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Is US-Canada border still closed for non-essential travel?

The land border between the US and Canada remains closed until October 21, 2020 for “non-essential” travel. The travel restrictions do not apply to travel by air, sea and to freight rail. The “essential travel” includes but is not limited to: (i) U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, (ii) international students, (iii) people traveling to receive medical treatment, (iv) emergency responders and public health officials, (v) truck drivers moving cargo or other individuals engaged in international trade, (vi) official government and diplomatic travel, and (vii) members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses and children.

Most U.S. ports of entry interpret the restrictions that only B1/B2 travel is prohibited, while other ports of entry interpret the restrictions more narrowly and require proof of “essentiality”. The Customs and Border Protection is still performing routine adjudications of TN and L-1 petitions at the land ports of entry, although some land ports are requiring proof that the proposed employment is “essential”.

Canada’s Quarantine Act requires anyone who is permitted to enter Canada to self-isolate for 14 days following entry to Canada (unless they are flag-poling).

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline the law. If you to schedule a consultation, call our experienced immigration attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

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Can E-2 investment “count” toward EB-5 investment?

E-2 visa is for investors from treaty countries who invest “substantial” amount of capital into a US business. E-2 visa allows them to manage that business. E-2 visa has to be renewed every few years, depending on the treaty. A major downside of E-2 visa and a significant motivator for converting to the EB-5 green card is the problem of children of E-2 investors who are not eligible for E-2 dependent visas once they turn 21.

While there is no dollar amount for E-2 visa, in order to get EB-5 green card, the investor has to invest at least $900,000 in certain targeted employment areas or $1,800,000 anywhere else. While the E-2 capital investment may be counted towards the EB-5 investment, retained earnings or revenue generated by the E-2 investment may not be counted toward EB-5 investment. The investor must draw funds from the E-2 business and invest personal funds in order to “count” towards EB-5 investment.

In addition, the business must already have created the requisite ten jobs, or demonstrate that it will create the remaining jobs needed to meet the ten-job threshold within two years of the grant of conditional permanent resident status.

Planning and navigating the transition from E-2 to EB-5 can be a complicated process. If you would like to transition from E-2 investment to EB-5 investment and obtain an investment (EB-5) green card, call our experienced EB-5 green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only one aspect of the transition from E-2 visa to EB-5 green card.

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National Interest Exceptions for travelers from Schengen Area, UK and Ireland

On July 22, 2020, the Department of State announced that certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students may qualify for National Interest Exceptions under Presidential Proclamations 9993 (Schengen Area) and 9996 (United Kingdom and Ireland).

Business travelers, investors, academics, J-1 students, and treaty traders who have a valid visa or ESTA authorization that was issued prior to Presidential Proclamations 9993 or 9996’s effective date or who are seeking to apply for a visa may qualify.

If you need help to apply for National Interest Exception, call an experienced immigration attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

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Proposed USCIS filing fee increase

In November 2019, the Department of Homeland Security proposed to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 21 percent, add new fees, and make other changes, including form changes and the introduction of several new forms. For example, the filing fee for the application for naturalization is proposed to increase by 83% to $1,170, petition for H-2A non-immigrant worker by 87% to $860 (named worker), petition for L non-immigrant worker by 77% to $815 and petition for O non-immigrant worker by 55% to $715.

On July 22, 2020, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs completed review of a final rule increasing USCIS filing fees. The Federal Register will post a copy of the final rule for public inspection before publishing it officially. In the proposed rule, DHS noted that once the rule was finalized, it would not take effect for at least 60 days after publication.

If you are considering applying for a naturalization, green card or non-immigrant status, call an experienced immigration attorney at (480) 425-2009 or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation
before the filing fees increase.

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Treaty investor (E-2) visa for Czech dealer of motorized surfboard

My client, a Czech entrepreneur, formed a US company that entered into a dealer agreement with importer of motorized surfboard manufactured in the Czech Republic. Motorized surfboard is an ultra-light high tech personal watercraft and MotoSurf is one of the fastest growing sports.

My client’s company focuses on marketing, sales and service of motorized surfboards boards. The investment was “substantial” and consisted with showroom construction, furniture, equipment, tools, event expenses, payroll and other related expenses. The company started with just four employees and is expanding quickly.

The investment is not marginal and the enterprise is real and doing business. The treaty investor (E-2) visa was approved pursuant to bilateral treaty between the US and the Czech Republic.

