳ, bạn có đủ điều kiện để nộp hồ sơ EB5.

Tôi có thể đến Hoa Kỳ trong thời gian chờ xử lý hồ sơ EB5 của mình không?

Nhiều khách hàng của công ty chúng tôi đã thành lập các doanh nghiệp vừa và nhỏ ở Hoa Kỳ bằng thị thực E2, thị thực L1 và các thị thực khác. Sau khi thành lập các doanh nghiệp này và phát triển doanh nghiệp đến mức có thể thoả mãn điều kiện đầu tư đối với chương trình thị thực khác, khách hàng của chúng tôi đã thành công trong việc “điều chỉnh” trạng thái của họ ở Hoa Kỳ thành trạng thái “Thường trú nhân” và “Thẻ xanh” thông qua chương trình EB1C, EB5 Trực tiếp và các danh thị thực mục Dựa trên Việc làm khác .

Một lợi thế chính của EB5 Trực tiếp và EB1C là cả hai đều cho phép khách hàng xây dựng doanh nghiệp tại Hoa Kỳ của họ theo thời gian và đủ điều kiện để được cấp Thẻ xanh.

Ví dụ, một khách hàng có được thị thực E2 để mở một cửa hàng cà phê nhỏ ở Miami đã có thể phát triển doanh nghiệp đó lên ba cửa hàng cà phê, do đó tạo ra hơn hai mươi việc làm. Khách hàng này có thể chuyển đổi thị thực E2 của mình thành Thẻ xanh bằng cách sử dụng chương trình EB5 Trực tiếp.

Trong một ví dụ khác, một khách hàng người Ấn Độ đã thành lập một doanh nghiệp tiếp thị thời trang nhỏ có hai nhân viên ở New York bằng thị thực L-1 và sau đó có thể “điều chỉnh” sang trạng thái Thẻ xanh sau khi phát triển công việc kinh doanh của mình tại Hoa Kỳ trong 2-3 năm.

Mặc dù hoàn toàn có thể đến Hoa Kỳ bằng thị thực không nhập cư và chờ đợi sự chấp thuận của Thẻ xanh theo diện EB5, điều này liên quan đến việc đánh giá các cân nhắc về “ý định nhập cư” và các vấn đề phức tạp khác của luật nhập cư. Những cân nhắc như vậy yêu cầu lập kế hoạch cẩn thận và sự hỗ trợ của luật sư EB5 có kinh nghiệm.

Tôi có thể tính Công việc đã được tạo cho chính gia đình của tôi trong hồ sơ EB5 Trực tiếp không?

Một câu hỏi phổ biến mà câu trả lời là KHÔNG – bạn không thể tính việc làm được tạo ra cho các thành viên gia đình như một phần của việc đáp ứng các yêu cầu tạo việc trong chương trình EB5. Đối với EB-5 Trực tiếp, bạn phải tạo ra tối thiểu 10 việc làm trong vòng 2,5 năm.

Loại hình kinh doanh nào đủ điều kiện cho EB5 trực tiếp?

Đây là một câu hỏi rất phổ biến. Tất cả các loại hình doanh nghiệp trong bất kỳ ngành nào đều đủ điều kiện cho EB5 miễn là tạo ra các công việc cần thiết và đầu tư áp dụng đã được thực hiện. Khách hàng của chúng tôi đã thành lập doanh nghiệp bao gồm nhưng không giới hạn các ngành sau đây và sau đó được “điều chỉnh” sang trạng thái Thẻ xanh thông qua EB5 hoặc các danh mục thị thực dựa trên việc làm khác:

Thời trang Chế tạo Dâu khi Nha khoaCác thiết bị y tế Đồ nội thất Chăm sóc sức khoẻ công nghệ thông tin Tóc và Làm đẹp

* Số tiền đầu tư cho cả hai chương trình EB5 đã được tăng lên 900.000 USD đến 1.800.000 USD tùy thuộc vào vị trí của dự án nhưng số tiền này đã bị giảm xuống do vụ kiện của tòa án vào tháng 6 năm 2021. Xem Trung tâm Vùng Behring kiện Wolf, Trường hợp số . 3: 20-cv-09263 (ND Cal)

