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Posts Tagged ‘Employment based immigration

EB-5 or EB-6 — Which Investor Visa is for You?

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The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors is a United States visa that allows foreign nationals who invest money in the United States to obtain permanent residency (green card ).  The usual investment threshold is $1 million (or $500,000 in a high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor and their immediate family.  Investments can be made directly in a commercial enterprise (new, or existing  “Troubled Business”), or into a US government approved 3rd party-managed investment which invests the money and  takes over the responsibility of creating the requisite jobs.   There usually is a management or administration fee for managing the investor’s investment.

If the investor’s EB-5 visa petition is approved, the investor and any dependents will be granted conditional permanent residence valid for two years.  Upon fulfilling appropriate requirements, the conditional permanent residency may then be petitioned to be converted to a permanent residency.

Under the new Immigration Reform bill currently passing through the US Congress, the current EB-5 program is going to be expanded to include a new investor visa — EB-6 — that would bring down the investment threshold for those looking to invest and gain residency in the United States. Since over the past many years, barely half of the available EB-5 visas are issues every year, the new visa is designed to make use of the same pool of available visas as the existing EB-5 visa.

The fulfillment requirements attached to EB-6 differ from those for EB-5, and also distinguishes between a non-immigrant or an immigrant visa.  To gain permanent residency, the EB-6 visa calls for an investment as well as creation of 5 jobs.  Just like EB-5, an application then many be made after 2 years for a permanent residency permit.

For those looking for a non-permanent stay in the United States a three-year non-immigrant visa can be granted upon an investment of $100,000 in a U.S. company or upon creation of at least 3 jobs and annual revenues exceeding $250,000 for two years in a row.

While not utilized fully, EB-5 applications are on an upward trend over recent years, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). More and more new investors are able to get assistance with their applications from law firms, who can both represent the investor and advise in the matters of picking the right investment vehicles and/or 3rd party “managed investment” options for both EB-5 and EB-6 visas.

Hanishi  T. Ali is an immigration and international business attorney at Mithras Law Group, a greater Boston based immigration and international business law firm, which focuses on US, Canada and UK based Immigration law. Hanishi can be reached at 617-500-3233 or at www.mithraslaw.com.

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Written by MithrasLaw

July 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm

“Startup Visa” Immigration Programs in USA & Canada

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There has been a lot of recent focus on the new proposed Startup Visa amendment to the U.S. immigration law.  This amendment would create a new immigrant visa category for entrepreneurs who have raised capital from qualified American investors.  This is a new employment based visa category — EB-6, and grants conditional permanent residency to the entrepreneur, who would be otherwise unable to avail of other existing immigrant visa categories such as EB-1 (Priority Worker) or EB-5 (the so-called investment visa).  The conditional residency can then convert to a permanent residency (green card) after two years if certain conditions are fulfilled.  Last week the Senate passed a bill containing this amendment by a vote of 68-32.  Before it becomes the law, the bill still has to pass the next hurdle in the House of Representatives.

Canadian government, in the meanwhile, has already launch a near identical Startup Visa program, starting in April 2013.  The aim is to encourage “innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth.”  This is a pilot program, initially to run for five years and with a limited number of applications.  If the program is deemed successful after the initial five years, it may be formally made permanent.

The Canadian Startup Visa Program will enable immigrant entrepreneurs to launch companies that will create jobs in Canada with investment made by approved Canadian investors.  The Program will provide entrepreneurs with valuable assistance in navigating the Canadian business environment which can sometimes prove challenging for newcomers.

Hanishi  T. Ali is an immigration and international business attorney at Mithras Law Group, a greater Boston based immigration and international business law firm, which focuses on US, Canada and UK based Immigration law. Hanishi can be reached at 617-500-3233 or at www.mithraslaw.com.

AAO Processing Times (updated May 01, 2012)

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This chart shows the average amount of time it takes to receive a decision in a particular type of case after the case file is received by the AAO. Processing times are directly related to the volume of cases received.

