Monthly Archives: March 2014

PROS & CONS: EB-2 Immigrant Visa Category!

By:  Coleman Jackson, Attorney | Immigration & Tax Law Firm | www.cjacksonlaw.com

March 27, 2014

EB-2 immigrant visa category is the second (out of five) “preference” immigrant visa category for United States employment based immigration to the United States of America. The EB-2 immigrant visa is one of the common ways in which foreign professional workers with advanced degrees and individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business receive employment-based green cards. E-2 immigrant visas are reserved for professionals holding advanced degrees or their equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability in science, arts or business and who will substantially benefit the United States’ national interest its economy, culture, education or welfare from their services with a U.S. employer.

Categories Under the EB-2 Employment Based Immigrant Visa:

EB-2(A): This category is for foreign nationals professionals with an ‘advanced degrees’ (masters degree or higher) and with a job offer from a U.S. company.

EB-2(B): This category is for foreign nationals with ‘exceptional ability’ in the sciences, business or arts and with a job offer from a U.S. company.

EB-2(C): This category is for foreign nationals with exceptional ability, or an advanced degree, who can show that their activities will benefit the U.S. national interest.substantially.

 EB-2 Immigrant Visa Category for U.S.

 

 

Pros and Cons of the EB-2 Immigrant Visa Category:

Pros

  • Processing of EB-2 visa petition can be much quicker than other Employment Based Immigration categories.
  • The capital investment required under the EB-2 immigrant visa classification is generally substantially less than the capital investment requirements under the EB-5 immigrant visa classification.
  • No labor certification required in national interest cases.
  • The foreign employee can apply for legal permanent residence status (Green Card) that allows them to live in the United States permanently.
  • The EB-2 visa provides the ability to work in the United States indefinitely with properly filed and approved two year extensions.
  • Once the permanent status is obtained, EB-2 immigrant visa worker can travel freely in and out of the U.S.A. for business or pleasure.
  • The EB-2 visa holder’s spouse and children under the age of 18 may be admitted to the United States in the E-21 and E-22 immigrant visa status, respectively.
  • The EB-2 visa holder’s spouse and children may attend school in the United States.
  • During the process of permanent resident status the spouse is eligible to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Cons

  • EB-2 immigrant visa applicant must be a national of a country that the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
  • EB-2 immigrant visa applicant must be the same nationality of the principal alien employer.
  • EB-2 treaty investor must have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital of their own money obtained from lawful sources in a bona fide business in the United States of America.
  • EB-2 immigrant visa investment cannot be in a marginal enterprise or a business that generates only enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and their family.
  • EB-2 immigrant visa applicant must show credible proof of an advanced degree or its equivalent.
  • EB-2 immigrant visa applicant must show evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities, or professional or business organizations.
  • EB-2 treaty trader investor must prove source of investment capital; and must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business in the State or jurisdiction where the business entity will be located.
  • EB-2 foreign nationals must have a valid job offer. However in National Interest category the requirement is waived.
  • EB-2 immigrant visa petitions must be accompanied by an approved individual labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) on Form ETA-750. (Except EB-2(C) category).
  • EB-2 treaty investor and employees may only work in the activity for which (s)he was approved at the time the EB-2 immigrant visa classification was granted.
  • USCIS must formally approve any substantive changes in the terms and conditions of EB-2 immigrant visa status.
  • Qualified treaty investor and employees are allowed a maximum initial stay of two years; however, extensions of stay are permitted in increments of two years each for and unlimited number of extensions.
  • Family and employees lawful status is directly dependent upon the continued eligibility of the principal treaty trader under the EB-2 immigrant visa classification.

This blog is written by the Immigration & Tax Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C.  It is for informational and educational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship between this law firm and the reader.  If you have questions about your particular situation regarding the EB-2 immigrant visa or other legal matters, you should consult with independent legal counsel with respect your individual situation or circumstances.

Coleman Jackson, PC
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
6060 North Central Expressway
Suite 443
Dallas, Texas 75206
Law Firm Sitewww.cjacksonlaw.com

Main Line:   214-599-0431 ||| Spanish Line:  214-599-0432

The EB-5 Regional Center Investor Visa – Do You Want to Immigrate & Invest in the U.S.A.?

By Coleman Jackson, Esq.
March 20, 2014

What is an EB-5 Regional Center?

