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Posts Tagged ‘Immigration

EB-5 Progam Rewards Wealthy Foreign Investors with a Green-card

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The EB-5 immigrant visa program has rapidly grown in popularity over the last couple of years as the quickest path to permanent residency. To encourage foreign direct investment, the EB-5 employment based visa program was created by Congress in 1990 for qualified immigrant investors who invest in and manage job-creating in commercial enterprises, in order to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment.

The USCIS estimates that as of this past September the program has created 41,940 jobs for U.S. workers – at no cost to the U.S. tax payer – from investments totaling $2.1 billion.

The minimum amount per investor is $1 million of capital, although that amount is reduced to $500,000 if the investment is made in a rural or high unemployment area. The invested funds must create or save at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers and the typical term of investment is 5 years. The 10,000 EB-5 green cards available each year, 3,000 are reserved for foreign nationals who invest through a Regional Center.
It should also be pointed out that the EB-5 Regional center program does not impose upon the foreign investor’s enterprise to directly employ 10 U.S. workers, instead it requires that 10 or more jobs be created directly or indirectly as a result of the investment.
The immigrant investor’s investment of “capital”, required to be at “risk”, is defined in the regulations has a sufficiently broad meaning so as that investment of capital not only include cash, but also to includes, equipment, tangible property, promissory note and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the foreign investor.

The investors are wealthy foreigners, primarily of Indian, Chinese, South African, Russian, and Pakistani origin, who have an opportunity to invest through varied businesses and in return for their investment they are able to able to obtain a green card without having to endure the long processing times associated with work and family related visa categories.

There are two distinct types of foreign investors that opt for the visa for cash program, one that place their savings to move to the U.S. so their children can get a better education and quality of life, or then college graduates that come from wealthy families who get the investing capital from their parents to they have an opportunity to settle here with a permanent green card and have the option to become a U.S. Citizen.
The Program has been renewed several times since its inception, and is currently due to expire September 30, 2012.

For more information on this program and eligibility please feel free to contact our office.

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Written by MithrasLaw

March 9, 2012 at 10:51 am

U.S Consulate in Mumbai is moving to a new location

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The U.S. consulate in Mumbai is moving in the Bandra Kurla Complex this week.  The current location is closed from November 15, 2011 onwards, and the consulate will reopen at the new location on November 21, 2011.  The new office will have more services and features forty-four consular interview windows. Unfortunately, there will be no visa services in Mumbai between the 15th and 21st.

Written by MithrasLaw

November 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

New Immigration Forum Launched

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We are pleased to announce that Mithras Law Group has today launched an immigration forum for all our clients and blog readers which is integrated with our website at (www.mithraslaw.com) and click on   http://mithraslaw.com/index.php?option=com_ccboard&view=forumlist&Itemid=60 to join.

Registration is free and allows you to post a question or concern, respond to other posts, and view posts by other users. Due to the high volume of questions and messages we are unable to respond to each and every query.  The new forum will allow a conversation among viewers and responses/concerns to be posted viewed by all registered users.

Written by MithrasLaw

February 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Immigration

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U.S. Citizen Evacuations Continue from Egypt

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The State Department has announced that more than 1,900 U.S. citizens and their family members have been evacuated from Egypt in an operation that began on Monday, January 31. The U.S. says it will continue with efforts to assist any U.S. citizens who wish to leave Egypt and are boarding additional flights today.

As curfew has been eased by three hours, more U.S. citizens are expected to be able to reach the Cairo airport.U.S. citizens are advised to avoid demonstrations and carefully proceed to the airport during non-curfew hours. U.S. citizens with passports that expired within the past 10 years may go directly to the airport. Persons with passports that expired more than 10 years ago, should go to the Embassy to obtain a replacement.

Although non-emergency personnel at the U.S. Embassy are leaving Egypt under ordered departure status, the Department continues to send personnel into Cairo and to the safe haven locations to assist U.S. citizens. The Embassy remains open for U.S. citizen services only during non-curfew hours.

The most up-to-date information for U.S. citizens in Egypt can be found at  www.Travel.State.Gov.  U.S. citizens in Egypt, or persons concerned for their U.S. citizen loved ones in Egypt also may contact the State Department by email at EgyptEmergencyUSC@state.gov or telephone at 1-888-407-4747.

Written by MithrasLaw

February 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Immigration

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OCI and PIO cards will be Merged

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has recently announced that the Indian government has decided to merge the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card and the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards into a single facility in order to encourage active participation of the Indian diaspora in India as well as to sort out the problems that implementation of two different card schemes has given rise to.

