Investor Visa Application

Changes to EB-5 Investor Visa Processing

The impact of the changes are being felt at different stages of the process, with greater leniency surrounding the I-829 process.

USCIS is extending the time that a receipt notice can be used to show evidence of lawful permanent resident status from 18 months to 24 months to take account of increased processing times for Form I-829.

What does this mean in practice?

When you file your Form I-829, USCIS will send you a Receipt Notice in the mail. That Receipt Notice, when presented along with your expired Green Card, provides proof of your lawful permanent resident status (for purposes such as border re-entry after international travel, employment authorization, bank verification requirements, and driver’s license applications).

Up to now, you were allowed to use the Form I-829 Receipt Notice as evidence of continued status for up to 18 months past the expiration date stated on your Green Card. That has been increased to 24 months past the expiration date stated on your Green Card.  USCIS has stated that they will be re-issuing Receipt Notices for those with pending Form I-829 applications to reflect this new 24 month extension.  We cannot predict how long it will take USCIS to re-issue those Receipt Notices.  If you have a pending Form I-829, please ensure that USCIS has your current mailing address on file.

What is Form I-829? 

Form I-829 is the petition by a EB-5 investor to have the conditions on their Green Card removed. Successful EB-5 applicants are initially granted a two-year Conditional Green Card / Conditional Permanent Residency.  Before the expiration date on your Conditional Green Card, you must apply to have those conditions removed by showing that your investment complied with the requirements of the EB-5 program (such as creating the required amount of new jobs). Please see the EB-5 timeline below or contact us for more information. 
 
Regional Center EB-5 Visa Processing
The National Visa Center (NVC) has announced that it will no longer act upon any new or pending Regional Center EB-5 visa petitions until further notice. The EB-5 Regional Center Program lapsed at the end of June 2021 and the NVC will not work on Regional Center applications until the program is reinstated.  The NVC is the organization that receives an approved EB-5 file from USCIS, does document verification (DS-260 completion, birth certificates, police clearances, etc), and then issued interview assignments at the Consulates.

When will the EB-5 Regional Center Program be reinstated? 

We cannot say for certain if and when Congress will reinstate the EB-5 Regional Center Program, but it might be included in the must-pass spending legislation due by the end of this month (September).

What about Direct EB-5?

In the meantime, the Direct EB-5 visa option remains open and the NVC will continue to act upon any Direct EB-5 petitions. Direct EB-5 is currently open with a minimum investment threshold of $500,000.

Please contact us to discuss any aspect of the EB-5 process. 

Example EB-5 Visa Timeline (actual timeline will vary)

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.


Roll Over of Employment-Based Green Card Quotas

A large chunk of last year’s quota is going to waste, but there is likely to be a rollover from this year’s unused quota

By Tishita Agarwal

A recent report suggested that close to 100,000 employment based visas, or green cards, are liable to go to waste if they are not issued by the end of the month. A green card, or US Permanent Residency, is issued to show the bearer can reside permanently in the United States.

The quota for this year’s employment-based visas is set at 261,500 – much higher than the usual cut-off of 140,000 because of overspill from last year’s allocation that was not used because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, if they are not issued by the end of the month, they will all go to waste because the annual visa allocations reset on October 1 of each year. That said, the overspill from this year will likely result in another bumper year for employment-based Green Cards next year (October 2021 to September 2022).

Many are blaming this situation on the Biden administration, citing slow assignments and unchanging protocols and reaction times as the reason why the US government has been so slow to approve green cards and why the new quota will not be filled. In fact, about 125 Indian and Chinese professionals living in the US have also issued a lawsuit against the Biden administration on this issue. It is reported that almost 136,000 children from Indian families had to deport or transfer to a student visa when they became of age because they got caught up in this visa backlog. 

However, this is only part of the picture – the United States Citizenship and Immigration Servicies (USCIS) has been affected by Covid lockdowns and staff shortages due to the pandemic. Similarly, embassies and consulates around the world are effected by the ebb and flow of lockdowns and the need to keep staff safe in each respective country.

