In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a hot topic in immigration: how should an EB-5 investor choose a Regional Center?
In this video, Jacob Sapochnick will give you his top 5 tips for choosing a Regional Center.
First, what is a Regional Center?
An EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, in the United States that is involved with promoting economic growth. Regional centers are designated by USCIS for participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
Where can I find approved Regional Centers?
The USCIS website contains a list of approved EB-5 (immigrant investor) regional centers by state. Please keep in mind that although these regional centers have been approved by USCIS, you must down your own research to evaluate the regional center’s reliability and their record of success. Do not assume that because the Regional Center has been approved by USCIS that it is a Regional Center worth investing in. You must be diligent when doing your research and seek the advice of a professional when making any investment decision.
As you do your research you will see that real estate projects predominate among regional centers although some regional centers also have investment projects in other sectors.
As a rule of thumb investors should take the following factors into account when choosing a regional center:
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses New Zealand’s recent addition to the E-2 Investor Visa Program.
With the passage of the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (KIWI), New Zealand nationals may now apply for the E-1 and E-2 Investor Visa.
There are two ways to apply for the E Visa.
Applicants Lawfully in the U.S.
Investors who are already lawfully present in the U.S. on a valid nonimmigrant visa may file Form I-129 to change their status to the E-2 visa classification, with the necessary supporting documentation.
Applicants Outside the U.S.
Investors who are outside of the U.S. must apply for the E-2 nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate near their place of residence. The applicant must submit the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, pay the necessary fees, and schedule their visa interview. Applicants must bring their complete application and necessary documentation to establish eligibility at the time of their interview.
What are the Requirements?
The investment funds and the applicant must come from the same Treaty Country.
The business in which investment is being made must provide job opportunities or make a significant economic impact tin the United States. The business should not be established solely for the purpose of earning a living for the applicant and his or her family.
The investment must come from the investor. The money must be “at risk”. Thus, a loan that is secured by the assets of the business itself will not qualify i.e. if loans have been taken out, they must be secured or guaranteed by the investor personally, and not by the assets of the corporation.
שגרירות ארה”ב בישראל שמחה להודיע, בעקבות חתימת אמנה בין ישראל לארה”ב, על החלת הזכאות לויזת משקיע מסוג E-2 על בעלי נתינות ישראלית, וזאת החל מ-1 במאי 2019.
אשרה מסוג E-2 היא אשרה זמנית (שלא למטרת הגירה) למי שמעוניין לפתח, לנהל או לספק מיומנויות מיחדות למיזם/פרויקט שבו הבעלים (מבקש האשרה) משקיע סכום הון ניכר. עם החלת האשרה מסוג E-2 נוצרה למשקיעים ישראלים הזדמנות להשקיע בכלכלה האמריקאית ולשלוח לארה”ב עובדים בעלי הכשרה.
באותו אופן, אזרחי ארה”ב יהיו זכאים לפנות בבקשה לאשרה לצורך השקעה בישראל. בכדי שהמשקיע הישראלי יהיה ראוי לאשרה הנ”ל צריכים להתקיים התנאים הבאים:
· ההשקעה הכספית צריכה להיות משמעותית ומספיקה להבטיח תיפעול מוצלח של המיזם/פרויקט.
· העסק צריך להיות מיזם/פרויקט ממשי פעיל.
· המשקיע צריך לנסוע לארה”ב כדי לפתח ולנהל את הפרויקט.
· אם המבקש אינו המשקיע, הוא או היא צריכים להיות מועסקים בפרויקט בתפקיד של פיקוח, או ניהול, או בתפקיד הדורש מיומנות מיוחדת בדרגה גבוהה.
המעוניינים בהגשת בקשה לאשרה הנ”ל לארה”ב מופנים לעיין בתשומת לב ברשימת הדרישות המפורטת באתר האינטרנט של שגרירות ארה”ב בירושלים. יש למלא את הבקשה בקפדנות ולעקוב אחר השלבים הנדרשים.
לאחר שהמחלקה הקונסולרית של השגרירות מקבלת בקשה מלאה ובוחנת את התיעוד הראייתי המצורף לה, יתואם עם המבקש מועד לראיון בתל-אביב.
בראיון יתקיים דיון על פרטי העסק נשוא הבקשה ועל ההשקעה הכספית, על ההסטוריה של העסק ועל התכנית העסקית, וכמו כן ידון הניסיון המקצועי של המשקיע.
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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares very exciting news for Israeli citizens. The U.S. Embassy has announced that Israeli citizens are now eligible for the E-2 investor visa. This is very exciting news because Israeli citizens have been waiting for Israel to be added to the E-2 visa program for years.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel has announced that Israeli citizens may begin to apply for the E-2 visa at the Embassy in Tel Aviv beginning May 1st.
The E-2 visa is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa that can be used to develop, direct, or provide specialized skills to an enterprise in which the owner has invested a substantial amount of capital. With the implementation of this visa, Israeli investors now have the opportunity to invest in the U.S. economy and send qualified employees to the United States. Likewise, U.S. citizens will be eligible to apply for visas to invest in Israel.
To qualify for a Treaty Investor (E-2) visa:
The investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise;
The business must be a real operating enterprise;
The investor must be traveling to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise;
If the applicant is not the investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.
Once the Consular Section receives a complete E-2 visa application and reviews the applicant’s documentary evidence, applicants will be invited to schedule a visa interview in Tel Aviv.
During the interview applicants should be prepared to discuss details of the business and investment, the business plan and history, and the investor’s professional experience.
Interested parties should contact our office to schedule a consultation to determine eligibility.
For more information about the E-2 visa click here.
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.