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.


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.


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.

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.


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

July 2021 Visa Bulletin – Chuyển biến tích cực Vietnam EB-5

By Simon Nguyen

Bộ Ngoại giao đã công bố bản tin thị thực tháng 7 năm 2021 cho thấy có sự chuyển biến tích cực trong quá trình xử lý hồ sơ của Nhà đầu tư , đặc biệt đối với Nhà đầu tư Việt Nam so với Bản tin thị thực tháng 6/2021 và tháng 5/2021 đều ít chuyển biến với Ngày hành động cuối cùng là năm 2018.
Cụ thể, “Ngày hành động cuối cùng” cho hồ sơ EB5-Trực tiếp (Nhà đầu tư tự thực hiện và quản lý khoản đầu tư) dành cho Nhà đầu tư Việt Nam đã tiến tới ngày 01/04/2020.
Có một điểm khác lạ trong bảng tin thị thực tháng 7 so với tháng 6 về trạng tháng của “Ngày hành động cuối cùng” chương trình EB-5 Trung tâm Vùng đã chuyển thành U (unothorized) cho tất cả các quốc gia.
Tuy nhiên, việc này được giải thích vì chương trình EB-5 thông qua Trung tâm Vùng sẽ được gia hạn lại vào ngày 30/06/2021 sắp tới như cách nó đã được gia hạn trong những năm qua kể từ khi được thông qua vào năm 1990.
 
Tham khảo lại các bảng tin thị thực các tháng trước đây, ta dễ dàng nhận thấy, “Ngày hành động cuối cùng” của cả hai chương trình EB-5 (Trực tiếp và Trung tâm Vùng) thông thường đều có cùng một mốc thời gian. Vì vậy, Nhà đầu tư có thể tin tưởng và hy vọng rằng Ngày hành động cuối cùng của EB5 Trung tâm Vùng sẽ cùng ngày 01/04/2020 với EB5 Trực tiếp..
 
Đây là một tín hiệu đáng mừng cho các Nhà đầu tư vẫn còn đang phân vân về tiến độ xử lý và thời gian chờ của EB-5. Nếu việc gia hạn chương trình EB5 – Trung tâm Vùng được thông qua. Liệu đây có phải tín hiệu cho thấy động thái của Hoa Kỳ tái khởi động lại chương trình sau khi được gia hạn lại vào ngày 30/06/2021.
Chủ tịch tập đoàn toàn cầu của chúng tôi – Mr. Mark Davies đã có buổi hội thảo trực tuyến cùng với các chuyên gia di trú đã tranh luận về tương lai của chương trình EB5 (“The Future of EB5 Investor Visa” webminar) về các vấn đề trọng tâm của chương trình EB5 như việc:Uỷ quyền gia hạn lại hoặc có khả năng mất hiệu lực tạm thờiCác đề xuất cải cách trong Đạo luật về tính liêm chính và cải cách EB5 tại Thương viện hoặc việc phải thoả hiệp với một dự luật khác đối trọng với chương trình EB5.Đồng thời, khả năng số tiền đầu tư giảm từ 900.000$ còn 500.000$ có khả thi không? Khi một số vụ kiện đã được tiến hành tại bang California về việc tăng mức đầu tư là bất hợp pháp vì một số bên cho rằng Bộ trưởng Bộ An ninh Nội địa Hoa Kỳ (DHS) đã được tổng thống Trump bổ nhiệm không đúng cách. 
Tất cả thông tin chi tiết đã được tham luận và tranh luận tại buổi hội thảo. Quý nhà đầu tư và quý đối tác có thể xem lại chi tiết ghi hình hội thảo lại đường link sau đây.

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.


H-1B Visa to EB-5 Visa: Permanent Residency in the United States

Why are an increasing number of people are looking to the EB-5 Investor Visa after or instead of the H-1B Visa?

Next week our Managing Partner Mark Davies is leading a webinar on the subject of H-1B to EB-5. It will be worth listening in as industry experts will be explaining the relative merits of the two visa categories and how to transition between them. It will be of interest to anyone already in the United States on H-1B and anyone considering an H-1B application in future.

Sign up for the webinar by clicking here.

The future of H-1B

The H-1B visa has been under increasing scrutiny for some years now. The H-1B visa had its heyday during the dotcom boom of the early 2000s – with many tech workers moving to the United States in pursuit of good jobs and a bright future. But since then, the H-1B visa has faced a mounting image problem caused by instances of fraud and the perception that H-1B adversely affects the American workforce.

Both main political parties have overseen some form of restriction on H-1B. This process culminated in President Trump suspending the H-1B visa from June last year. Ostensibly this was because of Covid-19, but Trump never shied away from his declaring his opposition before the pandemic began.

