Humanitarian Parole for Afghans

Senators Show Support for New EB-5 Investors

Amid all the excitement of the EB-5 Regional Center Program returning, a key question remains unresolved: that of Regional Center “redesignation”. But a group of leading Senators are giving new investors grounds for hope that this will be cleared up soon. 

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) argues that the recent legislation means that all Regional Centers must re-apply for authorization and cannot accept new investors until this has been granted. This could cause delays given the administrative burden on USCIS of having to adjudicate on hundreds of Regional Center applications at once.

However, a group of senior Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have issued a letter to the head of USCIS stating that it was never the intention of the legislation to de-authorize existing Regional Centers. 

How USCIS will respond is yet to be seen. Since this is an evolving story, our firm will keep your updated of any new developments. Once Regional Centers are able to start accepting new investors, we predict an uptick in new EB-5 applications. This may have serious impact on demand in places like India. There are only 700 visas available for each country each year, after which that country enters so-called visa retrogression. To avoid such a waiting list – which can span multiple years – it is advisable to start preparing your application in advance, so that it is ready for submission as soon as this issue is resolved. 

What is EB-5?

EB-5 is an immigrant visa that offers a pathway to US permanent residency (Green Card) through investment. The minimum investment threshold is $800,000 and it must create ten jobs. In addition to the Regional Center route, the Direct EB-5 route remains open to new investors. Click here to learn more about the EB-5 Visa.
 
To discuss how this impacts you, please request a call with Mark Davies or Blake Harrison in our EB-5 Team by replying to this email or contacting Neena Singh in our Delhi office: 
WhatsApp: +91 95992 99322
Email: nsingh@usimmigrationadvisor.com


EB-5 Investor Visa

What is the Latest on EB-5 Investor Visa Reauthorization?

The EB-5 Regional Center program lapsed last summer pending reauthorization by the United States Congress. Potential reauthorization could come as early as this week if it is combined with spending legislation due to be passed before this Friday, 11 March.

If EB-5 Regional Center reauthorization is added to the spending bill, and if the spending bill is passed, the EB-5 program will return, but with likely new rules.

What are the likely new EB-5 rules?

The most significant change in a reformed EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program would be the investment amounts. The minimum investment requirement for EB-5 will increase to $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and to $1,050,000 outside of these designated areas.

The program would also be reauthorized for five years, providing longer-term certainty for both investors and the industry as a whole.

Some visas would be reserved for certain investors, including 20 percent for those investing in a rural areas, 10 percent for those investing in areas of high unemployment, and 2 percent for those investing in infrastructure projects.

There are not yet any guarantees on this. This is the nature of the democratic process and we will keep you updated as soon as we find out more. The Direct EB-5 Visa option currently remains open at the $500,000 minimum investment level. However, the window for applying under the current terms is fast closing – presuming the legislation is enacted.

What is EB-5?

The EB-5 investor Visa offers a pathway to US Permanent Residency (a Green Card) via an investment that creates ten jobs. A qualifying family unit can each receive Green Cards under a single investment, but parents need to carefully plan to avoid their children “ageing out” of the process.

Many thousands of people have moved to the United States under the EB-5 Visa program over the past three decades. EB-5 has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and brought in billions of dollars of foreign investment at no cost to the American taxpayer.

This is an evolving situation, please keep checking our blog for more information. We will be holding as series of webinars on this subject as soon as the future of EB-5 becomes clear.

Click here to read more about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program


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

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


US Reopens for Traveler from November

US Travel Ban to be Lifted on November 8th

President Biden has announced the United States will reopen to all vaccinated travellers who can produce a negative test from November 8, ending a twenty-month ban on most visitors from a range of countries worldwide.

Under the Covid-19 travel ban, most people who had been in the Europe, the UK, China, India, South Africa and Brazil in the past 14 days were prohibited from traveling to the United States. The lifting of the ban means anyone can enter the United States provided they are fully vaccinated and can produce a negative test.

Many of our clients have put their US plans on hold until they can be physically present in the United States. For example, some of our E-2 Visa clients have expressed an interest in visiting the US to search for businesses before commencing their application. Similarly, some EB-5 Visa applicants have wanted to visit the US to view a Regional Center project, but changes to the program (investment thresholds and reauthorization) have played a greater role in decision making than Covid-19.

Despite the imminent lifting of the travel ban, Covid-19 continues to have an impact on US immigration. It has caused a slow down in processing at both the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and at US embassies and consulates worldwide. Some embassies are back to near-normal services, while others remain closed. Either way there is a backlog of applications to process and clients are advised to act soon to position themselves in the line.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which allows people to invest in and actively run a business in the United States has remained open to applicants throughout the pandemic. At a time when President Trump closed most other categories, the E-2 remained open to new applicants. This visa is governed by treaties with sovereign governments and is less exposed to political changes in Washington. The country in which you hold citizenship must hold a relevant treaty for you to be eligible. Click here to find out if your country holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States. If it does not, you first have to obtain citizenship of an E-2 country – see Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program – before you can apply for the E-2 Visa.

E-2 Visa Processing only involves your local embassy and does not involve the USCIS. In normal times, processing times are very quick, which means the whole Grenada + E2 Visa process could take nine months on average. Covid has increased that time, but it is still relatively quick (depending upon the impact of Covid on your local embassy).

