EB-5 News Archive for the ‘EB-5 Visas News’ Category
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss future regulatory changes for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
USCIS is beginning work on revised EB-5 regulations. Regulatory revision has been identified as an important step for the future of the EB-5 Program and is an agency priority. We invite EB-5 stakeholders to provide feedback on EB-5 regulations as we work toward making regulatory improvements to strengthen the efficiency, predictability, and integrity of the EB-5 program.
During this engagement, USCIS officials will listen to your feedback and input on changes to the EB-5 regulations. Feedback and input can be related to:
- Methods to combat fraud and abuse
- How to improve upon current regulations
- Substantive eligibility requirements
- Procedural filing requirements
For those unable to attend, we will hold a follow-up discussion in the USCIS Idea Community. We encourage you to become a part of the discussion starting on April 24, 2014.
To register for this session, please follow the steps below:
- Visit our registration page to confirm your participation
- Enter your email address and select “Submit”
- Select “Subscriber Preferences”
- Select the “Event Registration” tab
- Be sure to provide your full name and organization
- Complete the questions and select “Submit”
Once your registration is processed, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details.
If you have any questions regarding the registration process, or if you have not received a confirmation email within two business days, please email us at Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov.
We look forward to engaging with you!
Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 07:40 AM
By Michelle Smith – as posted on www.moneynews.com
Surging interest from wealthy Chinese reportedly could overwhelm the U.S. immigrant investor visa program.
The EB-5 visa is issued to foreigners who are willing to invest $500,000 and create 10 U.S. jobs.
A decade ago, the Chinese accounted for only 13 percent of the applications. Now, they account for more than 80 percent, CNN Money says government data show.
Or, to put it into better perspective — in 2004, Chinese nationals received 16 EB-5 visas. In 2013, that number rose to 6,900 visas.
This surge in demand could be problematic since only 10,000 immigrant-investor visas are issued each year. And that number includes the visas required for family members.
A total of 7,000 applications are currently pending, David Hirson, a partner at immigration-law firm Fragomen, tells CNN Money. If half of those are approved and the applicants move with a family of four, this year’s allotment of EB-5 visas would be exhausted, he notes.
“There is a panic being created in China about the demand [getting] so big that there is going to be a visa waiting line,” said Bernard Wolfsdorf, founder of the Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group.
A green card offers [Chinese] a way to send their children to college, escape heavy pollution and enjoy an improved quality of life, Kate Kalmykov, an attorney with international law firm Greenberg Traurig told CNN Money.
“The U.S. remains the most attractive country for them, because of its freedoms and its ability to cater for individual needs, including the Chinese culture. It’s a very comfortable transition physically,” Hirson noted.
Hirson says it’s also cheap compared to the alternatives. To get a similar visa to Australia requires an investment of $4.5 million — nine times greater than a visa to the United States.
The appeal of a EB-5 visa is also boosted by the fact that Canada announced plans to scrap its immigrant-investor visas.
The Canadian program allowed investors to secure visas by agreeing to lend the government 800,000 Canadian dollars interest-free for five years.
According to Forbes, Canada’s program had developed a reputation for being “a visa expressway for wealthy mainland Chinese.”
That perception was furthered by a report in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, which revealed that among 59,000 pending applications, more than 45,000 were from mainland Chinese, Forbes reports.
When the government announced intentions to end the program in February, the backlog was 65,000 applications, reports Canada’s CBC.
Not only was the interest overwhelming, but immigrant investor program also appeared to be falling short of its objectives.
“This was not a program that was generating jobs, growth, opportunity in Canada and it was certainly not a program that was getting the immigrant investors we wanted,” CBC quoted Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander as saying.
What happens if my child is less than 21 years old when I apply for EB-5, but over 21 by the time I’m approved?
By Fred Burgess
Ask just about any EB-5 investor what their main purpose is for pursuing the EB-5 Visa for themselves and their family and you will almost certainly hear: to make sure their children are educated in an American College or University.
According to EB-5 rules, dependent children are eligible for a green card along with the primary EB-5 applicant/investor (parent) as long as the child is less than 21 years old. However, after age 21 dependent children are not eligible.
Aging out occurs when a “child” (an unmarried individual under 21 years old) becomes ineligible for a permanent green card as a result of turning 21 years old while awaiting permanent residency approval from USCIS.
Congress recognized that many children were aging out because of EB-5 backlogs and adjudication delays so it created the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) to provide protections for children who age out due to excessive processing times. As long as the I-526 is filed before the 21st birthday, CSPA freezes the child’s age on the date the petition is filed until the date of its approval. For example; if a child is 20 years and 3 months old on the date the I-526 application is submitted, their age remains locked even if it takes USCIS two years to process the petition (making the child’s actual age 22 years and three months).
It is important to note that CSPA is intended to protect children from excessive processing times – not to benefit a child who aged out due to the unavailability of an EB-5 visa for any other reason such as retrogression (for example). CSPA does not freeze a child’s age if there are no visas available (even if an I-526 Petition is approved). Therefore it is exceptionally important for EB-5 investors with children near the age of 21 to file their petitions as far in advance of their children’s 21st birthdays as possible.
Aging out can be avoided with proper advisement. An Exclusive Visas EB-5 Consultant will assist the investor by providing trustworthy investment strategies that make the program work for the investor and their family. From petitioning the USCIS to assisting the client in choosing a credible project to invest in, Exclusive Visas will see to it that the investor has all the information necessary to give them peace-of-mind while making the best of the EB-5 opportunity.
Contact Exclusive Visas Today for more Information on the EB-5 Program
After a year long hiatus USCIS has returned to holding quarterly EB-5 stakeholder meetings inviting those involved in the EB-5 world to participate. Those attending ranged from attorneys to agents to petitioners. During the engagement, USCIS officials solicited feedback from stakeholders regarding Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur and e-filing in USCIS ELIS.
The agenda of the call included the transition of the EB-5 program from California to the headquarters in Washington D.C., discussion of the impact of the May 30, 2013 Policy Memorandum, and an invitation to comment and discuss related programmatic rules including EB-5 funding.
The call also revealed newly released USCIS EB-5 processing times. The published processing times, which will be updated monthly, are 11 months for I-526 petitions, 12 months for I-924 petitions and 11 months for I-829 petitions.
Director Colucci mentioned that there may be temporary delays during the transition to the Washington center while new employees are properly trained; however, the expectation is that this will ultimately improve the program’s efficiency.
Director Colucci also clarified his three-pronged approach to improving the program by:
- Building the program’s foundation – Personnel will be added and programmatic changes will be made in order to reduce backlogs, expand the office, and increase consistency.
- Increasing program performance and predictability, and
- Improving customer service and transparency – Data and statistics will be posted on USCIS’s website on a monthly basis, which will include filing times of applications and petitions that are received, approved, and denied, as well as those that receive RFE.
Finally, Director Colucci made an important point that USCIS is recommitting to quarterly engagements, the next one will be held live in late spring or early summer.