EB-5 Investor Visa Application Price Increase

USCIS Changes EB-5 Investor Visa Application Form for Regional Center Applicants

USCIS has introduced a new EB-5 application form specifically for EB-5 Regional Center Applicants – henceforth to be known as Form I-526E.

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) today issued a new EB-5 Investor Visa application form for Regional Center applicants – the I-526E Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor. Until now, both Regional Center and Direct EB-5 Visa applicants used the same form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. A revised Direct EB-5 application form is expected soon.

Applicants are advised to work with a licensed US attorney when preparing an EB-5 application. The attorney will ensure that you are using the correct form and can assist with documenting acceptable sources of funds. This will avoid any necessary delays or denials caused by administrative errors or inadmissible Sources of Funds. At Davies & Associates we have helped hundreds of families successfully move to the United States, and no client who has followed our advice has been denied an EB-5 Visa.

The I-526E, being focused on Regional Center EB-5, inevitably contains sections requiring more information of an EB-5 Visa applicant’s chosen Regional Center project. There are also additional questions about the investor, for example their net worth, that will likely also feature in any new Direct EB-5 application form.

Investors who have already submitted an I-526 for a Regional Center project and are awaiting adjudication need take no further action. USCIS does not require these applicants to re-submit an I-526E, but rather will adjudicate on the basis of an I-526.

However, any new applicants must use the new form. Failure to do so will result in the application being rejected. In such an instance, the applicant would need to refile, which means losing their position in the EB-5 processing queue at a time when demand is rising quickly. This can have a particularly serious impact on investors from countries in or near retrogression. We advise you to work with an experienced attorney to avoid unnecessary mistakes and delays.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program is US permanent residency (Green Card) by Investment. The minimum investment requirement is $800,000 and this must create ten jobs. Each member of a qualifying family unit can obtain permanent residency through a single investment, but parents should plan carefully to avoid their children “ageing out” and requiring their own separate application.

Read more about EB-5 Visas.


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.


Humanitarian Parole for Afghans

Senators Show Support for New EB-5 Investors

Amid all the excitement of the EB-5 Regional Center Program returning, a key question remains unresolved: that of Regional Center “redesignation”. But a group of leading Senators are giving new investors grounds for hope that this will be cleared up soon. 

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) argues that the recent legislation means that all Regional Centers must re-apply for authorization and cannot accept new investors until this has been granted. This could cause delays given the administrative burden on USCIS of having to adjudicate on hundreds of Regional Center applications at once.

However, a group of senior Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have issued a letter to the head of USCIS stating that it was never the intention of the legislation to de-authorize existing Regional Centers. 

How USCIS will respond is yet to be seen. Since this is an evolving story, our firm will keep your updated of any new developments. Once Regional Centers are able to start accepting new investors, we predict an uptick in new EB-5 applications. This may have serious impact on demand in places like India. There are only 700 visas available for each country each year, after which that country enters so-called visa retrogression. To avoid such a waiting list – which can span multiple years – it is advisable to start preparing your application in advance, so that it is ready for submission as soon as this issue is resolved. 

What is EB-5?

EB-5 is an immigrant visa that offers a pathway to US permanent residency (Green Card) through investment. The minimum investment threshold is $800,000 and it must create ten jobs. In addition to the Regional Center route, the Direct EB-5 route remains open to new investors. Click here to learn more about the EB-5 Visa.
 
To discuss how this impacts you, please request a call with Mark Davies or Blake Harrison in our EB-5 Team by replying to this email or contacting Neena Singh in our Delhi office: 
WhatsApp: +91 95992 99322
Email: [email protected]


Business Immigration from the UK to the USA

UK Scraps Investor Visa – What are my options?

The US investor visa requires an investment amount five times lower than the UK investor visa

The UK Government has announced it will be scrapping its Tier One Investor Visa program. The program had come under fire for the perception that it provided a legitimate route for illicit wealth to enter the United Kingdom.

The UK Investor Visa program was relatively expensive when compared with other countries’ residency and citizenship by investment programs. The minimum investment requirement started from £2 million – which is around five times as much as the corresponding US program, the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa Program. Investors had the option of investing more money to reduce the length of time before they could be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and by extension applying for citizenship a year after.

United States EB-5 Investor Visa

The price tag of the UK investor visa meant that it only attracted a few hundred applicants each year. That contrasts starkly with the US EB-5 investor visa, which attracts thousands and regularly meets its annual quota of 10,000 visas – thanks in part to a large backlog of Chinese applicants.

The US program currently has a minimum investment requirement of $500,000, which must create ten jobs. A key aspect of the program – the Regional Center program – is likely to come before Congress in the very near future and the rumor is that the investment amount may increase. This could be to $700,000 or $750,000, but this is only speculation and there are no guarantees.

The popular Regional Center route is currently closed awaiting reauthorization. This could potential occur within the next few weeks if it is included in Congress’s spending legislation. The alternative so-called “Direct EB-5” route is currently open at the minimum $500,000 threshold right now.