** 8 C.F.R. § 204,6 (e). Vốn có nghĩa là tiền mặt, thiết bị, hàng tồn kho, tài sản hữu hình khác, các khoản tương đương tiền và nợ được bảo đảm bằng tài sản thuộc sở hữu của nhà đầu tư nước ngoài, với điều kiện nhà đầu tư nước ngoài phải chịu trách nhiệm cá nhân chủ yếu, và tài sản của doanh nghiệp thương mại mới của hồ sơ là cơ sở không được sử dụng để đảm bảo bất kỳ khoản nợ nào. Tất cả vốn sẽ được định giá theo giá trị thị trường hợp lý bằng USD. Các tài sản có được, trực tiếp hoặc gián tiếp, bằng các phương tiện bất hợp pháp (chẳng hạn như các hoạt động tội phạm) sẽ không được coi là vốn cho các mục đích của mục 203 (b) (5) của Đạo luật.

*** 8 C.F.R. § 204,6 (g) (4) (ii). Theo kinh nghiệm của chúng tôi Các nhà đầu tư EB5 trực tiếp có thể rất nhanh chóng tìm kiếm cơ hội đầu tư vào một “doanh nghiệp đang gặp khó khăn” để không phải tạo thêm mười việc làm mới. Điều này thường có thể dẫn đến tổn thất thương mại, không thể duy trì việc làm và từ chối quyền lợi nhập cư EB5 đang tìm kiếm. Chúng tôi khuyên bạn nên tiến hành xem xét kinh doanh và tài chính thích hợp với một cố vấn tài chính hoặc kinh doanh được cấp phép trước khi mua lại hoặc thành lập bất kỳ doanh nghiệp nào.

**** 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 (j) (5) cung cấp các quy tắc cho “sự tham gia của đương đơn” như sau:

Để chứng tỏ rằng đương đơn đang hoặc sẽ tham gia vào doanh nghiệp thương mại mới, thông qua việc thực hiện kiểm soát quản lý hàng ngày hoặc thông qua việc xây dựng chính sách, hồ sơ EB5 trực tiếp phải kèm theo:

(i) Tuyên bố về chức danh mà đương đơn đã hoặc sẽ nắm giữ trong doanh nghiệp mới và mô tả đầy đủ về nhiệm vụ của vị trí đó;

(ii) Bằng chứng cho thấy đương đơn là nhân viên công ty hoặc thành viên ban giám đốc công ty; hoặc là

(iii) Bằng chứng cho thấy đương đơn đang tham gia vào các hoạt động hoạch định chính sách. Theo mục đích của phần này, đương đơn sẽ được coi là tham gia đầy đủ vào các hoạt động hoạch định chính sách nếu đương đơn là chủ sở hữu vốn trong doanh nghiệp thương mại mới và các tài liệu tổ chức của doanh nghiệp thương mại mới cung cấp cho đương đơn một số quyền, quyền hạn và nghĩa vụ thông thường cấp cho các chủ sở hữu vốn cổ phần của loại hình doanh nghiệp thương mại mới trong khu vực pháp lý mà doanh nghiệp thương mại mới được tổ chức.

Click Here to Read More About EB-5 Visas


Investor Visa Application

EB5 Visa Remains at $500,000 as US Government Appeals

The minimum investment level for the EB-5 visa remains at $500,000 for now, but the appeal is a clear signal the Biden administration is intent on increasing the price.

The US government filed a last-minute appeal against a federal court ruling that reversed Trump-era changes to the EB-5 Visa investment thresholds. A federal judge in California ruled in June that a decision to increase the minimum investment level from $500,000 to $900,000 in November 2019 was unlawful because the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had been improperly appointed. The Biden administration is now seeking to appeal her ruling and reinstate the changes.

The ruling saw the EB-5 investment level fall back to $500,000 in June for a short window before the Regional Center program expired at the end of that month. This resulted in a flurry of applications as people piled in to obtain Green Cards by investment for themselves and their families. While the EB-5 Regional Center route is on hold, Direct EB-5 remains open and accepting applicants the $500,000 investment amount.