Merging the two cards means that PIO card holders will now be entitled to life-long visa for India rather than the visa-free entry being limited to 15 years. This merging also means that PIO cardholders will be exempt from registration with local police in India for a stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit and they will also be entitled to the rights of residency just as OCI cardholders have at present. While OCI cardholders get a specific right to become an Indian citizen, the PIO cardholders do not have this option, but now merging the two into a single facility will bring PIO cardholders at par with OCI cardholders.

It should also be noted that at the time of writing this post the Embassy of India in D.C., and the other Consulate Generals of India in the United States are still issuing both PIO and OCI and the process for merging and the length of time it will take is unclear. Although, PIO cardholders can “upgrade” to an OCI card and have been and are allowed to do provided they fulfill the eligibility requirement but such applicants should take into consideration that currently the PIO card is typically cancelled by the Embassy/ Indian Consulate at the time the OCI documents are collected which is before acquisition of OCI.

 

Written by MithrasLaw

January 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

Global Entry Pilot Program Reached 100,000 Members

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced recently that the Global Entry trusted traveler pilot program has reached the 100,000-member milestone.

Global Entry is a voluntary pilot program that streamlines the international arrivals process for pre-approved travelers through use of self-service kiosks located at 20 major U.S. airports. The pilot program is an alternative to regular passport-processing lines and known to reduce average wait times by 70 percent.

To date, Global Entry members have used the kiosks more than 600,000 times. “Global Entry is an excellent example of our efforts to securely facilitate international travel byexpediting trusted travelers,” said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin.

Global Entry is available to U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents who are able to pass an intensive background check. Citizens of the Netherlands may also apply under a special reciprocal arrangement that links Global Entry with the Privium program in Amsterdam. Applications to Global Entry first must be submitted online at ( globalentry.gov ). A fee of $100 also is collected via the website for a five-year membership. Applicants must then complete an interview and fingerprint data collection in person at any of the 20 airport sites.

Once enrolled in the pilot program, Global Entry members may proceed directly to the kiosks in the international arrivals area upon arrival in the U.S. At the kiosk, members insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into a document reader, provide digital fingerprints for comparison with fingerprints on file, answer customs declaration questions on the kiosk’stouch-screen, and then present a transaction receipt to CBP officers before leaving theinspection area.

Current Airport Sites:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

 

Written by MithrasLaw

January 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

Travelling to India this Holiday Season – Know the Tourist Visa Rules and Restrictions

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If you are planning a trip to India this holiday season or in the near future, it is important to keep in the mind the recent rules and restrictions imposed by the Indian Government on Indian tourist visa holders.

Indian tourist visas are granted for the purposes of visiting India to sight-see or to meet with relatives and friends and visitors on a tourist visa are not allowed to study, work, or set up a business in India or for that matter, convert the visa into another type of visa.

The recent change in rules has been imposed by the Indian government with a view to curb abuse and misuse of the tourist visa. The recent regulations require foreign nationals, including US passport holders, with multiple entry visas, to leave a gap of at least two months between each visit to India.  If for whatever reason, a visitor needs to visit India again within a period of 2 months from the last departure, a special permission from the Mission or Post is required before entry into India will be allowed.  The gap of two months applies between two visits to all tourist visa holders.

This visa regulation particularly affects foreign nationals when families are traveling to India for holidays and avail the opportunity to visit other neighboring counties for tourism to popular destinations such as Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.  and then they re-enter India within less than 2 months from the last departure.  These foreign nationals, after initial entry into India, may be permitted two or three entries provided they have obtained prior permission by the Indian Mission/Post before departure from their home country. If they are already in India and then make plans to travel outside of India then in some circumstances permission can be sought within India. Moreover, the Indian government has clarified that even if a traveler’s passport is not stamped at port of entry and the traveler tries to re-enter within two months the same restrictions are applicable and the traveler will not be allowed to enter India.

The good news is that this re-entry restriction is not applicable to PIO/OCI card holders or to those foreign nationals holding business, employment and other such categories of visas. For those US passport holders that have been contemplating getting a PIO or OCI card,  it is advisable to get the PIO or an OCI card as it can facilitate travel to India.

As India’s immigration laws are constantly changing and while this information is accurate at that the time of writing, readers are advised to check the most up to date rules and regulations before traveling.

Written by MithrasLaw

December 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

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