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

One of the most cost-effective citizenship or residency programs around the world is offered by Grenada, an island in the Caribbean. Grenadian citizenship starts from just $150,000 for a donation or $220,000 for an investment. Processing times are relatively fast and can take less than three months. Grenada has a relatively strong passport and it hold an E-2 Treaty with the United States. There is no tax on income earned outside of the island’s jurisdiction.

Turkey Citizenship by Investment

You can obtain citizenship of Turkey in around 6 months in exchange for a $250,000 investment in real estate or holding deposits in excess of $500,000 with a Turkish bank for at least three years. Turkey is a global transportation hub and it also holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States. This means that, like Grenada, you could become eligible for the US E-2 Visa by first obtaining Turkish citizenship.

Italy Investor Visa

Italy’s investor visa starts from just €250,000. However, most of our clients prefer the country’s elective residency visa, which allows you to live in Italy provided you have €32,000/year from funds earned outside Italy to support you. The country also offers generous flat tax rates to high-net-worth-individuals.

Contact us to discuss any of the options listed above.


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.


Vaccine Requirement for US Travel

Do I Need to be Vaccinated to Travel to the United States?

An increasing number of clients are contacting us to ask whether they need to be vaccinated to travel to the United States. President Biden has mandated that most foreign nationals visiting the United States will need to show proof of vaccination from Covid-19 when global travel to the USA opens up on November 8. However, some exemptions will apply.

Which vaccines are accepted for travel to the United States?

Most foreign nationals entering the United States on a non-immigrant visa or as a tourist must show proof of vaccination. The US will accept a wider range of vaccines than just those approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) (Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen). The list of vaccines accepted for inbound travel is expanded to include all World Health Organization vaccines, which includes AstraZenaca, Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac. The Sputnik vaccine is not currently approved by the WHO and therefore not currently accepted for travel.

Are Green Card Holders subject to US Vaccination Requirements for Travel?

US Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) are not subject to the vaccination requirements to enter the United States. However, there are testing requirements to travel. Most of our clients have obtained US permanent residency through the EB-1c Visa (International Managers & Executives), EB-1A Visa (Extraordinary Talent), and EB-5 Visa (Green Card by Investment of $500,000).

Are There Exemptions from the Vaccine Requirements for Travel to the United States?

The US authorities has published a list of exemptions from the vaccination requirements. This includes:

  • Anyone from a country that has limited (<10%) vaccine coverage.
  • Anyone under the age of 18
  • Anyone who can document a medical reason they cannot be vaccinated against Covid-19
  • Anyone granted a humanitarian exception to enter the US
  • Anyone deemed in the national interest of the United States
  • There are also exemptions for diplomats, military families and sea crew.

How does the exemption for countries with limited vaccine coverage work?

Anyone from a country with a vaccine coverage of less than 10% is exempt from showing proof of vaccination at the border. There are currently 50 countries on this list. See list of eligible countries. The list is subject to change as vaccination rates improve. There is still ultimately a requirement for these people to get vaccinated once inside the United States. Please note, this exemption does NOT apply to anyone on an B-1 or B-2 Visa.

Does the exemption apply to L-1 Visa holders and E-2 Visa holders?

Our firm has filed many L-1 and E-2 Visa applications on behalf of clients during Covid. These business migration visas are categorized as “non-immigrant visas” and are therefore NOT exempt from the vaccine requirement. If you are currently inside the US on one of those visas and subsequently leave and attempt to return, you will need to show proof of vaccination status. If you are currently outside the United States with an approved or pending L1 Visa or E2 Visa application you will need to show evidence of vaccination.

The aforementioned list of exemptions apply to L-1 and E-2 Visa holders . So children on E-2 Derivative Visas or L-2 Visas are exempt provided they are under 18 (you can bring dependent children with you to the US on both E-2 and L-1 provided they are under the age of 21.) You may also be eligible for an exemption if you are from a country with low vaccine uptake.

The L-1 Visa allows you to move staff to an existing or newly-established office of your overseas business. The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows people from Treaty Countries to move to the US for the purposes of investing in and operating a business.

I do not want to get vaccinated, what are my options?

It is not clear how long the vaccine requirement will remain in place. The processing times for non-immigrant visa application are usually relatively quick. Since Covid-19 has caused closures and slowdowns at US embassies and at the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), processing times have increased. Anyone considering an application today, may find that current waiting times will exceed the vaccine rules. But there is no guarantee of this. As with everything during Covid, uncertainty abounds. An alternative is to seek a permanent residency option. The EB-5 Visa (Green Card by investment) is one of the most popular among our clients especially as the minimum investment requirement dropped to $500,000 in June. Yet processing times for permanent residency take longer than for non-immigrant visas.


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 Investor Visa

EB5 Trực tiếp: Con đường mới và nhanh hơn đến Thẻ xanh

Vào ngày 30 tháng 6 năm 2021, Chương trình Trung tâm Vùng EB5 đã hết hạn và USCIS ngừng chấp nhận Đơn I526 mới để xử lý. Đồng thời USCIS tiếp tục chấp nhận đơn EB5 cho các đơn EB5 Trực tiếp với mức đầu tư chỉ 500.000 USD.