Increasing the Minimum Investment for EB-5 Visa

The timeline on the appeals process is not clear. It could be done quickly, but is more likely to take many months. The appeal does underscore the Biden administration’s commitment to a higher EB-5 investment level than the current minimum threshold of $500,000. If the appeal process is successful, that would mean a return to $900,000 minimum investment level inside a Targeted Employment Area ($1.8 million outside these areas). The alternative is to go through the US Congress to change the rules for the EB-5 program and agree new investment thresholds.

There was a bipartisan attempt to reform and reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center program before it expired. However, this failed when a single senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, opposed passing the bill following an eleventh hour attempt to pass it by Unanimous Consent. Senator Graham is not opposed to EB-5, but wanted more discussion on what a reformed investor-visa program should look like.

Congress and the EB-5 Program

Congress will need to revisit EB-5 after its summer recess. There could still be another attempt at bespoke reform for EB-5, but the packed legislative agenda may mean that it is folded back into spending legislation due at the end of September. Any reform package would seek to bring greater integrity to the program, may review the differential between TEA investment and non-TEA investment, and, critically for of investors, it may also amend the investment thresholds.

The increase to a $900,000 minimum investment has resulted in a drop in applications since it has pushed EB-5 outside of the reaches of the global middle class who have been the backbone of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program since its inception in the 1990s. The US program is more affordable than many comparable citizenship or residency by investment programs worldwide – for example, the UK Tier One Investor Visa starts from £2 million (and is a visa that Davies & Associates can also assist you with).

The onset of the Covid pandemic soon after the price increase has also served to dampen demand, so it is tricky to draw conclusive trends based upon the 2020 EB-5 filing data.

A more modest increase in the minimum investment threshold to $700,000 or $750,000 could be a real possibility according to industry insiders. This would raise more revenue while keeping the EB-5 program within reach of more people. Such a change would require legislative approval.

Watch a recording of our most recent webinar where we delve deeply into this image and examine the potential reform and reauthorization of the Regional Center program.

Watch our recent webinar on the future of the EB-5 Regional Center Program

Next steps for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program

The good news is that EB-5 enjoys the backing of politicians from both main political parties. EB-5 brings in billions of dollars of investment and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs at no cost to the taxpayer. The EB-5 program played a vital role in bringing foreign direct investment to the United States amid the financial crisis in 2008 and EB-5 can serve in a similar manner as America emerges from Covid-19.

We cannot take any stance of the likelihood of success on the appeal, but it is a clear sign that the Biden administration intends to increase the investment minimum. But just filing the appeal does not have any immediate impact.  The investment amount remains at $500,000 until and unless they get a favorable appellate decision (or until they go through the rule change process properly). So, Direct EB-5 remains open to new applicants at the $500,000 limit, as would the Regional Center program – if and when it is reinstated. We will keep everyone updated as events unfold.


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


EB-5 Investor Visa

Direct EB-5 Visa at USD 500,000 – OPEN TO NEW INVESTORS

Did you know that the Direct EB-5 Program remains open to new investors at the $500,000 minimum investment amount? 

But hurry. The time to file at this lower rate is likely to be limited. 


The EB-5 Regional Center program has lapsed because Congress was unable to agree a unanimous vote to reauthorize before the July 4th recess. We expect Congress will reauthorize the program, although the exact timing of this is uncertain.

Unlike the Regional Center program, Direct EB-5 is permanently authorized and remains open to new investors. Because of a recent court ruling, the minimum investment level has dropped back to $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area.

When Congress votes to reauthorize the Regional Center program it is likely that it will reinstate a higher investment level, so the window to file Direct EB-5 at $500,000 is limited. Webinar: Direct EB-5 FAQs Answered

Webinar on Direct EB-5 Visa for Green Cards

Davies & Associates Chairman Mark Davies will be answering all your questions about Direct EB-5 on a webinar this week.


Thursday, July 15 at 9:00 AM EST | 6:30 PM IST 

Click here to sign up

Mark will be joined by Samuel B. Silverman and Michael Schoenfeld, the Managing Partners of EB5 Affiliate Network who will discuss pre-packaged “off-the-shelf” Direct EB-5 options.* 

*D&A is an independent law firm, please note that participation in a joint webinar is not an endorsement of any commercial product.