An EB-5 Regional Center is an organization designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that sponsors capital investment projects by EB-5 investors.  In more simple terms, a Regional Center is a service agent organization for investors and companies looking to complete a project under the EB-5 program.  Regional Centers provides qualified foreign nationals and their families with the opportunity to obtain permanent U.S. residency through investment in a variety of projects that are sponsored by its government designated EB-5 Regional Center.

A Regional Center could be a private or public economic entity involved with the promotion of increased domestic capital, job creation, improved regional productivity, and increased economic growth in the United States of America.

Regional Center Investors Visa

 

EB-5 Regional Center Visa Program

In the United States there are two ways for an alien investor to obtain lawful permanent resident status under the EB-5 category.

  1. Basic Program (Individual Program)
  2. Regional Center Pilot Program

The Regional Center Pilot Program requires investment in a regional center affiliated new commercial enterprise or a troubled business within a designated regional center.

Comparison of Regional Center and Individual EB-5 Program:

This comparison is based on major factors considered by the USCIS when evaluating and adjudicating EB-5 Investor Visa applications.  The similarities and differences between the individual EB-5 investment and the regional center investment are as follows:

1. Investment Capacity:

Regional Center Investment CapacityIn both the Individual and Regional Center Programs, the alien must make a minimum investment of $1,000,000, unless the investment is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). TEAs are defined as either a (1) rural area that is, areas with populations of less than 20,000 people, or (2) areas with unemployment rates of 150% or more of the national rate.

A lot of the regional centers have been approved by USCIS as TEA investments; therefore, regional center program investor will qualify for a reduced $500,000 investment capacity requirement rather than $1,000,000.

2. Job Creation:

Regional Center Job CreationAn individual EB-5 petition requires proof of “full-time employment” as direct employees of 10 U.S. workers pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 (j) (4).

An investment in a regional center does not raise the requirement of direct employment creation for purposes of the Form I-526 approval. It can qualify based upon indirect employment generated in the community through the regional center investment.

3. Management Role:

Regional Center Management RoleAs part of the pre-approval process, the regional center had to satisfy USCIS that the investors would be engaged in the “management” of the enterprise as opposed to maintaining a “purely passive role” pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 (j)(5). Compliance with this management role factor must be proven on a case-by-case basis by the individual EB-5 petitioner. Whereas the regional center investors can take a more strategic role in business management. For example, a limited partner in a limited partnership can qualify for EB-5 participation in an EB-5 enterprise approved by a regional center.

4. Sources of Funds:

Regional Center Source of FundsIn both cases the investors are required to prove the lawful sources of their investment funds.

 

 

Advantages of Regional Center EB-5 Visa Program:

Some of the advantages of investing and applying for the EB-5 Investor Visa through a Regional Center Visa Program are as follows:

Lower Investment Levels:

Capital from multiple EB-5 investors can be pooled to create larger investment opportunities. You may be able to qualify with an investment of $500,000 rather than $1 million.

Flexible Job Creation Measures:

Investors are credited for both direct and indirect job creation. For example, jobs created by independent suppliers or other vendors to the EB-5 business count toward the job creation requirement.

Less Day-to-Day Business Involvement:

Regional center investors can take a more strategic role in business management. For example, a limited partner in a limited partnership can qualify for EB-5 participation in an EB-5 enterprise approved by a regional center.

No Residency limitation:

The foreign national regional center investor can live anywhere in the United States.

Bringing Families Together:

The regional center investors can bring their family together. Their spouse and children can lawfully reside and study in the United States.

Travel Freedom:

The foreign national regional center investor can travel in and out of the United States for personal or business purposes as often as they choose.

Some Cautions When Selecting a Regional Center:

Investors beware when selecting a Regional Center for EB-5 Visa purposes.   All regional centers are not alike.  It is important that the investor perform due diligence prior to investing their funds; such as:

  1. Research the success and accomplishments of the Regional Center;
  2. Research the financial stability of the Regional Center;
  3. Research the executive leadership team of the Regional Center;
  4. Identify and thoroughly research the EB-5 project;
  5. Hire the professional services of an EB-5 Lawyer in the geographical area where the project will be located;

This blog is presented for educational and informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with the Immigration & Tax Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, PC.  If you have questions or comments pertaining to your particular investment and immigration requirements, you should consult with legal counsel.

Coleman Jackson, PC
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
6060 North Central Expressway
Suite 443
Dallas, Texas 75206
Law Firm Sitewww.cjacksonlaw.com

Main Line:   214-599-0431 ||| Spanish Line:  214-599-0432