Trong khi USCIS đã ngừng xử lý các Hồ sơ của Trung tâm Vùng EB5 và các Đơn nộp I485 liên quan, việc xử lý các Đơn kiện EB5 Trực tiếp và các Đơn nộp liên quan vẫn tiếp tục còn hiệu lực. Với việc các hồ sơ của Trung tâm Vùng EB5 đã dừng lại, một giả thuyết hợp lý rằng thời gian xử lý các trường hợp Trực tiếp EB5 sẽ cải thiện đáng kể.

Chương trình Trung tâm Vùng EB5 là một “chương trình thử nghiệm” được gia hạn liên tục. Chương trình EB5 Direct được ủy quyền vĩnh viễn, không hết hạn và hiện đang mở cửa cho các khoản đầu tư với giá 500.000 USD.

Nền tảng

Có rất nhiều thông tin sai lệch liên quan đến chương trình EB5 Trực tiếp. Bảng so sánh tóm tắt sau đây nhằm cung cấp thông tin rất cơ bản phần nào giải quyết được thắc mắc của nhà đầu tư đối với EB5 diện Trực tiếp và EB5 Trung Tâm Vùng

 EB5 Trung tâm Vùng (Đã hết hạn ngày 30/6/2021)EB5 TRỰC TIẾP
Yêu cầu đầu tư500.000 USD in TEA 900.000 USD outside TEA500.000 USD in TEA 900.000 USD outside TEA
Bạn có yêu cầu đầu tư vào chính doanh nghiệp của mình không?KhôngKhông, nhưng tự đầu tư doanh nghiệp rất phổ biến
Vốn đầu tư có cần là tiền mặt không?Mặc dù luật pháp không yêu cầu, các Trung tâm khu vực yêu cầu tiền mặt để tài trợ cho các dự án của họ.Không yêu cầu tiền mặt **. Công ty của chúng tôi đã giúp NĐT nhận được Thẻ xanh qua EB-5 Trực tiếp bằng cách tận dụng thiết bị, hàng tồn kho và các tài sản khác.
Thời hạn uỷ quyềnTạm hết hiệu lực vào ngày 30/06/2021Hiệu lực vĩnh viễn
Tạo việc làmCó thể sử dụng các công việc thích hợp, quy định theo một công thức kinh tế để làm bằng chứng cho mười (10) việc làm đã được tạo ra.Bằng chứng dựa trên sự ưu tiên việc làm, 10 công việc thực tế sẽ được tạo ra trong vòng 2,5 năm.
Có thể sự dụng các công việc hiện có không?Không, với một ngoại lệ riêng để tiết kiệm công việc trong một doanh nghiệp gặp khó khăn về tài chính **.Không khác nhau**.
Tham gia quản lý doanh nghiệp hằng ngàyKhông yêu cầu***Không bắt buộc nhưng điều này phổ biến hơn nhiều so với các trường hợp Trung tâm khu vực. ***

Tôi có cơ sở sản xuất đồ gỗ tại Việt Nam. Tôi có thể đầu tư cho Khoản đầu tư EB5 tại Hoa Kỳ của mình với hàng tồn kho là đồ gỗ Nội thất không?

Bạn có thể thành lập doanh nghiệp ở Mỹ để bán đồ nội thất bạn sản xuất ở Việt Nam bằng visa L. Hoặc, miễn là bạn đã đầu tư đủ yêu cầu đầu tư bằng hàng tồn kho là đồ nội thất và các nguồn vốn khác ở Hoa Kỳ, cũng như tạo đủ số việc làm tại Hoa Kỳ, bạn có đủ điều kiện để nộp đơn cho EB5.

Tôi có cơ sở sản xuất áo thun ở Ấn Độ. Tôi có thể đầu tư cho Khoản đầu tư EB5 tại Hoa Kỳ của mình với hàng tồn kho là Áo phông không?

Bạn có thể thành lập doanh nghiệp ở Hoa Kỳ để bán Áo phông bạn sản xuất ở Ấn Độ bằng thị thực L-1 hoặc thị thực khác. Miễn là bạn đã đầu tư đủ Áo phông và các nguồn vốn khác ở Hoa Kỳ và tạo đủ việc làm tại Hoa Kỳ, bạn có đủ điều kiện để nộp hồ sơ EB5.

Tôi có thể đến Hoa Kỳ trong thời gian chờ xử lý hồ sơ EB5 của mình không?

Nhiều khách hàng của công ty chúng tôi đã thành lập các doanh nghiệp vừa và nhỏ ở Hoa Kỳ bằng thị thực E2, thị thực L1 và các thị thực khác. Sau khi thành lập các doanh nghiệp này và phát triển doanh nghiệp đến mức có thể thoả mãn điều kiện đầu tư đối với chương trình thị thực khác, khách hàng của chúng tôi đã thành công trong việc “điều chỉnh” trạng thái của họ ở Hoa Kỳ thành trạng thái “Thường trú nhân” và “Thẻ xanh” thông qua chương trình EB1C, EB5 Trực tiếp và các danh thị thực mục Dựa trên Việc làm khác .