Please note that this case study does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law in order to outline the treaty investor (E-2) visa requirements.  If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for treaty investor (E-2) visa, call our experienced treaty investor (E-2) visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or contact an experienced treaty investor (E-2) attorney via our website to schedule a consultation. We look forward to discussing how we can help you obtain your treaty investor (E-2) visa.

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Treaty investor (E-2) visa for Czech real estate investor

My clients, a married couple from the Czech Republic, formed an LLC where each have 50% ownership. The Company was formed as a real estate investment company to buy distressed properties at a discount price, holding for a year and remodeling and selling them for a profit or renting them as income generating real estate.  At the time we filed the investor visa application, Company has bought a total of 11 properties. Out of these properties, six were for resale and already two were sold at a considerable profit, the other five properties are currently rented generating healthy revenue. 

The Company has four employees, one full time and three part-time employees: a full time maintenance technician, handyman and electrician, a part-time bookkeeper) and two part-time secretaries.   The enterprise is real and doing business and investment is “substantial” and not marginal. My clients have extensive experience in real estate. Their treaty investor visas were approved without any problems for five years.

Please note that this case study does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law in order to outline the treaty investor (E-2) visa process.  If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for treaty investor (E-2) visa, call our experienced treaty investor (E-2) visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or contact an experienced treaty investor (E-2) attorney via our website to schedule a consultation. We look forward to discussing how we can help you obtain your treaty investor (E-2) visa.

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What is “substantial” amount of capital for E-2 investor visa?

The E-2 investor visa provides an excellent opportunity for foreign nationals from countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S. to come to the U.S. to develop and manage operations of a business. A frequent question of foreign investors considering applying for an E-2 investor visa is: ‘What is considered a “substantial” investment?” Unlike the minimum investment requirement for EB-5 investor visa (“green card”), which is $1 million or $500,000 in targeted employment areas, there is no set dollar amount that has to be invested in order to be considered “substantial” investment for E-2 visa purposes. A substantial amount of capital for E-2 purposes constitutes an amount that is substantial in proportionality sense.

The proportionality test compares the total amount invested in the enterprise with the cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating a viable new enterprise. The lower the cost of the business, the higher the percentage of investment is required. On the other hand, a highly expensive business would require a lower percentage of qualifying investment. Thus, investments of 100 percent or a higher percentage would normally automatically qualify for a small business of $100,000 or less. On the other hand, an investment of $10 million in a $100 million business would likely qualify, based on the sheer magnitude of the investment itself.

The “substantial” investment has to be large enough to lead to the successful operation of the E-2 enterprise and must be more than marginal (must have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and his family). What constitutes a substantial investment is different for different industries. If an investor wants to start a manufacturing business or any other capital-intense business, $100,000 will not constitute a substantial investment. However, $100,000 or a lower amount may be sufficient for service businesses. We have helped numerous foreign investors to get E-2 investor visas for a $100,000 investment in service businesses. We recently obtained an E-2 visa for a Canadian investor who purchased an existing service business in Arizona for $70,000. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has approved E-2 visa even for smaller investments. Our most recent case was an E-2 visa for a Canadian investor who purchased an Arizona retail business for $250,000.

If you are looking to invest in a business or enterprise in Arizona or anywhere throughout the United States, call the Juras Law Firm, PLC to speak with an experienced E-2 visa attorney. Call our office at (480) 425-2009 or complete the contact form on this page for a consultation. We understand that the visa application process is complex; an experienced Arizona E-2 visa attorney is here to answer your questions.

 

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Arizona Immigration Attorney Announces Recent Legal Immigration Cases via K-1 and E-2 Investor Visas

Irena Juras, Phoenix, AZ based immigration lawyer assisted another two clients in finalizing their U.S. immigration cases.

Phoenix, AZ (September 9, 2014) – Citizens of countries outside the United States seek to immigrate to the U.S. for many reasons, often times financial, but others a matter of the heart. Recently, Irena Juras of Juras Law Firm assisted two clients who fell into those categories: a Canadian citizen who wanted to legally invest in a U.S. based company and a U.S. citizen who wanted to immigrate his Philippine born fianceé.

The first case involved a Canadian investor who wished to take advantage of the E-2 Treaty Visa, commonly an alternative to the EB-5 Investor Visa.  This type of visa allows a national of a treaty country to enter the United States to develop and direct a business in which (s)he invested, or in which (s)he is actively in the process of investing, a “substantial” amount of capital.  In this case, the gentleman sought to invest in an Arizona based retail business, his E-2 Investor Visa was approved by the U.S. Embassy in Toronto in late August.