Since this is an ongoing issue, this year’s unused allocation will roll over and should be more available if embassies and USCIS reopen as hoped.

The increased quota was a result of an unusually low number of family-based green cards being approved in the fiscal year 2020, causing them to ‘roll over’ into this fiscal year. As a result, USCIS had an obligation to approve more employment-based green cards than usual, and announced that it will accept applications from thousands of immigrants who had been waiting for years, some even decades. Employment-based green cards are subject to annual quotas based upon your country of birth. This quota takes no account of a country’s population, which means that the world’s most populous countries India and China have the same annual quota as small countries with tiny populations.

The result is that China and Indian applicants for various employment-based Green Cards face waiting lists. You can read about the latest in our upcoming analysis of the September visa bulletin. Generally speaking China faces a long wait for the EB-5 Investor Visa category (EB standing for Employment-Based) and India faces long waits in the EB-3 highly skilled worker category. Vietnam also faces shorter delays for EB-5 visa and India is often close to the annual allocation for EB-5 (which is approx 700 visas per country per year not counting any rollovers).

Our clients are always reminded that non-immigrant (non-permanent) alternatives are available and can be used as a stop-gap to live in the United States. The two strongest options are the L-1 Visa, which allows you to set up a US office of your foreign company and transfer to manage that business, or the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which allows you to move to the US for the purposes of investing in and running a business in America. Spouses can apply for a work permit under both the L-1 Visa and the E-2 Visa. To be eligible for an E-2 Visa, you must be from an E-2 country. India in not an E-2 Visa country, which means you must first obtain citizenship of an E-2 country like Grenada or Turkey to become eligible

As always, the best option is to speak to our team who can explore all the various options and help you to select the best immigration solution for you, your family and/or your business.


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.


Investor Visa Application

EB5 trở lại với 500.000$

Tối ngày 22/06, một thẩm phán liên bang đã ra phán quyết rằng một trong những người đứng đầu Bộ An ninh Nội địa dưới thời Tổng thống Trump không được bổ nhiệm đúng cách, do đó làm mất hiệu lực của việc tăng giá chương trình EB-5 từ 500.000 USD lên 900.000 USD vào tháng 11 năm 2019.
 
Trong vòng vài giờ sau quyết định của tòa án, công ty của chúng tôi đã nhận được rất nhiều câu hỏi từ các nhà đầu tư EB-5 tiềm năng, những người đang hy vọng có được cơ hội đầu tư vào một dự án đủ điều kiện EB-5 với mức 500.000 USD.
 
Mặc dù thời hiệu có khả năng tồn tại cho đến ngày 30 tháng 6 khi chương trình Trung tâm Vùng hiện tại hết hạn, 24 đến 48 giờ tiếp theo là rất quan trọng vì phản hồi từ USCIS rất được mong đợi.
 
Phản ứng được dự kiến ​​từ USCIS có thể bao gồm việc nộp đơn kháng cáo hoặc thực hiện các hành động pháp lý hành chính khác để đóng cánh cửa 500.000 USD lại.
Các khách hàng của chúng tôi đã chuẩn bị các trường hợp EB-5 trong vài tuần qua hiện có thể nộp hồ sơ EB-5 của họ với mức 500.000 USD, trong khi những khách hàng khác có thể không đưa ra được khung thời gian và các trường hợp dự phòng liên quan.
 
Điều này cũng đặt lại câu hỏi về việc nộp đơn từng phần có trách nhiệm hay không. Nếu được cấu trúc cẩn thận bằng cách sử dụng tài khoản ký quỹ và tài khoản tiền gửi cố định đặc biệt – chỉ cho phép các khoản tiền đáo hạn được chuyển đến Trung tâm khu vực – thì việc cấp vốn một phần có thể được thực hiện theo cách thức ít rủi ro nhất.
 