AAO Processing Times as of April 1, 2012

Form Number

Case Type

Time

I-129F Petition for Fiancée

Current

I-129 H1B Nonimmigrant  Specialty  Occupation  Worker

20 Months

I-129  H2 Temporary  Nonimmigrant  Worker

 Current

I-129  H3 Temporary  Nonimmigrant  Worker

Current

I-129  L Nonimmigrant  Intracompany  Transferee

22 Months

I-129  O Nonimmigrant  Extraordinary  Ability  Worker

Current

I-129  P1,  P2,  P3 Athletes,  Artists  and  Entertainers

Current

I-129  Q Cultural  Exchange  Visitor

Current

I-129  R N/I  Religious  Worker

Current

I-131 Application  for  Travel  Document

Current

I-140  EB1 (A) Alien  with  Extraordinary  Ability

15 Months

I-140  EB1 (B) Outstanding  Professor  or  Researcher

     13 Months*  

I-140  EB1 (C) Multinational  Manager  or  Executive

21 Months

I-140  EB2 (D) Advanced Degree  Professional

23 Months

I-140  EB2 (I) National Interest Waiver

Current

I-140  EB3 (E) Skilled  or  Professional  Worker

36 Months

I-140  EB3 (G) Other  Worker

Current

I-212 Application to Reapply  for  Admission

Current

I-352 Bond  Breach

Current

I-360  EB4 Petition  for  Religious  Worker

16 Months

I-360  C Special  Immigrant  Juvenile

Current

I-360 K Special Immigrant Afghanistan or Iraq National Translator Current
I-360  VAWA Violence  Against  Women  Act  Petition

Current

I-485 Cuban  Adjustment  Act  Application

Current

I-485 LIFE  Act  Adjustment  Application

Current

I-485 Section  13  Adjustment  Application

 Current

I-526  EB5 Alien  Entrepreneur

Current

I-600 Petition  for  Orphan

Current

I-601 Application  for  Waiver  of  Inadmissibility

25 Months

I-612 Application  for  212(e)  Waiver

Current

I-687 Legalization  Application  for  Temporary  Residence

Current

I-690 Legalization/SAW -Waive Grounds of Excludability

Current

I-698 Legalization  Adjustment  Application

Current

I-700 Special  Agricultural  Worker

Current

I-821 Temporary  Protected  Status

Current

I-905 Application to Issue  Cert  for  Health  Care  Workers

Current

I-914 Application  for  T  Nonimmigrant  Status

Current

I-918 Petition  for  U  Nonimmigrant  Status

Current

N-470 Application to Preserve  Residence

Current

N-565 Replacement  Naturalization/Citizenship Doc

Current

N-600 Certificate  of  Citizenship

Current

N-643 Certificate  of  Citizenship  for  Adopted  Child

Current

*  Within  current  USCIS  processing  time  goal  of  six  months  or  less

AAO Processing Times (updated March 28, 2012)

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This chart shows the average amount of time it takes to receive a decision in a particular type of case after the case file is received by the AAO. Processing times are directly related to the volume of cases received.

AAO Processing Times as of January  1, 2012

Form Number

Case Type

Time

I-129F Petition for Fiancée

Current

I-129 H1B Nonimmigrant  Specialty  Occupation  Worker

22 Months

I-129  H2 Temporary  Nonimmigrant  Worker

 Current

I-129  H3 Temporary  Nonimmigrant  Worker

Current

I-129  L Nonimmigrant  Intracompany  Transferee

22Months

I-129  O Nonimmigrant  Extraordinary  Ability  Worker

Current

I-129  P1,  P2,  P3 Athletes,  Artists  and  Entertainers

Current

I-129  Q Cultural  Exchange  Visitor

Current

I-129  R N/I  Religious  Worker

Current

I-131 Application  for  Travel  Document

Current

I-140  EB1 (A) Alien  with  Extraordinary  Ability

16 Months

I-140  EB1 (B) Outstanding  Professor  or  Researcher

     11 Months*  

I-140  EB1 (C) Multinational  Manager  or  Executive

21 Months

I-140  EB2 (D) Advanced Degree  Professional

26 Months

I-140  EB2 (I) National Interest Waiver

10Months

I-140  EB3 (E) Skilled  or  Professional  Worker

35 Months

I-140  EB3 (G) Other  Worker

Current

I-212 Application to Reapply  for  Admission

Current

I-352 Bond  Breach

Current

I-360  EB4 Petition  for  Religious  Worker

20 Months

I-360  C Special  Immigrant  Juvenile

Current

I-360 K Special Immigrant Afghanistan or Iraq National Translator Current
I-360  VAWA Violence  Against  Women  Act  Petition