Một lợi thế chính của EB5 Trực tiếp và EB1C là cả hai đều cho phép khách hàng xây dựng doanh nghiệp tại Hoa Kỳ của họ theo thời gian và đủ điều kiện để được cấp Thẻ xanh.

Ví dụ, một khách hàng có được thị thực E2 để mở một cửa hàng cà phê nhỏ ở Miami đã có thể phát triển doanh nghiệp đó lên ba cửa hàng cà phê, do đó tạo ra hơn hai mươi việc làm. Khách hàng này có thể chuyển đổi thị thực E2 của mình thành Thẻ xanh bằng cách sử dụng chương trình EB5 Trực tiếp.

Trong một ví dụ khác, một khách hàng người Ấn Độ đã thành lập một doanh nghiệp tiếp thị thời trang nhỏ có hai nhân viên ở New York bằng thị thực L-1 và sau đó có thể “điều chỉnh” sang trạng thái Thẻ xanh sau khi phát triển công việc kinh doanh của mình tại Hoa Kỳ trong 2-3 năm.

Mặc dù hoàn toàn có thể đến Hoa Kỳ bằng thị thực không nhập cư và chờ đợi sự chấp thuận của Thẻ xanh theo diện EB5, điều này liên quan đến việc đánh giá các cân nhắc về “ý định nhập cư” và các vấn đề phức tạp khác của luật nhập cư. Những cân nhắc như vậy yêu cầu lập kế hoạch cẩn thận và sự hỗ trợ của luật sư EB5 có kinh nghiệm.

Tôi có thể tính Công việc đã được tạo cho chính gia đình của tôi trong hồ sơ EB5 Trực tiếp không?

Một câu hỏi phổ biến mà câu trả lời là KHÔNG – bạn không thể tính việc làm được tạo ra cho các thành viên gia đình như một phần của việc đáp ứng các yêu cầu tạo việc trong chương trình EB5. Đối với EB-5 Trực tiếp, bạn phải tạo ra tối thiểu 10 việc làm trong vòng 2,5 năm.

Loại hình kinh doanh nào đủ điều kiện cho EB5 trực tiếp?

Đây là một câu hỏi rất phổ biến. Tất cả các loại hình doanh nghiệp trong bất kỳ ngành nào đều đủ điều kiện cho EB5 miễn là tạo ra các công việc cần thiết và đầu tư áp dụng đã được thực hiện. Khách hàng của chúng tôi đã thành lập doanh nghiệp bao gồm nhưng không giới hạn các ngành sau đây và sau đó được “điều chỉnh” sang trạng thái Thẻ xanh thông qua EB5 hoặc các danh mục thị thực dựa trên việc làm khác:

Thời trang Chế tạo Dâu khi Nha khoaCác thiết bị y tế Đồ nội thất Chăm sóc sức khoẻ công nghệ thông tin Tóc và Làm đẹp

* Số tiền đầu tư cho cả hai chương trình EB5 đã được tăng lên 900.000 USD đến 1.800.000 USD tùy thuộc vào vị trí của dự án nhưng số tiền này đã bị giảm xuống do vụ kiện của tòa án vào tháng 6 năm 2021. Xem Trung tâm Vùng Behring kiện Wolf, Trường hợp số . 3: 20-cv-09263 (ND Cal)

** 8 C.F.R. § 204,6 (e). Vốn có nghĩa là tiền mặt, thiết bị, hàng tồn kho, tài sản hữu hình khác, các khoản tương đương tiền và nợ được bảo đảm bằng tài sản thuộc sở hữu của nhà đầu tư nước ngoài, với điều kiện nhà đầu tư nước ngoài phải chịu trách nhiệm cá nhân chủ yếu, và tài sản của doanh nghiệp thương mại mới của hồ sơ là cơ sở không được sử dụng để đảm bảo bất kỳ khoản nợ nào. Tất cả vốn sẽ được định giá theo giá trị thị trường hợp lý bằng USD. Các tài sản có được, trực tiếp hoặc gián tiếp, bằng các phương tiện bất hợp pháp (chẳng hạn như các hoạt động tội phạm) sẽ không được coi là vốn cho các mục đích của mục 203 (b) (5) của Đạo luật.

*** 8 C.F.R. § 204,6 (g) (4) (ii). Theo kinh nghiệm của chúng tôi Các nhà đầu tư EB5 trực tiếp có thể rất nhanh chóng tìm kiếm cơ hội đầu tư vào một “doanh nghiệp đang gặp khó khăn” để không phải tạo thêm mười việc làm mới. Điều này thường có thể dẫn đến tổn thất thương mại, không thể duy trì việc làm và từ chối quyền lợi nhập cư EB5 đang tìm kiếm. Chúng tôi khuyên bạn nên tiến hành xem xét kinh doanh và tài chính thích hợp với một cố vấn tài chính hoặc kinh doanh được cấp phép trước khi mua lại hoặc thành lập bất kỳ doanh nghiệp nào.