Vui lòng liên hệ với đội ngũ tư vấn (tiếng Việt) của chúng tôi nếu bạn muốn biết thêm thông tin hoặc muốn tiếp tục nộp đơn EB-5 của mình.
Thị thực đầu tư EB5 là gì?
Chương trình Thị thực Nhà đầu tư Nhập cư EB-5 cho phép nhà đầu tư có được thường trú nhân Hoa Kỳ (Thẻ xanh). Khoản đầu tư bắt buộc là 900,000 USD trong Khu vực mục tiêu việc làm (TEA) và 1,8 triệu USD bên ngoài TEA. Phán quyết thay đổi điều này trở lại các yêu cầu đầu tư trước tháng 11 tương ứng là 500.000 USD và 1 triệu USD. Một gia đình có thể nhận thị thực theo một khoản đầu tư miễn là trẻ em dưới 21 tuổi tại thời điểm họ nhận được Thẻ xanh có điều kiện – không phải ở thời điểm nộp đơn hoặc được chấp thuận.
 
Nhà đầu tư có thể tự mình thực hiện và quản lý khoản đầu tư thông qua chương trình gọi là EB-5 Trực tiếp. Nhưng đại đa số người nộp đơn chọn đầu tư thông qua Trung tâm khu vực. Một RC có uy tín với một dự án tốt có thể giúp giảm thiểu rủi ro cho cả Thẻ xanh của bạn và việc thu hồi vốn đầu tư của bạn. Việc tuân thủ các quy tắc EB-5 có thể khó khăn đối với EB-5 Trực tiếp vì bạn được yêu cầu tạo và duy trì mười công việc toàn thời gian. Các Trung tâm Vùng được phép có một số liệu tạo việc làm khác và sử dụng quỹ cho các dự án thiếu việc làm.
 
Chương trình Trung tâm Khu vực EB-5 sẽ hết hạn vào cuối tháng 6 năm 2021. Quốc hội phải ủy quyền gia hạn lại quy trình. Có những quan điểm mang tính cạnh tranh về cải cách, điều này đang gây ra xung đột về mặt lập pháp. Cần có sự thỏa hiệp nếu Quốc hội ủy quyền lại một chương trình mang lại hàng triệu đô la đầu tư và tạo ra hàng trăm nghìn việc làm cho Hoa Kỳ. Mặt khác, EB-5 trực tiếp vẫn không bị ảnh hưởng.
Bài viết này được viết dành cho khách hàng, bạn bè và khách hàng đang quan tâm khác với mục đích cung cấp thêm thông tin. Nội dung của bài viết không được xem như tư vấn pháp lý và không nhất thiết phản ánh ý kiến ​​của tôi hoặc ý kiến ​​của Davies & Associates hoặc bất kỳ luật sư hoặc khách hàng nào của bài viết.

Investor Visa Application

EB-5 Investor Visa for Graduating Students

Although studying and working in America is a dream that many parents have for their children, the pathway to achieving this has never looked more challenging. There is, however, one route that removes all the hurdles at a single stroke: the EB-5 Investor Visa.

Fast Route to a Green Card

The EB-5 visa is one of the fastest routes to a Green Card (US permanent residency). A green card removes the need for students to jump through the hoops of F-1 student visas, Optional Practical Training (OPT), and the much-maligned H-1B visa. 

Permanent residency allows your children complete freedom to study or work anywhere in the United States and gives them time to find suitable employment. They may even qualify for in-state tuition fee rates.

OPT and the H-1B visa binds a student to a particular employer putting them in a weaker negotiating position when it comes to monetary compensation and benefits. It is harder to move jobs or, therefore, to leverage another offer to extract more concessions or a promotion. 

The EB-5 visa dispenses with these issues as your child’s presence in the US is not directly tied to their employment and there is no obligation to find a job or leave the country; it provides time to find a position with the best prospects for the future.