TN Visa to E-2 Visa for Green Card

TN Visa to E-2 Visa to Green Card: Our Surgeon Client’s Journey

Davies & Associates just secured approval of an EB-NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition for a doctor of plastic and reconstructive surgery from Canada. We initially helped him move to the US on a TN Visa, then switch to an E-2 Visa, and now he finally has a Green Card approval through the NIW route.

Immigration is an ongoing process, and obtaining a visa is often just the start of that process. Our client’s require continuing support from our firm with extensions, renewals, adjusting status, transitioning to a Green Card, setting up a business, filing taxes, and more. At Davies & Associates we forge partnerships with our clients for the long term.

Client Journey

The visa history of the client shows how we as a firm worked closely with the client to achieve his US immigration goals.

  1. First, we secured TN for the client as a Management Consultant. When he first came to us, he needed to obtain a Social Security Number to be able to obtain his license to practice as a doctor in the US.
  1. Thereafter, we worked on the client’s E-2 Treaty Investor visa application by setting up his own clinic here in the US. As part of his E-2 investment, he contributed his equipment from Canada.
  1. While here in the US on E-2 visa, we filed the EB-NIW petition for him which was just approved. We will now work with the client in filing his application to adjust status.

The client specializes in hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, breast surgery, microsurgery, pediatric plastic surgery, burn surgery, cosmetic surgery, nerve surgery, and skin cancer.  His research is applicable to a broad range of plastic and reconstructive surgery conditions and can have a profound impact on understanding complex reconstructive surgeries, and the development of effective and affordable technological improvements such as improved drug delivery systems. 

What is the TN Visa?

The TN Visa is a non-immigrant visa for professionals from NAFTA countries (Canada & Mexico) to work in the United States for up to three years. The rules are different for Canadians and Mexicans and are more advantageous to Canadians. Applicants must already have a job offer from a US based company and must meet the professional requirements for that position. It is important to work with an immigration attorney to ensure success.

What is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows individuals from treaty countries to move to the US for the purposes of investing in and running a business. While there is no minimum required investment amount, it must make sense for the business and is usually $100,000 or more. This does not all need to be in cash, for example, this Canadian doctor brought equipment to the US as part of his investment. Canada has an E-2 Treaty with the United States, but other countries such as China, Russia, India and Vietnam do not. If your country does not hold an E-2 Treaty with the US, you must first obtain citizenship of a country that does. Grenada and Turkey are E-2 countries that offer fast and cost-effective routes to citizenship by investment. While the E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant temporary visa, it is possible to keep renewing it as long as the business continues to operate, which theoretically means you can reside in America forever. However, to be able to live in the United States without the E-2 business, one would have to obtain a Green Card.

Green Cards and National Interest Waivers

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa and the TN Visa are not “dual intent” visas. What this means is that you have to demonstrate an intent to ultimately depart the United States. That does not preclude you from subsequently obtaining permanent residency (a Green Card), but the intent to depart must be there. The conventional route from the E-2 Visa to a Green Card is through Direct EB-5 or through the EB-1c Visa for multinational managers and executives. In this instance, however, we worked with the Canadian surgeon to prove that it was in the US national interest to grant him a Green Card. The National Interest Waiver NIW is a subcategory of the EB-2 Visa. Once of the key benefits is that you can self-petition for this visa – this means you do not need an employer to sponsor you.

To find out more about TN Visa, E-2 Treaty Investor Visas, and transitioning to a Green Card through the NIW route, Direct EB-5 or EB-1c, please contact us.


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


EB-5 petitions visa

Direct EB5: Fresh and Faster Routes to the US

By Mark I. Davies, Global Chairman, Davis & Associates

On June 30th, 2021 the EB5 Regional Center Program expired and USCIS stopped accepting new I526 Petitions for processing.  At the same time USCIS continued to accept EB5 petitions for Direct EB5 applications at the USD 500,000 level.

While USCIS have stopped processing EB5 Regional Center Petitions and related I485 Petitions the processing of Direct EB5 and related Petitions continues.  With work having stopped on EB5 Regional Center files it seems a reasonable assumption that the processing time for EB5 Direct cases will dramatically improve.

The EB5 Regional Center program was a “pilot program” subject to constant renewals the EB5 Direct program is permanently authorized, does not expire and is currently open for investments at USD 500,000.00.

