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E-2 Investor Visa

            The E-2 Investor Visa allows an individual to enter and work inside of the United States based on an investment he or she will be controlling, while inside the United States. This visa must generally be renewed every two years, but there is no limit to how many times one can renew. The investment must be "substantial." Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification. 

            Over the years the United States has signed treaties with most of the other countries in the world, in particular treaties of 'Friendship, Commerce and Navigation'. These treaties are designed to promote trade and investment between the USA and the other contracting state, thereby encouraging good relations and peace. More recently the USA has entered into a number of Bilateral Investment Treaties with mainly former communist states, designed to promote investment but not generally conferring any trade-related immigration privileges.

 

Eligibility Requirements for the E-2 Program

            •  Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation

            •  Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States

            •  Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.

 

A substantial amount of capital is:

            •  Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one
            •  Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise
            •  Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.

 

Period of Stay

Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

 

An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. It is generally not necessary to file a new Form I-129 with USCIS in this situation.

 

E-2 Process for Filing

Treaty investor is Outside the United States

PURPOSE: The File the DS-160 for E-2 visa

PROCESS: Our attorney will file DS-160 and support documents

REQUIREMENTS: The investor meet the E-2 qualification

DETERMINATION: The local U.S embassy will desire on the interview date

TIMING: The preparing process takes approximately 90 days.

 

Treaty investor is in the United States

If the treaty investor is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, he or she may file Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-2 classification. If the desired employee is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, the qualifying employer may file Form I-129 on the employee’s behalf.

 

What is the program length?

Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. It is generally not necessary to file a new Form I-129 with USCIS in this situation.

Terms and Conditions of E-2 Status

A treaty investor or employee may only work in the activity for which he or she was approved at the time the classification was granted. An E-2 employee, however, may also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries as long as the:

            •  Relationship between the organizations is established
            •  Subsidiary employment requires executive, supervisory, or essential skills
            •  Terms and conditions of employment have not otherwise changed.
See 8 CFR 214.2(e)(8)(ii) for details.

 

USCIS must approve any substantive change in the terms or conditions of E-2 status. A “substantive change” is defined as a fundamental change in the employer’s basic characteristics, such as, but not limited to, a merger, acquisition, or major event which affects the treaty investor or employee’s previously approved relationship with the organization. The treaty investor or enterprise must notify USCIS by filing a new Form I-129 with fee, and may simultaneously request an extension of stay for the treaty investor or affected employee. The Form I-129 must include evidence to show that the treaty investor or affected employee continues to qualify for E-2 classification.

 

It is not required to file a new Form I-129 to notify USCIS about non-substantive changes. A treaty investor or organization may seek advice from USCIS, however, to determine whether a change is considered substantive. To request advice, the treaty investor or organization must file Form I-129 with fee and a complete description of the change.

See 8 CFR 214.2(e)(8) for more information on terms and conditions of E-2 treaty investor status.

 

A strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage at the intended place of employment may affect a Canadian or Mexican treaty investor or employee’s ability to obtain E-2 status. See 8 CFR 214.2(e)(22) for details.

Family of E-2 Treaty Investors and Employees

Treaty investors and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty investor or employee. These family members may seek E-2 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee. If the family members are already in the United States and are seeking change of status to or extension of stay in an E-2 dependent classification, they may apply by filing a single Form I-539 with fee. Spouses of E-2 workers may apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765 with fee. If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the E-2 spouse may work.

 

As discussed above, the E-2 treaty investor or employee may travel abroad and will generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. Unless the family members are accompanying the E-2 treaty investor or employee at the time the latter seeks readmission to the United States, the new readmission period will not apply to the family members. To remain lawfully in the United States, family members must carefully note the period of stay they have been granted in E-2 status, and apply for an extension of stay before their own validity expires.

 

Where can I find more information?

To learn more about this program and its requirements, visit https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/e-2-treaty-investors or contact our team.

 

 

EB-5 Investor Green Card

            The EB-5 Program is the USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) 

            This program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive.Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program. This sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

 

Eligibility Requirements for the EB-5 Program

            All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise:

             • Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or

             • Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:
                1. Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
                2. Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs

           Job Creation Requirements

             • Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.

             • Create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs:

                  -Direct jobs are actual identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the commercial enterprise into which the EB-5 investor has directly invested his or her capital.

                  -Indirect jobs are those jobs shown to have been created collaterally or as a result of capital invested in a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center by an EB-5 investor. A foreign investor may only use the indirect job calculation if affiliated with a regional center.

                  Note: Investors may only be credited with preserving jobs in a troubled business.

