By

Loan proceeds qualify as cash for EB-5 investment

D.C. Circuit Court ruled that loan proceeds qualify as cash under the EB-5 Program. Under a contrary interpretation, USCIS treats the investment as indebtedness rather than cash subject to additional requirements. Specifically, a loan may qualify as capital for EB-5 investment only if they are secured by assets owned by the investor. The court rejected such collateralization interpretation.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only one aspect of the latest development of EB-5 green card process. If you would like to obtain an investment (EB-5) green card, call our experienced EB-5 green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

By

May investments in multiple businesses be combined for EB-5 green card?

Investors sometime want to invest in multiple business. Some businesses may not need 10 new full time jobs. We often hear a question whether the $1,800,000 investment (or $900,000 in targeted employment areas) may be diversified across a portfolio of businesses. For example, a client wanted to invest in two restaurant franchises ($800,000 in one restaurant and one million in the second restaurant).

An investor my invest in several business, but only if the minimum investment amount is first placed in a single new commercial enterprise. An investor may invest in one enterprise that diversifies and puts $800,000 towards one business it wholly owns and $1,000,000 towards another business it wholly owns.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only one aspect of the EB-5 green card process. If you would like to obtain an investment (EB-5) green card, call our experienced EB-5 green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

By

Does a position shared by several employees count as one full-time job for EB-5 job creation?

In order to get an EB-5 green card through investment, the investor has to create at least 10 full-time jobs. A client wanted to invest in a restaurant where several employees would share some positions. Does that qualify?

To be considered a full-time job, it requires 35 hours a week. Where two or more employees share a full-time position it counts as one-full time job if they combine at least 35 hours per week. To demonstrate a full-time position is shared by more than one employees, the investor may should a written job-sharing agreement, we weekly schedule or evidence of the sharing of the responsibilities or benefits of a permanent full time position. However, two part-time jobs do not count.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only one aspect of the EB-5 green card process. If you would like to obtain an investment (EB-5) green card, call our experienced EB-5 green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

By

What happens to the conditional (EB-5) green card of the investor’s wife in case of divorce?

One way to obtain a legal permanent resident status in the US is through investment (under EB-5 category). The first step is to file a petition for classification as an alien entrepreneur. The petition must be accompanied by evidence that the investor has invested or is actively in the process of investing lawfully obtained capital in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. which will create at least 10 full-time jobs. One the petition is approved, the investor can obtain an immigrant visa or adjust his or her status to the conditional resident.

If the spouse of the principal EB-5 investor obtains a divorce after the conditional EB-5 resident status is granted, the ex-spouse may still file the petition to remove conditions, and if it is approved, the ex-spouse becomes a legal permanent resident (green card holder).

The petition to remove conditions in conditional resident status must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of the conditional status. The petition must document that the conditional resident (i) invested or was actively investing the required capital that (s)he continuously maintained the capital investment over those two years, (ii) created or can be expected to create within a reasonable time ten full-time jobs.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only one aspect of the EB-5 green card process. If you would like to obtain an investment (EB-5) green card, call our experienced EB-5 green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

By

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.

By

Increased USCIS fees will impact EB-5 applications

All EB-5 applications postmarked on or after October 2, 2020, must include payment for the new increased filing fee. The new filing fee for the immigrant petition (I-526) is $4,010, the petition to remove conditions on residence (I-829) is $3,900, application for regional center designation (I-924) is $17,795, and the annual certification of the regional center (I-924A) is $4.465. Applications with incorrect fees will be rejected by USCIS and result in significant re-filing delays.

Two lawsuits have been filed against the fee increase in the district courts in California and in DC.  A hearing on the preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has been scheduled for September 25 and it is anticipated that a decision on the preliminary injunction will be rendered before October 2.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline one aspect of the EB-5 green card process.  If you would like us to obtain an investment (EB-5) green card, call our experienced EB-5 green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online

By

How long will it take to process your EB-5 green card petition?

Last year the processing times of EB-5 petitions drastically increased overnight, jumping from a range of 20.5 to 27 months to a range of 29 to 45.5 months. Today, the estimated processing time is between 46 and 74.5 months and for petition to remove conditions between 27 and 48.5 months.

One potentially positive development is that the USCIS has proposed significant changes in how it will prioritize the EB-5 petition adjudications. On January 29, 2020, the USCIS announced that starting March 31, 2020 it would no longer continue its “first-in first-out” approach to adjudications, and instead would shift to a visa availability approach. Applicants from countries where visas are immediately available will now be better able to use their approximate 700 visas annual per-country allocation of EB-5 visas.

In August 2014, the U.S. Department of State, announced the first instance of EB-5 visa unavailability in the EB-5 program’s history, affecting investors born in China. Until recently, three countries face significant EB-5 visa backlog: China, Vietnam, and India. Chinese EB-5 visa backlog rose to a 16.2 year wait prediction in an October 2019. Vietnamese investors were predicted to wait 7.1 years. Indian investors filing in October 2019 had roughly 6.7 years’ worth of EB-5 visas “in line” ahead of them. Now, the EB-5 visa backlog for Chinese investors is less than 5 years and 3 years for Vietnamese investors. There is no longer backlog for investors born in India.

Despite the large amount of registered China fifth preference demand, currently there are not enough applicants who are actively pursuing their EB-5 case to fully utilize the amount of numbers which are expected to be available under the annual limit. Further, the spread of COVID-19 could also sap visa demand along with suspending visa services. Long waits may also become commonplace for all future investors if Congress enacts country cap removal legislation. Chinese investors would stand to gain from country cap removal legislation, whereas rest of would face longer wait times.

Please note that this articles does not constitute a legal advice.  We provided some insights into EB-5 processing. If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for EB-5 investor green card, call our experienced EB-5 visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.  

By

New areas (TEA) allowing lower EB-5 investments

On November 21, 2019, new EB-5 regulations became effective. They brought some changes to the EB-5 program.

One of the likely consequence of the new EB-5 regulations is that the Targeted Employment Area (TEA) designation (enabling a lower investment threshold) will be harder to get and urban TEAs will be driven to lesser-developed locations.

In order to be designated as a TEA, the EB-5 project must be located in either a rural area or in a location that has high unemployment. 

Prior to the effective date of new EB-5 regulations, the TEA designation was made at state level and most states had very liberal TEA’s designation policies, even in economically robust urban zones. Consequently, more than 95% of EB-5 investments were made in TEA-located projects. Under the new EB-5 regulations, USCIS is no longer deferring
to TEA designations made by state and local governments and is
directly reviewing and determining the designation of high-unemployment TEAs.

Under the previous regulations, it was quite common to aggregate census tracts to create Regional Center EB-5 offerings even in some of the nation’s most high-priced neighborhoods. Census tract combination for high-unemployment TEAs is now much more restrictive: census tract aggregation is limited to the project tract(s) plus some or all of the tracts that are “directly adjacent” to the project tract. Utilizing census block groups (a census tract is made up of several block groups) is no longer allowed. 

Some EB-5 industry experts (analysts and economists) estimate that approximately two thirds of the projects that had qualified before will not qualify for TEA status under the revised standard.

Please note that this articles does not constitute a legal advice.  We outlined only one aspect of new EB-5 regulations and its consequences.  If you would like to get a green card through an investment (EB-5), call an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

By

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.

By

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.