The Basics

There is a lot of misinformation concerning the Direct EB5 program.  The chart which follows is intended to provide a very basic summary in an effort to dispel those myths.

 EB5 Regional Center Program
(which Expired on June 30th)
EB5 Direct Program
Investment RequiredUSD 500,000 in TEA
USD 1,000,000 outside TEA
USD 500,000 in TEA
USD 1,000,000 outside TEA
Are you required to invest in your own business?No.No but this is common.
Does my investment have to be cash?While not required by law Regional Centers require cash to fund their projects.Cash is not required**.  Our firm has obtained EB-5 Direct Green Card by leveraging equipment, inventory and other assets.
Period of AuthorizationLapsed on June 30th, 2021.Permanently authorized.
Job CreationCan use implied and induced jobs under an economic formula to evidence ten jobs have been created.Proof based on the preponderance of the evidence that 10 actual jobs will be created within 2.5 years.
Can existing jobs be used?No, with a narrow exception for saving jobs in a financially troubled business**.No difference**.
Involvement in Day-to-Day ManagementNot required***. Not Required but this is much more common than with Regional Center cases. ***
  



I Have a Furniture Factory in Vietnam.  Can I fund My US EB5 Investment with Stocks of Furniture?

Yes!

You can establish a business in the US to sell the furniture you make in Vietnam using an L visa.  As long as you have invested sufficient stocks of furniture and other capital in the US and created sufficient US jobs you are eligible to file for EB5.

I Have a T-Shirt Factory in India.  Can I fund My US EB5 Investment with Stocks of T-Shirts?

Yes!

You can establish a business in the US to sell the T-Shirts you make in India using an L-1 visa or other visa.  As long as you have invested sufficient stocks of T-Shirts and other capital in the US and created sufficient US jobs you are eligible to file for EB5.


Can I come to the US While I am waiting for my EB5 to Process?

Many of our firm’s client have established small businesses in the United States using E2 visa, L1 visa and other visas.  After establishing these businesses and making them grow to the applicable level our clients have been uniformly successful in “adjusting” their status in the United States to “Permanent Resident” and “Green Card” status using EB1c, Direct EB5 and other Employment-Based categories.

A key advantage of Direct EB5 and EB1c is that they both allow a client to build their US businesses over time and qualify for a Green Card.

For example a client who obtained an E2 visa to start a small coffee shop in Miami was able to grow that business to three coffee shops thereby creating over twenty jobs.  This client was able to adjust her E2 visa to a Green Card using the Direct EB5 program.

In another example an Indian client established a small two employee fashion marketing business in New York using an L-1 visa and was later able to “adjust” to Green Card status after growing his US business for 2-3 years.

While it is absolutely possible to come to the US on a non-immigrant visa and await the approval of an EB5-based Green Card this involves assessing considerations of “immigrant intent” and other complex issues of immigration law.  Such considerations require careful planning and the assistance of an experienced EB5 lawyer.


Can I Count Jobs Created for my Family for Direct EB5 Purposes?

A common question to which the answer is NO – you cannot count jobs created for family members as part of meeting job creation requirements for EB5 . For Direct EB-5 you must create a minimum of 10 jobs within 2.5 years.


What Type of Business is Eligible for Direct EB5?

This is a very common question.  All types of businesses in any industry qualify for EB5 so long as the requisite jobs are created and the applicable investment has been made.  Our clients have established businesses including but not limited to the following industries and later “adjusted” to Green Card status through EB5 or other employment-based categories:

  • Fashion
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil & Gas
  • Dental
  • Medical Devices
  • Furniture
  • Heath Care
  • Information Technology
  • Hair and Beauty

* The amount of investment for both EB5 programs had been increased to USD 900,000 to USD 1,800,000 depending on the location of the project but this amount was reduced as a result of court action in June 2021.  See Behring Regional Center v. Wolf, Case No. 3:20-cv-09263 (N.D. Cal)


** 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 (e).  Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents, and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien investor, provided that the  alien investor is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the  newcommercial enterprise upon which the  petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness. All  capital shall be valued at fair market value in  United States dollars. Assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities) shall not be considered  capital for the purposes of section 203(b)(5) of the  Act.

