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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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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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.