**** 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 (j) (5) cung cấp các quy tắc cho “sự tham gia của đương đơn” như sau:

Để chứng tỏ rằng đương đơn đang hoặc sẽ tham gia vào doanh nghiệp thương mại mới, thông qua việc thực hiện kiểm soát quản lý hàng ngày hoặc thông qua việc xây dựng chính sách, hồ sơ EB5 trực tiếp phải kèm theo:

(i) Tuyên bố về chức danh mà đương đơn đã hoặc sẽ nắm giữ trong doanh nghiệp mới và mô tả đầy đủ về nhiệm vụ của vị trí đó;

(ii) Bằng chứng cho thấy đương đơn là nhân viên công ty hoặc thành viên ban giám đốc công ty; hoặc là

(iii) Bằng chứng cho thấy đương đơn đang tham gia vào các hoạt động hoạch định chính sách. Theo mục đích của phần này, đương đơn sẽ được coi là tham gia đầy đủ vào các hoạt động hoạch định chính sách nếu đương đơn là chủ sở hữu vốn trong doanh nghiệp thương mại mới và các tài liệu tổ chức của doanh nghiệp thương mại mới cung cấp cho đương đơn một số quyền, quyền hạn và nghĩa vụ thông thường cấp cho các chủ sở hữu vốn cổ phần của loại hình doanh nghiệp thương mại mới trong khu vực pháp lý mà doanh nghiệp thương mại mới được tổ chức.

Click Here to Read More About EB-5 Visas


US Reopens for Traveler from November

US Travel Ban to be Lifted on November 8th

President Biden has announced the United States will reopen to all vaccinated travellers who can produce a negative test from November 8, ending a twenty-month ban on most visitors from a range of countries worldwide.

Under the Covid-19 travel ban, most people who had been in the Europe, the UK, China, India, South Africa and Brazil in the past 14 days were prohibited from traveling to the United States. The lifting of the ban means anyone can enter the United States provided they are fully vaccinated and can produce a negative test.

Many of our clients have put their US plans on hold until they can be physically present in the United States. For example, some of our E-2 Visa clients have expressed an interest in visiting the US to search for businesses before commencing their application. Similarly, some EB-5 Visa applicants have wanted to visit the US to view a Regional Center project, but changes to the program (investment thresholds and reauthorization) have played a greater role in decision making than Covid-19.

Despite the imminent lifting of the travel ban, Covid-19 continues to have an impact on US immigration. It has caused a slow down in processing at both the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and at US embassies and consulates worldwide. Some embassies are back to near-normal services, while others remain closed. Either way there is a backlog of applications to process and clients are advised to act soon to position themselves in the line.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which allows people to invest in and actively run a business in the United States has remained open to applicants throughout the pandemic. At a time when President Trump closed most other categories, the E-2 remained open to new applicants. This visa is governed by treaties with sovereign governments and is less exposed to political changes in Washington. The country in which you hold citizenship must hold a relevant treaty for you to be eligible. Click here to find out if your country holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States. If it does not, you first have to obtain citizenship of an E-2 country – see Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program – before you can apply for the E-2 Visa.

E-2 Visa Processing only involves your local embassy and does not involve the USCIS. In normal times, processing times are very quick, which means the whole Grenada + E2 Visa process could take nine months on average. Covid has increased that time, but it is still relatively quick (depending upon the impact of Covid on your local embassy).

L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa

The L-1 Visa is also open to new applicants after it was temporarily suspended by President Trump because of Covid. The lingering influence of Covid-19 has continued to impact processing times. Unlike the E-2 Visa, the L-1 visa is open to people of all nationalities. You can use this visa to move staff from an overseas office to the US office of the same company, and you can also set up a new US office of your foreign business and move yourself to the US to manage its growth. See new-office L-1 Visa.

EB-5 Investor Visa

The EB-5 Investor Visa has also been open to applications throughout much of the Covid-19 pandemic – President Trump deliberately exempted this revenue-raising, job-creating visa from his immigration ban last year. A federal judge reduce the investment threshold back to $500,000 in June causing a spike in demand. While the Direct EB-5 pathway remains open, the Regional Center pathway is currently on hold pending reauthorization in the United States Congress. If the EB-5 program reopens, it is anticipated that demand could be high, so some clients are already working on their source of funds to position themselves at the front of the line when things reopen.

These visa categories represent just some of the immigration solutions our firm can support clients with. While processing times have slowed down during Covid-19 and some visa categories were temporarily suspended, commerce always finds a way. Business owners, investors and entrepreneurs will always be welcome in America. Our firm has filed plenty of successful immigration applications during the past 20 months and we are excited to accelerate that as the world gets back to normal.


