In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares exciting news, New Zealand has now been added to the list of eligible citizens that may apply for an E-2 Investor visa.
A recent change in the law now allows citizens of New Zealand to come to the United States as investors and apply for the E-2 investor visa. Citizens of New Zealand may invest in any business venture, with an investment as low as $50,000.
Previously, citizens of New Zealand were not a part of the E-2 investor visa program, so this is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in bringing their talents to the United States.
What is the E-2 visa?
The E-2 visa is suitable for persons who are: a) foreign nationals of a treaty trader country b) interested in making a substantial investment in a new business in the United States or existing U.S. business c) not interested in permanent residence d) interested in remaining in the United States for the short term.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses an important E-2 visa subject: how do you prove source of funds for your E-2 investment?
If your source of investment is a loan: you must prove that your loan is secured by some personal property.
If your source of funds is a gift: you must prove that you have control of that gift and show the source of funds of the person that gave you the gift, for example if the funds came from the sale of the house, the documents of the sale of that house must be provided. If the funds came from savings, then the person would need to provide their savings account statements. If the funds came from someone’s salary, then pay stubs must be provided.
In general, if a person has given you a gift of money, and that is the source of your E-2 investment, that person must prove how they got the money.
Proceeds from Real Estate
If the funds are coming from the proceeds of a real estate sale then you must provide the deed, proof of the bill of sale and the transaction, etc.
If the source of funds is coming from investments such as stock, life insurance, then at least three years of tax returns must be provided, and three years of statements from those institutions.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses how entrepreneurs come to America.
What are the available visa options for an entrepreneur to launch a startup company?
One of the most common ways to launch a company in the United States is through the O-1A visa. This is a great option for entrepreneurs who have already established their reputation in their home country, have run a successful business abroad, and who wish to bring their unique talents and skills to the United States.
To qualify for an O-1A visa, the entrepreneur must demonstrate that they are exceptionally distinguished in their field or industry. This can be demonstrated by way of sustained recognition in the industry on a national or international level, or awards, titles, honorary distinctions, etc. The entrepreneur must also demonstrate that they have achieved a high level of expertise in their industry
The O-1A visa enables the entrepreneur to come to the United States to work for their own company, or for another company.
Another great option is the L-1A visa. If you are a startup founder and you already have a company in your home country, and you want to launch in the United States, you can set up a subsidiary or an affiliate of your startup in your home country and come to the United States as an executive such as a CEO.
Alternatively, you may wish to apply for the E-2 visa as an investor of the startup company that you wish to launch in the United States. To qualify for this visa type, you must be a national of a foreign country that has a qualifying treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or similar agreement with the United States.
In addition, the investment must be made in a real, operating commercial enterprise or active entrepreneurial undertaking productive of some service or commodity. Paper organizations, speculative, or idle investments do not qualify as real operating enterprises or active entrepreneurial undertakings.
If you are a citizen of Mexico or Canada, you can apply for a TN visa and be part of the company that you launch in the United States as an advisor or a higher-level position. The position that the entrepreneur will engage in must be a profession that is approved by NAFTA, and the entrepreneur must meet the qualifications for that position.
The E-1 Treaty Trader visa is a good option for entrepreneurs who wish to work in the technology sector. If you have a patent in your home country or have an idea to invest in the technology sector, and you are starting a company in your home county, you can set up a company in the United States as a founder without investing anything, because of the exchange of trade and technology.
National Interest Waiver
Company founders can apply for a green card by applying for a national interest waiver if you are a highly successful entrepreneur, and you can show the government that your level of innovation is at a high level.
Please visit our website for more information about these different options.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a frequently asked question regarding the E-2 Investor Visa: Are loans or gifts a legitimate source of funds for the E-2 visa?
In order to get an E-2 visa as an investor in the United States, you must demonstrate that you will make a substantial investment in a new business enterprise or an existing business. As part of the application process, you must show the origin of the source of funds for that investment, and the source of those funds must be legitimate. Not all sources of funds will qualify for the E-2 visa. Many of our clients ask whether a gift of funds or a foreign bank loan will qualify as a legitimate source of funding for the E-2 visa.
Are gifts a legitimate source of funds for the E-2 visa?
Yes, provided the investor has possession of the funds, and the funds are irrevocably committed to the investor by the giver of the gift. The person that has given the gift to the investor must provide documentation showing the source of those funds to prove that the funds came from a legitimate source.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the future of the EB-5 Visa Program.
What is the EB-5 Visa Program?
The EB-5 Visa Program is an Immigration Investor Program that was created by Congress 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.
EB-5 Investors can obtain conditional residence if they:
Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
In general, the minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million.
Regional Centers: Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment must be either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.
As of September 28, 2018, Congress has extended the EB-5 visa program until December 7, 2018. This means that the program will continue to be active and investors may utilize the program just as before, at least until the end of the year. It is not yet known whether any changes will be made to the program in the future, or if the program will continue at all into the new year.
For more information about the EB-5 program please visit our website.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks visa options for entrepreneurs.
In this video we cover four visa options that allow foreign entrepreneurs to live and work in the United States. These visa options also allow the foreign entrepreneur to bring his or her dependents to live with them in the United States.
Option #1 L-1 Visa for Executives, Managers, and Essential Employees:
There are two types of visas available under the L-1 category: 1) L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager and 2) L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge.