Current

I-485 Cuban  Adjustment  Act  Application

Current

I-485 LIFE  Act  Adjustment  Application

Current

I-485 Section  13  Adjustment  Application

 Current

I-526  EB5 Alien  Entrepreneur

Current

I-600 Petition  for  Orphan

Current

I-601 Application  for  Waiver  of  Inadmissibility

26 Months

I-612 Application  for  212(e)  Waiver

Current

I-687 Legalization  Application  for  Temporary  Residence

9 Months  

I-690 Legalization/SAW -Waive Grounds of Excludability

Current

I-698 Legalization  Adjustment  Application

Current

I-700 Special  Agricultural  Worker

Current

I-821 Temporary  Protected  Status

Current

I-905 Application to Issue  Cert  for  Health  Care  Workers

Current

I-914 Application  for  T  Nonimmigrant  Status

Current

I-918 Petition  for  U  Nonimmigrant  Status

Current

N-470 Application to Preserve  Residence

Current

N-565 Replacement  Naturalization/Citizenship Doc

Current

N-600 Certificate  of  Citizenship

Current

N-643 Certificate  of  Citizenship  for  Adopted  Child

Current

*  Within  current  USCIS  processing  time  goal  of  six  months  or  less

Visa Bulletin October 2009

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VISA BULLETIN OCTOBER 2009

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during October. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by September 9th in the chronological order of the reported priority dates. If the demand could not be satisfied within the statutory or regulatory limits, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number. Immediately that it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date which has been announced in this bulletin.

The fiscal year 2009 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000.  The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000.  Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

Section 203 of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of immigrant visas as follows:

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

A. Spouses and Children: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “Other Workers”.

Fourth: Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth: Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.

INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available. (NOTE: Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.

Family All Charge- ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st 22JUL03 22JUL03 22JUL03 08JUN92 08OCT93
2A 01JUN05 01JUN05 01JUN05 01MAR03 01JUN05
2B 22AUG01 22AUG01 22AUG01 22MAY92 01MAY98
3rd 15JAN01 15JAN01 15JAN01 08JUL91 15OCT91
4th 15APR99 15APR99 15APR99 08OCT95 01DEC86

*NOTE: For October, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01MAR03. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01MAR03 and earlier than 01JUN05. (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

All

Charge-

ability

Areas

Except

Those

Listed

CHINA-

mainland born

INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Employ-

ment

-Based

1st C C C C C
2nd C 22MAR05 22JAN05 C C
3rd 01JUN02 22FEB02 15APR01 01MAY02 01JUN02
Other

Workers

01JUN01 01JUN01 15APR01 01JUN01 01JUN01
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers U U U U U
5th C C C C C
Targeted Employ-

ment Areas/

Regional Centers

C C C C C
5th Pilot Programs U U U U U

The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at: (area code 202) 663-1541. This recording will be updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category: Section 203(e) of the NACARA, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year. This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program. Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a maximum of up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit immigration opportunities for persons from countries other than the principal sources of current immigration to the United States. The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program. This reduction has resulted in the DV-2009 annual limit being reduced to 50,000. DV visas are divided among six geographic regions. No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For October, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2010 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA 8,300 Except:

Egypt:

3,100

Ethiopia:

3,900

Nigeria:

5,500

ASIA 7,000
EUROPE 9,100
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 2
OCEANIA 375
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 450

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery. The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2010 program ends as of September 30, 2010. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2010 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2010principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2010. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2010 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK

CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN NOVEMBER

For November, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified

DV-2010 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA 14,000 Except:

Egypt:

6,200

Ethiopia:

6,700

Nigeria:

8,700

ASIA 7,200
EUROPE 9,500
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 2
OCEANIA 475
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 575

D. EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers: Pursuant to Section 1 of Public Law 111-9, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on September 30, 2009.No SR-1, SR-2, or SR-3 visas may be issued overseas on or after September 30, 2009. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of September 30, 2009, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight September 30, 2009.

Employment Fifth Preference Pilot Categories(I5, R5): Section 101 of Division J of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, extended this immigrant investor pilot program through September 30, 2009. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on September 30, 2009, and may be issued for the full validity period. No I5-1, I5-2, I5-3, R5-1, R5-2 or R5-3 visas may be issued after September 30, 2009.

The cut-off dates for the categories mentioned above have been listed as “Unavailable” for October. If there is legislative action extending one or both of these categories for FY-2010, those cut-off dates would immediately become “Current” for October.

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