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.


Immigration and Taxes

D&A’s Tax & Residency Webinar Recording

We held a webinar with key experts on how to maintain US permanent residency for Green Card holders, conditional Green Card holders, and aspiring Green Card applicants. One of the key aspects of this is TAX.

Watch the Webinar

Tax and Residency

The US is an extremely sophisticated tax jurisdiction with state, federal and local taxes. When you have US permanent residency, your must maintain an address in the United States for tax purposes. So what does that mean for travel in and out of America, and what does it mean for your family’s residency. What does that mean if you spend a taxable length of time in another country? What happens with double taxation – i.e. being taxed in both countries?

We disucss

  1. Transitioning Conditional Green Card to a full Green Card – the process and why there are delays. This is the I-829 stage of the EB-5 Investor Visa process.
  2. Waiting on a Conditional Green Card – if your Form I-526 is approved and you are still waiting on your conditional Green Card
  3. What you need to do to maintain your permanent residency status
  4. US Taxes – how it links to your PR status in the US and general considerations for tax for permanent residents
  5. State Tax Returns – you need to pay both federal AND state

The Webinar Features

Gary Kaufman – US Tax Attorney

M R Narasimhamurthy – Senior Partner at MRNM & Co. Chartered Accountants (and successful EB-5 Visa applicant)

Mark I Davies– Chairman, Davies & Associates

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.


H-1B Visa to EB-5 for US Green card

H-1B Visa to EB-5 Visa: Permanent Residency in the United States

Why are an increasing number of people are looking to the EB-5 Investor Visa after or instead of the H-1B Visa?

Next week our Managing Partner Mark Davies is leading a webinar on the subject of H-1B to EB-5. It will be worth listening in as industry experts will be explaining the relative merits of the two visa categories and how to transition between them. It will be of interest to anyone already in the United States on H-1B and anyone considering an H-1B application in future.

Sign up for the webinar by clicking here.

The future of H-1B

The H-1B visa has been under increasing scrutiny for some years now. The H-1B visa had its heyday during the dotcom boom of the early 2000s – with many tech workers moving to the United States in pursuit of good jobs and a bright future. But since then, the H-1B visa has faced a mounting image problem caused by instances of fraud and the perception that H-1B adversely affects the American workforce.

Both main political parties have overseen some form of restriction on H-1B. This process culminated in President Trump suspending the H-1B visa from June last year. Ostensibly this was because of Covid-19, but Trump never shied away from his declaring his opposition before the pandemic began.

President Biden has promised to target more highly skilled STEM graduates in the same breath as saying there is a need to protect American workers first. It is unclear how he will choose to balance these two often-competing aims – much will depend on the economic recovery from Covid – but a telltale sign came when Biden pointedly did not overturn Trump’s suspension of the H-1B Visa (preferring to let it lapse naturally at the end of March 2021).

The Future of EB-5

The future looks bright for the EB-5 Program if it gets through the June 2021 Regional Center reauthorization process as expected. The program brings in millions of dollars and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs at no cost to the taxpayer. So it comes as no surprise that the EB-5 program garners bipartisan support.

Direct EB-5 – where the investor makes and manages the investment themselves – is not up for reauthorization and will continue regardless of what happens in Congress next month. The majority of investors, usually upwards of 90%, opt to invest under the Regional Center program because of challenges with compliance. Each EB-5 investment needs to create and sustain ten American jobs, which can be tricky for a new business. Unlike direct EB-5 investors, Regional Centers are able to count “indirect jobs” and tend to use the funds for job-hungry projects like hotel builds.

Nevertheless, it is vital to do due diligence on the Regional Center and its project to identify any risks to your Green Card or the return of your capital. With background in both real estate and immigration law, our managing partner Mark Davies is able to assist clients with due diligence on their chosen project.

H-1B Visa India

While H-1B recipients come from all over the world, there is no denying that Indians are the overwhelming beneficiaries. Around three quarters of all H-1B visa holders are from India. It is for this reason that our upcoming webinar is being hosted by TiE Bangalore. TiE Global fosters entrepreneurship around the world and the Bangalore chapter is particularly active in this regard. Nevertheless, the information in the webinar will be relevant to people from all over the world.

H-1B Visa and EB-5 Visa Calendars

The H-1B visa lottery opens to applicants in April each year and places fill up very fast. Anyone who is unsuccessful needs to wait another year before applying. The EB-5 Investor Visa has no such calendar and applications are open throughout the year. There are just over 700 EB-5 visas available to each country each year. Very few countries come close to this limit, but a tiny minority of countries exceed it. When this happens, a calendar does come into play for EB-5. The visa year resets in October at which point the next tranche of circa 700 visas become available – but other factors also influence timings, e.g. processing efficiency at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Currently only citizens of China and Vietnam face EB-5 delays, but demand has skyrocketed in India in recent years and the number of visa issuances often gets close to or just passes the annual cap.