President Biden has promised to target more highly skilled STEM graduates in the same breath as saying there is a need to protect American workers first. It is unclear how he will choose to balance these two often-competing aims – much will depend on the economic recovery from Covid – but a telltale sign came when Biden pointedly did not overturn Trump’s suspension of the H-1B Visa (preferring to let it lapse naturally at the end of March 2021).

The Future of EB-5

The future looks bright for the EB-5 Program if it gets through the June 2021 Regional Center reauthorization process as expected. The program brings in millions of dollars and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs at no cost to the taxpayer. So it comes as no surprise that the EB-5 program garners bipartisan support.

Direct EB-5 – where the investor makes and manages the investment themselves – is not up for reauthorization and will continue regardless of what happens in Congress next month. The majority of investors, usually upwards of 90%, opt to invest under the Regional Center program because of challenges with compliance. Each EB-5 investment needs to create and sustain ten American jobs, which can be tricky for a new business. Unlike direct EB-5 investors, Regional Centers are able to count “indirect jobs” and tend to use the funds for job-hungry projects like hotel builds.

Nevertheless, it is vital to do due diligence on the Regional Center and its project to identify any risks to your Green Card or the return of your capital. With background in both real estate and immigration law, our managing partner Mark Davies is able to assist clients with due diligence on their chosen project.

H-1B Visa India

While H-1B recipients come from all over the world, there is no denying that Indians are the overwhelming beneficiaries. Around three quarters of all H-1B visa holders are from India. It is for this reason that our upcoming webinar is being hosted by TiE Bangalore. TiE Global fosters entrepreneurship around the world and the Bangalore chapter is particularly active in this regard. Nevertheless, the information in the webinar will be relevant to people from all over the world.

H-1B Visa and EB-5 Visa Calendars

The H-1B visa lottery opens to applicants in April each year and places fill up very fast. Anyone who is unsuccessful needs to wait another year before applying. The EB-5 Investor Visa has no such calendar and applications are open throughout the year. There are just over 700 EB-5 visas available to each country each year. Very few countries come close to this limit, but a tiny minority of countries exceed it. When this happens, a calendar does come into play for EB-5. The visa year resets in October at which point the next tranche of circa 700 visas become available – but other factors also influence timings, e.g. processing efficiency at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Currently only citizens of China and Vietnam face EB-5 delays, but demand has skyrocketed in India in recent years and the number of visa issuances often gets close to or just passes the annual cap.

H-1B, EB-5 and Time Limits

The H-1B visa is valid for up to six years at which point a person has to find an alternative visa solution or return home. The natural next step is often the EB-3 Visa: Permanent Residency for Highly Skilled Migrants, but for citizens of India and China there are delays to the EB-3 route because demand has been so high for so long.

In fact for Indians EB-3 delays are extremely long – the authorities are currently just getting around to applications submitted by Indians in 2011! This is one of the reasons why the EB-5 Investor Visa is emerging as an attractive alternative for many H-1B visa holders. EB-5 currently has no wait list for Indians, although the release of pent up demand after Covid could change this. So interested EB-5 applicants from India should apply as soon as possible. EB-5 offers permanent residency (Green Card) for a $900,000 investment per qualifying family unit. This means that unlike H-1B you can stay in America forever provided you do not do anything to jeopardize your status. Green Card holders can convert to citizenship provided physical presence conditions are met.

H-1B, EB-5 and Work

With the H-1B visa, applicants are tied to their employer and it is difficult (but not impossible) to change jobs. This puts the employee at a relative disadvantage when it comes to salary and other negotiations with an employer. It also means that the H-1B holder would have to return home if they lose their job and cannot find another. The EB-5 Visa offers a Green Card and with it the complete freedom to work anywhere in the United States (or not to work). It is possible to be retired, a student or unemployed. There is no connection between your employment status and your immigration status under the EB-5 Visa Program.

H-1B to EB-5 the Process

Our attorneys can guide you through the application process. If you are switching from H-1B to EB-5 you need to go through an adjustment of status and file Form I-485. There are some benefits to this over other EB-5 applicants as you may be granted employment rights in the US while you are waiting for the USCIS to process your application provided you apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Anyone outside the US considering EB-5 Visa as an alternative to the H-1B visa needs to enlist an attorney to prepare and submit an I-526 form. Either way, every EB-5 visa applicant must be able to document the source of the funds used to pay for your investment and prove that they came from legitimate sources. Contact our team to arrange a free consultation.

Read more about the EB-5 Investor Visa Program

Sign up for the webinar by clicking here.

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.