EB-5 Program Updates

Thứ Tư, 12 Tháng Sáu 201300:00(Xem: 26292)
EB-5 Program Updates
In 1990, Congress created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program with hopes of attracting foreign capital and creating jobs for American workers. The advantage of the EB-5 visa category is that it allows immigrant beneficiaries to engage in a commercial enterprise anywhere in the United States. 

There are 10,000 visas available each year in the EB-5 category. Right now, the spouse and children of the investors are given visas from that 10,000 allocation. If the new CIR is approved, 10,000 visas would go just to the investors, and additional visas would be available for the spouse and children. That would be more than double the number of visas available to principal investors.

An EB-5 applicant must invest between $500,000 to One Million dollars to create a new business or invest in an existing business, or, to become a Regional Center investor. The business must create full-time employment for at least 10 American workers.

Regional Centers are the least complicated form of EB-5 investment. The foreign investor simply supplies $500,000 and the Regional Center is responsible for creating or continuing a business. Regional Center investments are at risk and the profit is quite small, but they do give the investor and his family a path to Permanent Residence, and there is no requirement to be involved in the business or to live in a specific area of the US.

What to Expect in the Coming Months? Over 40 new regional centers have already been approved in 2013, but because of the huge backlog created by the lack of adjudications in 2012, many applications still remain pending beyond one year. The result is that some potential Regional Center investors are having a hard time locating a Center that is still accepting new applicants.

All EB-5 activity is subjected to very close scrutiny by CIS to make sure that the businesses are hiring and maintaining the required number of workers. At this time, adjudications for new Regional Center applications are taking about 18 months. The I-526 immigrant investor petitions are taking about 12 months, though some cases have been approved within a few weeks or a few months.

The EB-5 office of CIS has moved to Washington. It will take time to train the new staff, and there is a large backlog of applications from previous years, so adjudications will move slowly for the remainder of this year.

EB-5 filings online through CIS-ELIS will be possible (but not required) starting this summer.

USCIS has made a promise to be more reasonable in its demands for evidence and in adjudicating business plans. A USCIS Guidance Memo is likely to be published within the next few months.

Q.1. Can an immigrant investor in Vietnam transfer money through a bank to the US without showing a complete paper trail of how it was earned? 
A. 1. Even if the money is transferred through a bank, Green Card investors are required to provide evidence of the legal source of all investment capital. Business practices in Vietnam are not the same as in the US, so this may be a difficult matter for the potential Vietnamese investor.

Q.2. What happens if a Vietnamese investor transfers $500,000 or One Million to the US but CIS does not approve his visa application?
A.2. An investor’s money may be held in escrow until the investor has obtained visa approval by CIS. If CIS does not grant the visa, the full amount of the money in escrow would be returned to the investor.

Q.3. Does a Green Card investor have to pay taxes on money earned in the US?
A. 3. Yes, if income is earned, taxes must be paid.

Immigration Support Services-Tham Van Di Tru

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