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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.

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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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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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EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa for Athletes

More and more gifted athletes are being recruited from all over the world to play professionally sports like basketball, football, soccer and baseball in the U.S. In addition, thanks to state-of-the-art training facilities like the one in Colorado Springs, Colorado, more and more athletes are coming to the U.S. to train for events like the Olympics, the World Cup and international bicycle racing. Many of these athletes, professional and amateur alike, often want to establish permanent residency in the United States.

An EB-1 visa is for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics seeking to establish permanent residency in the United States. To obtain an EB-1 visa, the foreign athlete must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in athletics, seek to enter the U.S. to continue in the same field and show that his or her entry will substantially benefit the U.S. The athlete must demonstrate “sustained or international acclaim” and that his or her achievements have been recognized in his or her field.

An example of a foreign professional athlete who has been awarded EB-1 visa and green card is professional golfer Nick Price, a native of Zimbabwe. He has 18 PGA tour wins (3 majors), a former #1 world ranking to his credit and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Another example of a foreign athlete who received EB-1 visa and green card is Robert Cheseret, a Kenyan-born long-distance runner who won the men’s title for the U.S. at the 2011 NACAC Cross Country Championships. Cheseret had a total of eight Pac-10 titles during his career – the most ever by a Pac-10 track and field athlete. Cheseret went on to capture the NCAA West Regional individual crown and was the Pac-10’s top finisher at the NCAA Championships with a tenth-place finish.

The athlete must either show a one-time achievement such as a major internationally recognized award or evidence of three of the ten categories. There are several major advantages for foreign athletes applying for the EB-1 visa. Athletes do not need to obtain labor certification or provide proof of a job offer. Consequently, this method is usually faster way to obtain a green card than applying for EB-2 or EB-3 immigration visa. The foreign athlete must show that (s)he meets all requirements of EB-1 extraordinary ability visa. While some athletes may be able to obtain EB-1 extraordinary ability visa without a lawyer, in order to obtain an approval, it’s advisable to hire an experienced EB-1 extraordinary ability visa attorney. Please call 480-425-2009 today or send us an email and we will help you obtain your EB-1 extraordinary ability visa (green card).

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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.