L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa

The L-1 Visa is also open to new applicants after it was temporarily suspended by President Trump because of Covid. The lingering influence of Covid-19 has continued to impact processing times. Unlike the E-2 Visa, the L-1 visa is open to people of all nationalities. You can use this visa to move staff from an overseas office to the US office of the same company, and you can also set up a new US office of your foreign business and move yourself to the US to manage its growth. See new-office L-1 Visa.

EB-5 Investor Visa

The EB-5 Investor Visa has also been open to applications throughout much of the Covid-19 pandemic – President Trump deliberately exempted this revenue-raising, job-creating visa from his immigration ban last year. A federal judge reduce the investment threshold back to $500,000 in June causing a spike in demand. While the Direct EB-5 pathway remains open, the Regional Center pathway is currently on hold pending reauthorization in the United States Congress. If the EB-5 program reopens, it is anticipated that demand could be high, so some clients are already working on their source of funds to position themselves at the front of the line when things reopen.

These visa categories represent just some of the immigration solutions our firm can support clients with. While processing times have slowed down during Covid-19 and some visa categories were temporarily suspended, commerce always finds a way. Business owners, investors and entrepreneurs will always be welcome in America. Our firm has filed plenty of successful immigration applications during the past 20 months and we are excited to accelerate that as the world gets back to normal.


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 Visa Investment Level Increase

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.


EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa

Preparing for the Return of the EB-5 Investor Regional Center Program

We are anticipating the potential return of the EB-5 Visa Regional Center program at the end of September. It has been suspended since the end of June when the program lapsed. Congress was unable to agree to a reform and reauthorization bill. So the expectation is that it may be rolled back into the consolidated spending bill due by September 30.

The EB-5 visa program had been deliberately separated from this must-pass spending legislation last year in the hope that Congress would grapple with long-needed reform. For example, the need to bring more integrity to the EB-5 program and stamp out fraud.

If EB-5 visas are rolled back into the appropriations legislation in September, then it is likely to reopen with a minimum investment level of $500,000. This is down from $900,000 – the minimum investment level from November 2019 to June 2021. The price was pulled back down when a federal court rule that the November increase was unlawful.

There is support in Congress for putting the minimum EB-5 investment level back up – perhaps not as high as $900,000 but maybe to something in the $700,000 – $750,000. There is also interest in bringing the upper investment level (those outside of Targeted Employment Areas) down. The differential between TEA investments and non-TEA investments had been 100% (minimum investment outside a TEA is currently $1 million down from $1.8 million). This is one of the reasons Congress struggled to agree a reform proposal before the June 30 deadline.

Davies & Associates is holding a webinar on this very subject today with CMB Regional Centers in person in their Dallas office. Mark Davies, our global chairman, will be joined by Matt Hogan, VP Project Developments at CMB.

Topics will include

1. What is the latest news on the EB-5 Regional Center Program?
2. When will the EB-5 Regional Center Program be reauthorized?
3. Will the EB-5 Regional Center Program return at $500,000?
4. Will the investment threshold be going back up to $900,000?
5. Has this period where the Regional Center program has not been active for been good or bad for the program?
6. Do you think there will be a strong demand again for EB-5 if the Regional Center Program is continued at $500k?

Join us today or hang on for the recording in a subsequent webinar.


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.

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 Investor Visa.

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.


Immigration Court Ruling

EB-5 Investor Visa at $500,000 – Court Ruling

Statement from Mark I. Davies, Global Chairman, Davies & Associates 

A federal judge ruled last night that one of the heads of the Department of Homeland Security under President Trump was not properly appointed, thus invalidating the EB-5 price increase from USD 500,000 to USD 900,000 in November 2019.

Within hours of the court decision, our firm received scores of inquiries from potential EB-5 investors who are hoping to avail themselves of the opportunity to invest in an EB5 qualifying project at USD 500,000.  

While a window now potentially exists until June 30th when the current Regional Center program expires, the next 24 to 48 hours are crucial as a response from USCIS is anticipated.

The anticipated response from USCIS could include filing an appeal or taking other administrative actions to close the new USD 500,000 window. Our clients who prepared EB-5 cases in the last few weeks may now be able to file their EB-5 case at USD 500,000, while others may not be able to given the timeframe and contingencies involved.

This also re-raises the question of responsible partial filing.  If carefully structured using escrow accounts and special fixed deposit accounts – that only allow for maturing funds to be remitted to the Regional Center – partial funding can be executed in a low-risk manner. 

Please contact our firm if you would like more information or wish to progress your EB-5 application.

What is EB-5 Investor Visa?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program allows an investor to obtain US permanent residency (Green Card). The required investment was $900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area and $1.8 million outside of a TEA. The ruling changes this back to the pre November investment requirements of $500,000 and $1 million respectively. A family can receive visas under one investment provided the children are under the age of 21 at the point they receive a conditional Green Card – not at the point of submitting the application or having it approved.

It is possible to make and manage the investment yourself through so-called Direct EB-5. But the vast majority of applicants opt to invest through a Regional Center. A reputable RC with a good project can help to mitigate risks to both your Green Card and the return of your invested capital. Complying with the EB-5 rules can be tough for Direct EB-5 because you are required to create and sustain ten full-time jobs. Regional Centers are permitted a different job creation metric and use the funds for job-hungry projects.

The EB-5 Regional Center program is set to expire at the end of June 2021. Congress must reauthorize the process. There are competing vision for reform, which is causing legislative friction. Compromise is needed if Congress is to reauthorize a program that brings millions of dollars of investment and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. Direct EB-5 remains unaffected.


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.