EB-5 Requirements

The EB-5 visa requires a minimum $900,000 investment. A whole family can receive green cards from a single investment, provided the children are under the age of 21. 

The US authorities apply a slightly complex calculation around the age of children. Their age freezes at specific points of the application process and then unfreezes at other stages, which gives rise to the slightly strange situation wherein their actual age may be different than their age in the eyes of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

It is best to discuss this with an immigration attorney since long-term forward planning is always recommended. There is a maximum of just over 700 visas available to each country each year, which means that countries face a waiting list if this number is exceeded. This could cause delays and push a child over the age of 21. If this happens, the child would require an EB-5 investment separate from the rest of the family.

EB-5 Visa Source of Funds Requirements

The money used to fund the EB-5 investment must come from acceptable sources, and the USCIS requires you to document and explain the source of your funds. Source of funds can be Sale of property, investments, gifts, etc. This can be a time consuming process depending on the complexity of the movement of funds and therefore, planning before your child reaches 21 years is vital if you intend to file a family application. Proper planning is advised for all remittances.

The EB-5 investment must be made in a new commercial enterprise and must create ten (10) jobs. Failure to comply could put the Green Card at risk. So, while there are few takers who decide to make and manage the investment themselves via Direct EB5 route, most people choose to invest with a government-approved Regional Center. 

There are many Regional Centers of varying quality; hence it is crucial to conduct due diligence on the Regional Center and its project to reduce any risks to the return of your $900,000 investment. 

EB-5 may just be the ultimate graduation present for your child, however it would be too late if you start intend to move forward with it just before graduation. Even though the process may take considerable time, the rewards of working in the US without hindrance are very enticing for any student or their parents.

By Girish Mohile, Connect with Girish.

EB-5 Process & Timeline

EB5 Process
Details of the Process & Timeline for an EB-5 Visa Application

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.


Case Study: Green Card for L-1 Visa Client Switching to EB1C Visa

Davies & Associates has filed yet another adjustment of status for an L-1 visa client to transition to a Green Card on an EB1C Visa. The client, whose business specializes in satellite solutions for remote communications, initially moved to the United States on an L-1 Visa in 2017.

Back then, he established a US branch of his Australian company so that he could then transfer himself on an L-1 visa. With our teams of corporate and immigration lawyers working together, Davies & Associates is able to help with both setting up a company and then with obtaining the necessary visas.

The L-1 Visa is for the intracompany transfer of employees from an overseas branch to the US branch of the same business. It is typically used by employees of large multinational organizations, seeking to move their employees around the world.

But Davies & Associates specializes in “new office L1 visas“, whereby a client can set up a US branch of their foreign company and then move to the United States to manage that branch.

The foreign entity and the US office need to have a “qualifying relationship”, a term that has a degree of latitude. It is important to discuss what this means with one of our attorneys.

The L-1 Visa allows for the transfer of a management or executive level employee, as well as an employee with specialized knowledge (the latter being eligible for a L-1B visa).

L-1 Visa holders can bring their dependant families with them, and spouses are able to apply to work in the United States outside of the underlying business.

L-1 is a time limited visa. It can be renewed for up to seven years (five years for L-1B). It does not offer permanent residency, so people seeking to stay in the US longer, need to find an alternative solution.

This is precisely what we did for our Australian L-1 client when he wanted to transition to a Green Card.

The optimal route to the a Green Card for an L-1 Visa client is the EB1C Visa. It is an immigrant visa for management and executive level employees.

But timing is important. For beneficiaries of EB1C petition who are currently in the US, they must have been employed by the qualifying entity abroad for at least one year in the three years preceding the date that they entered the US as nonimmigrant working for the US entity.

 

Since our Australian client obtained his L-1 Visa in 2017, the window of opportunity was starting to close on his eligibility for the EB1C visa. The adjustment of status was filed in good time and the adjustment of status can begin.

