EB-5 News Archive for January, 2011
Businesses in Jefferson County, New York, are now eligible to accept funding from foreign investors to add or maintain jobs through the federal EB-5 visa program, the Watertown Daily Times reports.
The county recently received EB-5 approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to become part of expanded territory under the Upstate New York EB-5 Regional Center in Buffalo, according to the news provider. With the approval, the EB-5 regional center can now bring in foreign investment for all counties in the state.
Through the EB-5 visa program, foreign nationals can obtain U.S. green card eligibility by making an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in some areas) in an American project or company that either creates or maintains at least 10 full-time jobs.
The USCIS defines an EB-5 regional center (such as the one in Buffalo) as "any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment."
Currently, the Buffalo regional center focuses on the companies or projects associated with renovating or building new structures for commercial use, according to the USCIS. According to its website, the Upstate New York Regional Center's main goals are to help foreign investors receive green card eligibility and to preserve and create jobs to help economic development in the region.
David Mosher, a local representative for the center, told the news source that there are a few potential investment opportunities on the docket.
"They have people interested in making the investment in the wings," Mosher said. "I will be packaging opportunities to be presented overseas."
In addition to Mosher, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency (JCIDA) will assist in the local administration of the program, the news source said.
"This allows us to bring in larger pots of investment from outside the area," JCIDA CEO Donald C. Alexander told the news provider. "When we're trying to do projects, we have to start looking for where money would be for hospitals, assisted living centers and housing. This program, to some extent, levels the playing field."
The Mississippi members of the House of Representatives have decided to pass an immigration enforcement bill that has similarities to Arizona's controversial legislation, Fox News reports.
According to the news provider, the law would enable authorities to check the immigration statuses of those pulled over in traffic stops if they are suspected to be in the country illegally.
After a brief explanation, the bill passed the House by a vote of 77-40, which follows a 34-15 vote in the Senate just nine days earlier, the news provider said.
Tatiana McDonald, who hails from Colombia but is now a legal U.S. resident, told Fox News that the new legislation could lead to Hispanics becoming the target of racial profiling.
"This is horrible. This is shameful," she said recently on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol.
Despite this stricter legislation, foreigners still have options to obtain U.S. green card eligibility, including the federal EB-5 visa program. Through this program, foreign nationals can receive the eligibility by investing $1 million (or $500,000 in some areas) in an American company or project that either creates or maintains at least 10 full-time jobs.
According to a recently released government report, the U.S. has quadrupled the amount of workplace inspections for undocumented workers in a span of two years, AFP reports.
During fiscal 2010, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials conducted a "record" 2,746 workplace enforcement investigations, according to the report, which was submitted to Congress.
In comparison, there were only 503 such inspections during 2008, according to the news provider. The report added that fines for 237 different violations reached nearly $7 million, in comparison to the 18 violations and $675,209 in penalties handed down in 2008.
"ICE is now taking custody of more aliens encountered at the border and is increasing the consequences for illegal entry and reentry," Kumar Kibble, the agency's deputy head, said in the report.
While many states across the country have begun enacting stricter immigration enforcement legislation, foreign nationals still have the opportunity to obtain U.S. green card eligibility through the federal EB-5 visa program. To do so, foreigners must invest $1 million (or in some areas $500,000) in an American project or company that either creates or maintains at least 10 full-time jobs.
According to a recent announcement by Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, a $15 million call center in the city that is expected to employ 300 people will soon open using funding from the city's EB-5 regional center.
The Dallas Morning News reports that while an exact location for the facility has not yet been chosen, the Encore Enterprises call center will receive investments from 30 foreign nationals through the EB-5 visa program.
Through this program, foreigners can obtain U.S. green card eligibility by making an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in some areas) in an American company or project that either creates or maintains at least 10 full-time jobs.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines an EB-5 regional center as "any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment."
Leppert and city council member Ron Natinsky have reportedly been attempting to promote the EB-5 regional center in order to bring in more investment money.
According to a news release, other future projects utilizing such funding could potentially include a "well-known restaurant chain."
When choosing the EB-5 investor program as the chosen method of immigration, many families question about the timing. However the best time to apply for an EB-5 Visa can vary from family to family. Creating a personal timeline for this process can assist with this decision but that too can be tricky without the proper guidance or knowledge of the EB-5 process. In fact, most foreign immigration applicants choose to hire a consultant to assist them in navigating the process in accordance with the applicant’s needs and goals.
The EB-5 Visa is an investment type visa that requires the foreigner to invest $1,000,000 or in some cases $500,000 USD into an approved EB-5 program known as a Regional Center. The investment must result in the creation of at least 10 full-time (permanent) jobs for U.S. workers. The result is the issuance of a “conditional” green card. Generally the immigrant investor will apply for a removal of these conditions in about 21-24 months from the date the initial application was approved, by this time the EB-5 project will need to prove that the required 10 full time jobs have been created so that the applicant can qualify for the removal of conditions. Once the removal of conditions has been granted, the applicant, the applicant’s spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21 are granted permanent residence in the United States.
Of course, there are other time factors to consider that experienced EB-5 consultants are aware of and can assist the applicant in mapping out in relation to time restraints pertaining to the applicant. Considerations need to be made with regard to Consular processing, or consideration of the applicant’s current U.S. immigration status (if the applicant already has an existing visa). With over 130 different approved Regional Centers to choose from in the United States, choosing which of these approved EB-5 projects to invest into can be very time consuming. It is not a decision to be taken lightly either, a careful examination of the Center and its history is necessary when making the final decision. After all, the success of the project will determine if the EB-5 visa is issued or not.
It is also important to consider the processing time for the immigration application, the USCIS must approve the petition in order for the applicant to move forward in the process. Depending on the amount of applications the USCIS has received, determines the amount of time it will take for the application to be approved.
The overall timeline for the EB-5 visa from start to finish can vary depending on the country from which the applicant comes from or the person’s current immigration status in the United States. By calculating all of the time factors, especially with the help of an EB-5 consultant, will help to give a better idea of how long the entire process will take and when would be the best time for the applicant to begin the process.