H-1B, EB-5 and Time Limits

The H-1B visa is valid for up to six years at which point a person has to find an alternative visa solution or return home. The natural next step is often the EB-3 Visa: Permanent Residency for Highly Skilled Migrants, but for citizens of India and China there are delays to the EB-3 route because demand has been so high for so long.

In fact for Indians EB-3 delays are extremely long – the authorities are currently just getting around to applications submitted by Indians in 2011! This is one of the reasons why the EB-5 Investor Visa is emerging as an attractive alternative for many H-1B visa holders. EB-5 currently has no wait list for Indians, although the release of pent up demand after Covid could change this. So interested EB-5 applicants from India should apply as soon as possible. EB-5 offers permanent residency (Green Card) for a $900,000 investment per qualifying family unit. This means that unlike H-1B you can stay in America forever provided you do not do anything to jeopardize your status. Green Card holders can convert to citizenship provided physical presence conditions are met.

H-1B, EB-5 and Work

With the H-1B visa, applicants are tied to their employer and it is difficult (but not impossible) to change jobs. This puts the employee at a relative disadvantage when it comes to salary and other negotiations with an employer. It also means that the H-1B holder would have to return home if they lose their job and cannot find another. The EB-5 Visa offers a Green Card and with it the complete freedom to work anywhere in the United States (or not to work). It is possible to be retired, a student or unemployed. There is no connection between your employment status and your immigration status under the EB-5 Visa Program.

H-1B to EB-5 the Process

Our attorneys can guide you through the application process. If you are switching from H-1B to EB-5 you need to go through an adjustment of status and file Form I-485. There are some benefits to this over other EB-5 applicants as you may be granted employment rights in the US while you are waiting for the USCIS to process your application provided you apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Anyone outside the US considering EB-5 Visa as an alternative to the H-1B visa needs to enlist an attorney to prepare and submit an I-526 form. Either way, every EB-5 visa applicant must be able to document the source of the funds used to pay for your investment and prove that they came from legitimate sources. Contact our team to arrange a free consultation.

Read more about the EB-5 Investor Visa Program

Sign up for the webinar by clicking here.

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.


All You Need to About IEP

International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) Program: What you need to know

The Biden Administration has relaunched the International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) Program this week. The International Entrepreneur Parole program allows the owners and managers of promising startups to temporarily reside in the United States to grow businesses that have strong economic and job-creation potential.

Who is Eligible for the International Entrepreneur Parole Program?

As the name suggests the International Entrepreneur Parole Program is open to global entrepreneurs, but ultimately eligibility will be determined by the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) on a case-by-case basis.

Basic eligibility requirements include:

  • The business must be a startup, created within the past five year within the United States
  • The applicant must hold “Substantial Ownership” in the startup business
  • The applicant must play an active role in the business
  • The business must have secured credible funding or other demonstrable support from private US investors, or federal, state & local entities.

How long is the International Entrepreneur Parole Program Valid for?

The International Entrepreneur Parole Program is valid for up to 30 months initially. This can be extended by another 30 months provided the business is able to demonstrate that it has grown and created jobs. However, parole is not a visa and people wanting to stay in the United States for longer will need to carefully plan their options. Anyone from an E-2 Treaty Country could potentially transition to an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. If the underlying business becomes large enough or the entrepreneur privately has enough funds, then the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa offers a relatively fast route to a Green Card for a $900,000 investment. A Green Card is the name for US permanent residency, which offers the freedom to live and work anywhere in the United States.

Can my spouse and children accompany me to the United States under the International Entrepreneur Parole Program?

Yes. Spouses (husbands and wives) and children can accompany the primary applicant to the United States under the International Entrepreneur Program. Spouses can apply for work authorization. The primary applicant can only work for the startup and is not eligible to work elsewhere in the United States.

How many entrepreneurs can be granted International Entrepreneur Parole under this Program?

The maximum number of entrepreneurs per startup business is three (3).

Is the International Entrepreneur Parole Program only for Hi-Tech Startups?

No. The International Entrepreneur Parole Program is for any startup business in any industry sector. Provided it meets the key criteria and can prove that it offers strong growth and job creation potential for the United States.

Do I need to make an investment as part of International Entrepreneur Parole Program?

The start-up must have received an investment of at last $250,000 from private US based investors of $100,000 grants or awards from public agencies (local, state or federal). If you do not satisfy this criteria, you may still be granted approval if there is sufficient evidence to suggest the start-up will grow rapidly. At the renewal stage, you should be able to show that the business has received $500,000 in private or public and that it has generated $500,000 in revenue.

Which countries are eligible for the International Entrepreneur Parole Program?

The International Entrepreneur Parole Program is open to people from all countries unless there are specific sanctions or restrictions that impacts all form of immigration between your country and the United States. This means that the International Entrepreneur Parole Program is more wide reaching that the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which has more advantages but is limited to people from Treaty Countries.