 

Capital Investment Requirements

Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur, provided that the alien entrepreneur is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the new commercial enterprise upon which the petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness. All capital shall be valued at fair-market value in United States dollars. Assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities) shall not be considered capital for the purposes of section 203(b)(5) of the Act.

Note: Investment capital cannot be borrowed.

 

Required minimum investments are:

1) General. The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million.

2) Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.

 

EB-5 Process for Filing

Step 1: File Form I-526, Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

PROCESS: The highly skilled EB5 program visa attorney will prepare and file the comprehensive application package

REQUIREMENTS: The background check and eligibility test. The investor invest and transfer fund to the Reginal Center or LLC of direct investment.

TIMING: Average 14 months pending for approval 

COMMITMENT: Once USCIS approval, we will start the next process, if USCIS denied we will return of investment fund to the investor.

Step 2: File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and DS-230 or DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration

PROCESS: Once USCIS approval of I-526, our attorney will prepare the all form to obtain an EB-5 visa for admission to the United States. 

REQUIREMENTS: Investors prepared all requirement documents prior to attend a visa interview at the Embassy conducted by a U.S. Consular Officer

TIMING: The entire process takes about 6 months.

COMMITMENT: In this stage, the investor will obtain EB-5 and enter the US, receive 2 years conditional green card

Step 3: File Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions

90 days before the two-year anniversary of the granting of the EB-5 investor’s conditional resident status (Green Card). 

If USCIS approves this petition, the conditions will be removed from the EB-5 applicant’s status and the EB-5 investor and derivative family members will be allowed to permanently live and work in the United States

What is the program length?

EB-5 visa is immigration visa and will change to Green Card at the immigration office for 2 years condition and change to 10 years which able to renew no limitation.

Rights and Responsibilities of a Green Card Holder (Permanent Resident)

Your Rights as a Permanent Resident

As a permanent resident (green card holder), you have the right to:

            •  Live permanently in the United States provided you do not commit any actions that would make you removable

         under immigration law

            •  Work in the United States at any legal work of your qualification and choosing. (Please note that some jobs will be limited

         to U.S. citizens for security reasons)

            • Be protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residence and local jurisdictions

Your Responsibilities as a Permanent Resident

As a permanent resident, you are:

            •  Required to obey all laws of the United States the states, and localities

            •  Required to file your income tax returns and report your income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities

            •  Expected to support the democratic form of government and not to change the government through illegal means

            •  Required, if you are a male age 18 through 25, to register with the Selective Service

Maintaining Permanent Residence

Once you become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), you maintain permanent resident status until you:

            •  Apply for and complete the naturalization process; or

            •  Lose or abandon your status.

There are several ways that you can lose your status as a lawful permanent resident.

Conditional Permanent Resident Status

Section 216 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for you to become a lawful permanent resident on

a conditional basis, based on marriage.

Section 216A provides for you to become a lawful permanent resident on a conditional basis, based on a qualifying investment.

Both sections allow USCIS to terminate your conditional status as provided by the law (in the event of fraud, for example).

You may be able to seek review of the termination of your status in a removal proceeding before an immigration judge.

Removal Proceedings

You will lose your permanent resident status if an immigration judge issues a final removal order against you.

INA sections 212 and 237 describe the grounds on which you may be ordered removed from the United States.

Abandoning Permanent Resident Status

You may also lose your permanent resident status by intentionally abandoning it. You may be found to have abandoned your status if you:

            •  Move to another country, intending to live there permanently.

            •  Remain outside of the United States for an extended period of time, unless you intended this to be a temporary absence, as shown by:

                        o  The reason for your trip;

                        o  How long you intended to be absent from the United States;

                        o  Any other circumstances of your absence; and

                        o  Any events that may have prolonged your absence.

                        o  Note: Obtaining a re-entry permit from USCIS before you leave, or a returning resident visa (SB-1) from a U.S. consulate while

              abroad, may assist you in showing that you intended only a temporary absence.

            •  Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period.

            •  Declare yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your U.S. tax returns.

Reporting Loss of Permanent Resident Status

Internal Revenue Code section 6039G(d)(3) requires the Department of Homeland Security to inform the Internal

Revenue Service if you lose permanent resident status because you:

            •  Have been ordered removed from the United States; or

            •  Chose to abandon your status and surrender your green card.

Can my family apply for the EB-5 program?

Yes, once you apply, your family: husband or wife and their children will able to get a green card as well.

Where can I find more information?

To learn more about this program and its requirements, visit https://www.uscis.gov/eb-5 or contact our team.