Irena second case involved a young couple who sought to get married in the United States.  Irena’s client, a U.S. born citizen, engaged Juras Law Firm to help his fiancée in the Philippines acquire a fiancée (K-1) visa to the United States.  What’s notable about this case is the fact that the fiancée was able to get the visa in only two months, whereas the average processing time is normally five months.  The fiancée legally entered the U.S. and was married within 90 days.  Irena then filed the application to adjust status to a conditional resident status which was approved in three months.

“While most people see the negative headlines associated with immigration, I’m happy to highlight the many benefits of legal immigration to our country, whether it is for investment purposes or assisting two people who love each other in getting married,” commented Irena Juras.
About Juras Law Firm

Named a Top Immigration Lawyer by North Valley Magazine and Avvo, Irena Juras  is a highly respected attorney throughout the U.S. and overseas. As head of Juras Law Firm, an Immigration and Bankruptcy Law Firm in Phoenix, AZ, Irena is an immigrant herself from the Czech Republic, studying and practicing law in the Czech Republic before moving to the United States. Irena is currently licensed to practice law in both Arizona and New York. The firm has represented clients from over 100 countries and 6 continents in immigration matters and international transactions.  Irena has over 20 years experience in immigration law and bankruptcy.

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EB-5 Visa Helps Canadian Investors Thrive in Growing U.S. Economy

Irena Juras, top U.S. immigration lawyer, sees uptick in number of Canadians investing in the Southwest.

Phoenix, AZ (August 25, 2014) – Taking advantage of a burgeoning marketplace and a flourishing economy, especially in energy-rich states, many Canadian investors are choosing to take advantage of the EB-5 Visa program.

Foreigners with at least $500,000 [NOW $900,000] capital wishing to pursue permanent residency in the United States may apply for an EB-5 Visa.  The program, created by Congress, is a way to create more jobs and stimulate the economy. This program requires that foreigners invest at least $500,000 and create 10 full time jobs for U.S. employees within two years. The standard investment for an EB-5 visa is $1,000,000 [NOW $1.8 MILLION] or $500,000 [NOW $800,000] if the candidates invest in rural areas or targeted employment areas. When investing in commercial real estate, such as an apartment building, which doesn’t create at least 10 jobs, the investor has the option of obtaining an E-2 Visa.

“The affordable real estate market in the southwest combined with a lack of red tape to start a new corporation has really boosted the number of Canadians investing in the U.S.,” explained Irena Juras of the Juras Law Firm.

Demand among foreign investors is increasing, though there is a limit of 10,000 visas issued per year including spouses and dependents.  Of the 10,000 EB-5 visas which are available annually, 3,000 of the visas are reserved for investors of Regional Centers.   Regional Centers are economic units that promote job creation and investment in a specific region of the U.S.
About Juras Law Firm

Named a Top Immigration Lawyer by North Valley Magazine and Avvo, Irena Juras is a highly respected attorney throughout the U.S. and overseas. As head of Juras Law Firm, an Immigration and Bankruptcy Law Firm in Phoenix, AZ, Irena is an immigrant herself from the Czech Republic, studying and practicing law in the Czech Republic before moving to the United States. Irena is currently licensed to practice law in both Arizona and New York. The firm has represented clients from over 100 countries and 6 continents. in international transactions and immigration matters   Irena has over 20 years experience in immigration law and bankruptcy law.

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What is the difference between E-2 visa and EB-5 visa?

While E-2 visa are temporary visa always issued for a limited period of time (several
years), EB-5 visa are permanent visa. E-2 visa are based on treaty between the U.S. and the
country of investor’s citizenship. If there is no treaty between the U.S. and the country
of investor’s citizenship, the investor cannot get E-2 visa. EB-5 visa are not limited to
only investors from some countries. The investment amount for EB-5 visa is $1.8 million or
$900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area. There is no dollar limit for E-2 visa, but the
investment amount has to be “substantial”. In order to qualify for EB-5 visa, an investor
has to create 10 full time jobs for U.S. workers. E-2 investor has to create at least one
job for U.S. worker. For more information about E-2 and EB-5 visa, please visit
https://www.juraslaw.com/Immigration/Investor-Visa.shtml or call our office to talk with an
experienced Investor Visa Attorney at 480-425-2009.