How does the International Entrepreneur Parole Program Compare with the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows an applicant to invest in and run a business in the United States. One of its main advantages over the International Entrepreneur Parole Program is the length of time you can remain in the United States. While the International Entrepreneur Parole Program is limited to 30 months with an additional 30 months for entrepreneurs who can demonstrate growth, the E-2 Visa is renewable forever provided the E-2 business continues to operate successfully. Like the IEP program, the E-2 Visa needs to be renewed and reviewed, but entrepreneurs usually have a little longer. This actual validity of your initial E-2 Visa does depend on where you are from – each country has its own validity period detailed in the State Department’s reciprocity schedules.

The advantage the IEP program has over the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is that the E-2 visa is only available to people from E-2 Treaty Countries. The International Entrepreneur Parole Program could be an alternative if you are not from an E-2 Treaty County. However, there is also another solution: E-2 Visa eligibility is determined by citizenship, so it is possible to obtain citizenship of an E-2 Treaty Country and become eligible for the visa. The fastest and most cost-effective ways to become a citizen of an E-2 Treaty Country is the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme and the Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program.

How does the International Entrepreneur Parole Program Compare with the L-1 Visa?

Another alternative to the International Entrepreneur Parole Program is the L-1 Visa. The L-1 Visa permits the transfer of employees within the same company, the L-1A is for for International Managers & Executives and the L-1B is for highly skilled employees with specialized knowledge. Our firm specializes in New Office L-1 Visas, where you set up a new US office of your company and transfer an employee to the US to oversee the startup and growth of that company.

Unlike E-2, there are no nationality requirements for the L-1 Visa. The L-1A Visa can last up to seven years and the L-1B can be renewed up to a maximum of five years, both of which are longer than the IEP program. However, new office L-1 visas need to be reviewed and renewed after one year – which is earlier than the IEP program, but the progress requirements are usually less stringent. L-1 Visa holders who wish to remain in the United States permanently have a clear cut route to a Green Card through the EB-1c visa option.


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 Investment Level Increase

EB-5 Visa: Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Investment-Level Increase

A lawsuit filed by an EB-5 Regional Center is taking aim at the November 2019 price hike for the EB-5 Investor Visa. If successful, the minimum investment amount for EB-5 would return to USD 500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area. A federal judge in California has indicated she may be willing to reverse the Trump-Era changes to the EB-5 program rules after a lawsuit filed by Behring Regional Center. 

If successful, any changes would likely be short-lived. The EB-5 Regional Center Program is set to expire at the end of June and a reform and reauthorization proposal has started working its way through Congress could set the USD 900,000 minimum investment level in stone.  It is our opinion that the new EB-5 law in June would be revised to increase the price back to itS current level.

This means that there may be an extremely short window of time, possibly as little as days, in which to file an EB-5 I-526 Petition at USD 500,000.   Properly preparing a case to be filed can take weeks or longer depending on where the funds are coming from and will require investors to fund an EB-5 project which is configured to accept investment at that investment level.  Any investor potentially interested in availing themselves of the USD 500,000 investment level should therefore have their case ready so it can be filed at a moment’s notice.  

The minimum investment requirement for the EB-5 Investor Visa to USD 900,000 in November 2019 to take account of inflation since the program’s inception in the 1990s. The $900,000 amount relates to investments in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) – areas with relatively high unemployment. Outside of TEAs the minimum investment requirement rose from USD 1 million to UDS 1.8 million. The November-2019 rule change also centralised decision making around what constitutes a TEA, transferring authority for this to the Department for Homeland Security.

The rule changes had a significant impact on EB-5 uptake with a sharp drop-off after November 2019. This was partly due to so many people rushing to apply, exhausting pent up demand. Covid slowed the recovery, but green shoots have been emerging as the pandemic recedes. Long term reform and reauthorization in June will provide much-needed certainty and confidence to future investors. 

This federal court case could change calculations for some investors. If the price temporarily drops to USD 500,000 it could cause a massive rush to file EB-5 applications. The application process requires careful documentation of the source of funds used for the EB-5 investment. This can take time to prepare, so anyone considering an application or monitoring this court case for a drop in the investment level should contact us immediately. 

The court case comes at a time of brief uncertainty for the EB-5 Investor Visa Program. With reauthorization of the Regional Center Program required before the it expires in June, would-be investors need to weigh their options carefully. 

On the one hand, you could tie up your capital under uncertain conditions to pursue the EB-5 Regional Center in case it ends forever in June. Or on the other hand, you could wait until there is certainty in the second half of 2021, but know that the price of that certainty could mean the EB-5 route is closed to you forever. The risk is up to the client, but it is worth talking through your options with an immigration attorney. 

The likelihood is that the program will be renewed. The EB-5 Investor Visa brings in millions of dollars in investment and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs all across America at no cost to the taxpayer. It played a valuable role in America’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and could do something similar as the US economy recovers from Covid.

Anyone who has already applied for an EB-5 Visa but is waiting an adjudication may wish to file a writ of mandamus in federal court ahead of the June 2021 expiry date. Usually applicants should wait at least two years before resorting to legal action against the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), but the June expiration may change this. Contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.