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, L-1 Visa, E-2 Visa

EB-5 Visa Quotas Almost Double in 2021, Potentially Benefiting India, China, Vietnam

The number of EB-5 visas available to investors is set to almost double in the coming year – a peculiar side-effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

EB-5 is an employment-based US immigrant visa. The number of employment-based immigrant visas available each year is limited to 140,000. However, this is topped up if there are any unused family-based visas from the previous year.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented number of unused family-based visas. The closure of US embassies and the temporary suspension of various visa categories have had a significant impact.

This means there is a large number of visas that can be carried over from the family-based allocation to the employment-based one. The October Visa Bulletin puts this at 121,500 visas.

When added to the 140,000 visas, this means that 261,500 employment-based visas are available for the fiscal year 2021, which runs from October 2020 to September 2021.

What does this mean for EB-5?

As the acronym suggests, EB-5 is the fifth employment-based visa category. It targets foreign investors with an offer of permanent residency (Green Card) for a $900,000 investment that creates ten American jobs in a Targeted Employment Area. Learn more.

EB-5 is limited to 7.1% of the total employment-based visas available in any given year. Normally this is almost 10,000 visas, but in the bumper FY2021 this will jump to 18,566 visas.

18,566 EB-5 Visas Available in FY2021

Each country is subject to an annual cap. No country can exceed more than 7% of the total EB-5 visas available. This is determined by country of birth (unlike the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which takes account of country of current citizenship see: E-2 plus Citizenship by Investment)

Normally, that means each country is subject to an annual quota of around 700 visas. Note: that the number of visas does not equate to the number of applications. A single application and investment can cover the applicant, a spouse, and dependant children under 21. Each individual would be counted separately in terms of visas but together as one in terms of applications.

The 2021 rollover means 1299 visas available to each country in this fiscal year. While most countries don’t come close to this annual limit, three countries are or have been severely impacted by this: India, China and Vietnam.

EB-5 Country Quota of 1300 in FY2021

Demand for EB-5 visa from these three countries is especially high and has often exceeded supply. This is a result of their large populations and historically high levels of interest in emigrating to the United States.

When demand exceeds supply, the countries enter what is called visa retrogression and applicants face a waiting list. How this work in practice is detailed on our visa bulletin blog.

With more visas available, there is opportunity for China and Vietnam to make greater inroads into the current backlogs. This would significantly reduce waiting times. India has not faced retrogression since July, but it had been teetering close to a return to waiting list. The risk of retrogression would recede.

India and China also face visa retrogressing in other employment-based visa categories, including EB-1 for people with extraordinary ability and EB-3 for highly skilled workers. The waiting times in both these visa categories may also fall.

Ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic

Caveats remain. An increase in visa availability would need to be matched by an administrative capacity to cope. With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing, it is unlikely that business-as-usual will resume anytime soon.

This may mean that India, Vietnam and China are unable to make full use of the extra visa availability in 2021. Any unused visas would not be rolled over again.

Yet, the ongoing pandemic may also mean that family-based visas will not use up their full allocation in 2021 either. This portends further rollovers into the employment-based visa categories in 2022.

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.


November Visa Bulletin Analysis for EB 5 Investor Visa

November Visa Bulletin Analysis

The Department of State has issued the November visa bulletin showing little movement for Chinese- and Vietnamese- born EB-5 investor visa applicants continuing to face delays. All other countries remain “current” for EB-5, meaning there is no waiting list for a Green Card.

India has been “current” since July, but retrogression delays may return because demand for EB-5 has been consistently high in recent years. Indians planning an EB-5 petition should consider acting while the country is current. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has changed the way it sequences EB-5 applications to benefit countries that are current over countries facing retrogression delays.

The Final Action Date for Vietnam crept forward two weeks to August 15, 2017, while China remained unchanged at August, 15 2015. The Final Action Date refers to whether there is expected to be a visa available within a quota system (or visas – plural – depending upon how many family members are included in the application).

The date in question here is the priority date. This is the date that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services received your initial EB-5 petition (I-526).