The L-1A category is a non-immigrant visa classification for aliens seeking to work in the United States in an executive or managerial capacity on an assignment of a temporary nature for a U.S. subsidiary or parent company of their foreign employer.
The L-1A visa classification allows a foreign company to transfer an executive or manager to the U.S. subsidiary or parent company. If an affiliated U.S. subsidiary or parent company does not yet exist, the L-1A classification allows the foreign company to send the executive or manager to the United States for the purpose of establishing the affiliated subsidiary or parent company.
L-1B: If the alien is not employed in an executive or managerial capacity, the L-1B visa classification comes into play. To be eligible for the L-1B visa, the petitioner must demonstrate that although the alien is not employed in an executive or managerial capacity with the company, the alien possesses specialized knowledge and can represent the organization’s interests in the United States.
Both the L-1A and L-1B require the beneficiary to have worked abroad for the foreign employer for at least one year within the proceeding three years.
Pro: the L-1 visa leads to a green card
Option #2 E-2 Investor Visa:
The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities. Investment activities include the creation of a new business in the United States or investment in an existing enterprise. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.
Welcome back to the immigration lawyer blog! In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the O-1B Visa for Artists and Entertainers.
The topic of discussion in this video is: How can a tattoo artist live and work in the United States? The O-1B category is an excellent choice for artists who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in their line of work.
What is the O-1B visa?
The O-1B category applies to distinguished aliens wishing to travel to the United States temporarily to engage in employment in an area of extraordinary ability in the arts, motion picture, or television industry. This category includes tattoo artists and social media influencers. Tattoo artists must have a sponsor or agent to obtain an O-1B visa and are granted a visa for the duration of their contract to perform services in the United States.
O-1B Visa Requirements
The applicant must demonstrate that they have received sustained recognition on a national or international level in their area of extraordinary ability i.e. awards, titles, honorary distinctions, publications, membership in a distinguished board or professional association, etc.;
The applicant must provide evidence of continuous recognition in the area of extraordinary ability;
The applicant must demonstrate that they have achieved a high level of expertise in their field. For an O-1B visa, the applicant must demonstrate that their level of skill and recognition is significantly superior to that of an individual in the same field who would be considered a person of ‘prominence’ in said field.
In this video, attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano discuss recent immigration updates regarding the calculation of unlawful presence for F-1 international students and other topics.
Memorandum Policy Updates for F-1 Students
Per a new policy memorandum released by USCIS, if you are a student who is out of status, you will begin to accrue unlawful presence on August 9th. Students have at least 5 months to file a reinstatement to avoid falling out of status and accruing unlawful presence.
What is happening with DACA?
On August 3, 2018, a federal judge from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld a decision from the lower courts, ordering the complete restoration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This new ruling gives the Trump administration a 20-day deadline to either implement the complete restoration of the DACA program or file an appeal. The Trump administration plans to appeal the decision. In a separate lawsuit filed by Texas and other states, a judge will hear arguments challenging the restoration of the DACA program. A decision in that case has not yet been made. We will notify our readers once a decision has been made.
For the moment, DACA holders may continue to seek a renewal of their DACA benefits, but new requests for DACA will not be accepted.
The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities, for a specified period of two years subject to renewal. Investment activities include the creation of a new business. Foreign nationals must invest a substantial amount of capital in a new or existing business. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.
Who can get it?
Only foreign nationals from treaty nations may apply for the E-2 visa. To find out if your country qualifies, click here.
Level of Investment
Therefore, the level of investment must be such that it is sufficient to justify presence of the treaty national in the United States. The investment must be in an operating business e.g. a speculative investment in undeveloped land would not qualify, whereas an investment in a real estate development project probably would. Also, a substantial part of the investment must have been made prior to applying for E-2 status.
The investment must be substantial, a standard which depends on the nature of the enterprise. Generally, investment funds or assets must be committed and irrevocable. The funds or assets must be deemed sufficient to ensure the success of operations.
The investment must be real and active and not passive; this means that a bank account, undeveloped land or stocks, or a not-for-profit organization will not be sufficient to be considered.
The enterprise must be a real, operating commercial enterprise or active entrepreneurial undertaking productive of some service or commodity. Paper organizations, speculative, or idle investments do not qualify as real operating enterprises or active entrepreneurial undertakings. Funds in a bank account are not considered at risk since they have not been committed.
In this post, we discuss how you can get a green card through your employer.
What does it take to get a green card through a job offer?
There are many ways a foreign national can obtain a green card for example by starting a company in the United States, as an entrepreneur, or demonstrating that they are a person of exceptional ability. However, the most common way to obtain a green card is to obtain a green card through a job offer. Essentially being sponsored by the employer that they are currently working for in the United States or their future employer. This process involves several steps:
The Employer Must Commit to Green Card Sponsorship
The employer must commit to giving you a permanent job offer and be willing to support you in the green card process from start to finish. This is because the employer must not only sign the forms required to petition for the worker’s green card but must also foot the bill including the immigration fees and attorney’s fees. If an employer does not understand his responsibilities in filing for the worker’s green card, delays can result, and in some cases an employer may abandon the green card process altogether. It is very important for an employer to be aware of their obligations at the outset of the application process.