*** 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 (g)(4)(ii).  In our experience Direct EB5 investors can be very quick to look for opportunities to invest in a “troubled business” in order not to have to create ten new jobs.  This can often lead to commercial losses, a failure to maintain the jobs and the denial of the EB5 immigration benefit sought.  We suggest conducting a proper business and financial review with a licensed financial or business advisor before acquiring or forming any business. 

**** 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 (j)(5) provides rules for “petitioner engagement” which are as follows:

To show that the petitioner is or will be engaged in the  new commercial enterprise, either through the exercise of  day-to-day managerial control or through policy formulation, the  petition must be accompanied by:

(i) A statement of the position title that the petitioner has or will have in the  new enterprise and a complete description of the position’s duties;

(ii) Evidence that the petitioner is a corporate officer or a member of the corporate  board of directors; or

(iii) Evidence that the petitioner is engaged in policy making activities. For purposes of this section, a  petitioner will be considered sufficiently engaged in policy making activities if the  petitioner is an equity holder in the  new commercial enterprise and the organizational documents of the  new commercial enterprise provide the  petitioner with certain rights, powers, and duties normally granted to equity holders of the  new commercial enterprise‘s type of entity in the jurisdiction in which the  new commercial enterprise is organized.


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


EB-5 Investor Visa

How does Sunset of EB-5 Regional Center Program Affect New & Existing Investors?

The EB-5 Regional Center Program expired at midnight last night. We expect this to be a temporary lapse as Congress negotiates how to reform the program.

What does this mean for EB-5 investors in the Regional Center Program?

It depends where you are in the process…

1. Anyone applying for EB-5 through Regional Center Program from today:

Your application will be rejected

2. Anyone who has filed form I-526 prior to the deadline but not yet received an adjudication:

Your application will not be rejected, but USCIS will not work on your case until further notice

3. Anyone who has filed an I-526 prior to the deadline and has received written correspondence (such as a Request for Evidence):

You must respond to written correspondence (if required) by the given deadline, but USCIS will not review your response until further notice.

4. Anyone filing form I-485:

USCIS initially said you could file new I-485s but it would not be processing any new or existing I-485s. It later revised its position to say it would REJECT all I-485s until further notice.

5. Anyone on a Conditional Green Card filing form I-829:

USCIS will continue to accept and process all I-829s 

Direct EB-5

The above only relates to the EB-5 Regional Center program. Anyone on Direct EB-5 is unaffected. Direct EB-5 is permanently authorized. USCIS continues to accept and process new and pending Direct EB-5 petitions.

The minimum investment level for Direct EB-5 remains at the reduced level of $500,000. We anticipate a small window before a higher investment level is reinstated.   

Stay tuned for more from Davies & Associates about Direct EB-5 in the coming days.


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.


EB5 Investor Visa

The Future of EB-5 Investor Visa: Webinar Recording

Last Friday we hosted a webinar on the EB-5 Immigration Investor Visa at a crucial time in the program’s history. The Webinar, titled “The Future of EB-5” featured key experts from the industry weighing in on the outlook for the program.

The EB-5 Investor Visa Regional Center Program is facing reauthorization before the end of June – this just refers to investments through the Regional Center program, Direct EB-5 (where the applicant makes and manages the investment themselves) is unaffected.

Watch our panelists debate the probability of reauthorization and the possibility of a temporary lapse if Congress cannot pass legislation in time. They detail the reform proposals in the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act in the Senate, as well the potential need to compromise with a rival bill.

Also discussed is the possibility of the investment amount lowering from USD 900,000 to USD 500,000 because of a lawsuit currently working its way through the California courts. The premise is that the 2019 price increase was illegal because Trump’s Department for Homeland Security DHS chief was improperly appointed.


The expert panel also answer a range of questions from more than 100 people who participated.

Webinar: Future of EB5

Webinar FEATURING

Kurt Reuss- Founder, EB5 Marketplace

Matt Hogan – Vice President of Project Development, CMB Regional Centers

Asif Chhipa- Managing Director – India, Pakistan, Middle East, First Pathway Partners

AND

Mark I. Davies- Global Chairman, Davies & Associates


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


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

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 L-1 Visa 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.