Visa availability is determined by a country quota. As with all the employment-based immigrant visa categories, no country is permitted more than 7 percent of the total visas available in any given year (approximately 10,000 for EB-5).

In the case of EB-5 that is just over 700 visas, determined by the primary applicant’s country of birth.

Visa Bulletin Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Categories

The visa bulletin also includes a Date for Filing. This refers to when you can submit your visa application to the National Visa Center, even though there might not yet be a visa available. For applicants outside the US, this additional date provides some extra notice to prepare the application documentation. For applicants inside the US adjusting their status, they may be able to apply for a work permit based on the Date for Filing.

Most countries have current filing dates, with the sole exception of China, which has a Date for Filing four months sooner than its Final Action Date.

Visa Bulletin Date for Filing for Employment-Based Categories

The EB-5 program provides the opportunity to obtain Green Cards for a $900,000 investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) in the United States. The investment must sustain ten American jobs. Outside of these TEAs, the required investment is $1.8 million. A single application can cover the primary applicant, a spouse, and any children under the age of 21.

EB-3 Visas – Permanent Residency for Skilled Workers

China and India remain in visa retrogression in the EB-3 visa category for highly-skilled workers. The EB-3 visa is similar to the H-1B visa which is especially popular in India. However, as an immigrant visa, the EB-3 offers permanent residency whereas the H-1B visa does not. H-1B is renewable up to a limit of six years, after which the holder needs to explore alternatives like EB-3 and EB-5, or leave the country.

The Date for Filing is significantly more recent than the Final Action Date for Indians in particular. This time gap has implications for certain applicants’ ability to work in the United States. This relates to people already in the US seeking adjustment of status. If you are in this position, we advise you to speak with one of our attorneys.

EB-1 Visas

Similarly, people born in India and China are the only two groups facing delays in the EB-1 visa category. The EB1-A visa targets individuals with extraordinary abilities in their field, the EB1-B visa targets academics, and the EB-1C visa is for multinational managers and executives.

People faced with retrogression in these categories should contact us. There are non-immigrant counterparts that are not subject to quotas and could provide a pathway to these immigrant (permanent residency) categories at a later stage. The EB1-C, for example is similar to the non-immigrant L-1 visa, and the EB1-A is similar to the non-immigrant O-1 visa.

Non-immigrant status has advantages to people who do not wish to obtain permanent residency. For example, US permanent residents are liable for tax on income earned outside the US. This does not apply to non-immigrant visas. People seeking permanent residency are encouraged to arrange a consultation with our tax attorney as early in the process as possible.

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.


Tax Planning for US Immigration

Podcast: Tax Planning for the American Dream

When we first start thinking about moving to the United States, tax is not always uppermost in our minds. But as Global Tax Counsel Gary Kaufman explains in this podcast, it is vital to start planning your tax position from the earliest stages of the process.

In this podcast we cover tax as it relates to the two types of US immigration – immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas.

Immigrant visas refer to programs like the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa and the EB-1A and EB-1C visas for extraordinary talent and business leaders respectively. Immigrant visas offer permanent residency status in the United States (Green Cards). Permanent residents are taxed on worldwide income, so it is vital to consider your entire global asset base, and to understand whether the countries in which you hold assets have a tax treaty with the United States.

We also cover non-immigrant visas in the podcast. Non-immigrant visas do not confer permanent residency, however there will still be tax considerations for any earnings made inside the United States.

Many of our non-immigrant visa clients move to America for the purposes of starting or acquiring a business. This can be achieved through the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, or by setting up a US office of your existing company through the L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa. In the podcast, Gary explains the importance of structuring the business correctly from a tax perspective at the outset.

Many of our non-immigrant visa clients eventually wish to transition to a Green Card. There are multiple ways to achieve this, and anyone interested should speak to one of our immigration attorneys.

Contact Gary gkaufman@usimmigrationadvisor.com

This podcast is produced 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.