Header graphic for print

EB-5 Insights

Where Government Policies and Business Realities Converge

Posted in Immigrant Investor

As previously reported by Greenberg Traurig’s EB-5 team, the U.S. Department of State recently announced that immigrant visa numbers for Chinese nationals in the EB-5 category will become unavailable through September 30, 2014 which will mark the end of Fiscal Year 2014. To  address this development, Greenberg Traurig and EB5 Investors magazine will host a complimentary webinar next Wednesday, September 3rd at 1:00 pm ET outlining the impact of the visa retrogression for the EB-5 community. Discussion topics include:

• Legislative Update from Capitol Hill

• What Retrogression Means for Regional Centers and Projects

• The Impact on I-526 Filings and Green Card Applications Through Consular Processing and Adjustment of Status

To register for the complimentary webinar, please complete registration forms found in this link.

 

Posted in USCIS

U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) have the privilege and benefit of freely traveling to and from the United States. However, there are some limitations. First, if you are absent from the United States for more than one year, an LPR can be deemed to have abandoned his LPR status. Second, if an LPR takes up residence in another country (even if he has not been absent from the United States for more than one year), then he can still be deemed to have abandoned his LPR status. This is particularly problematic for LPRs who frequently travel internationally and sometimes their work does not allow them to regularly return to the United States.

Continue Reading

Posted in Immigrant Investor, Immigrant Visa

On August 23rd, 2014, the U.S. Department of State made an announcement that as of that same date, immigrant visa numbers for Chinese nationals in the EB-5 category will become unavailable through September 302014 which will mark the end of Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014).  In line with the predictions made earlier in the year by the State Department, the maximum allowed number of immigrant visa has been used by the Chinese nationals in this category.

What are immigrant visa numbers?

A specific number of immigrant (permanent) visa numbers are allotted per fiscal year in each immigrant visa category, such as EB-5, for groups of nationals of various regions around the world, such as China.  Immigrant visa numbers allow for a grant of conditional permanent residence to individuals applying for immigrant visas abroad or for adjustment of status in the U.S. based on their approved I-526 petitions.

What this means for immigrant visa applicants at U.S. consular posts:

For those investors and family members applying for their immigrant visas abroad whose immigrant visa appointment has been scheduled, the immigrant visa numbers for them have already been reserved.  Because of that, these individuals will remain unaffected by this announcement.  The cases of those investors and accompanying family members whose immigrant visa applications have not yet been scheduled for an interview by a U.S. Consular posts will not be processed and scheduled for an interview until immigrant visa numbers become available in the new fiscal year (FY 2015) which will begin on October 1, 2014.

What this means for adjustment of status applicants in the U.S.:

The U.S. Immigration Service will continue to accept applications for adjustment of status based on approved I-526 petitions.  However, instead of processing them right away, the Immigration Service will instead continue their pendency until the immigrant visa numbers become once again available in the new fiscal year (FY 2015) which will begin on October 1, 2014.

Why did the U.S. Department of State make the decision to make immigrant visa numbers unavailable for Chinese nationals in this category?

As predicted earlier in the year by the U.S. Department of State, the portion of the approximately 10,000 of total immigrant visa numbers in the EB-5 visa category which is allotted to the Chinese nationals for this fiscal year has been used.  Because this was the entirety of the immigrant visa numbers available for Chinese nationals in this category until the end of this fiscal year, new immigrant visa numbers will not become available until the beginning of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2014.

In doing this, the U.S. State Department is working to manage the availability of immigrant visa numbers to applicants in the upcoming fiscal year.  As FY 2015 begins in just over one month, this unavailability is not expected to last long.

Will this affect the adjudication of I-526 petitions?

This development will have no affect on the adjudication of I-526 petitions by U.S. Immigration Service.  This process will continue in line with the current processing times.

Please contact your GT attorney with any questions regarding this announcement by the U.S. Department of State.

Posted in General

Greenberg Traurig attorneys Kate Kalmykov and Jennifer Hermansky served as editors for the recently released What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Immigration Law reference book. The publication highlights the primary areas of immigration law encountered by attorneys of varying disciplines and the impact immigration law has on each, including complex mix of statutes, regulations, and federal and administrative courts and agencies. The book summarizes immigration principles in varying areas of the law, including family immigration, employment-based immigration, naturalization and removal defense, and serves as a reference for attorneys who may encounter non-citizen clients in their practice of law. The book can be purchased from the American Bar Association through this link.

Posted in EB-5 Program, Immigrant Investor

Last week, Greenberg Traurig EB-5 attorneys Laura Reiff and Steve Anapoell spoke at the first of many monthly informational sessions hosted by the city of Miami’s Office of International Business Development.

The event began with a press conference with the mayor of Miami in City Hall and was followed by a widely attended informational session focusing on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Reiff and Anapoell discussed the nuances of the EB-5 program, challenges faced by entrepreneurs seeking EB-5 funding and federal securities regulations compliance.

The city of Miami received EB-5 designation earlier this year, and is the only regional center owned, managed and supervised by a municipality. By utilizing the EB-5 investment program, the city expects to increase foreign investment in Miami, which will translate into the creation of thousands of new jobs and economic growth for both the city and the entire South Florida region.

 

Posted in Events

Pictured are Greenberg Traurig attorneys Kate Kalmykov, left, and Jennifer Hermansky, right.

Greenberg Traurig EB-5 attorneys Kate Kalmykov, Jennifer Hermansky and Ali Brodie served as moderators and panelists at the Third Annual Southern California EB-5 Conference hosted by EB5 Investors Magazine this past Monday. EB-5 team members Steve Anapoell, Dillon Colucci, William Mack, Cory Richards, Carrie Risatti and Catharine Yenalso attended among fellow EB-5 industry leaders with Kalmykov serving as conference co-host.

The conference drew more than 350 attendees, including Congressional speakers, immigration and securities attorneys, real estate developers, regional center representatives, economists and more. Discussions included the latest information about the EB-5 visa program, including topics covering legislative developments, securities law, regional center partnerships, immigration, marketing to investors and more.

Posted in I-526, I-829, I-924, USCIS

On July 17, 2014, USCIS released updated processing times for EB-5 related petitions. The following chart provides the average processing times for cases being adjudicated by the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO), as May 31, 2014:


Form
Processing Timeframe
as of May 31, 2014
I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur 13.2 months
I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions 7.9 months
I-924, Application for Regional Center 5.4 months

 

USCIS reminds I-526 applicants that case status can be checked online at www.uscis.gov or through an email to USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov.

 

Posted in EB-5 Program, I-526, I-829, USCIS

On May 13, 2014, USCIS updated the data for I-526 petitions and I-829 petitions for the second quarter of the 2014 fiscal year (January – March). This newly released data includes data up to March 31, 2014.  The original USCIS data for the I-526 petitions and I-829 petitions can be found on the USCIS website.

Data on I-526 Petitions

For the I-526 petitions, there have been a few changes between the second quarter and first quarter of fiscal year 2014. Overall, there has been an increase in number of filed I-526 petitions. There is likely an increase in the number of filed petitions because investors are concerned of the possible visa retrogression that may occur before October 1, 2014. Most notably, Chinese investors comprise approximately 80 percent of the I-526 filings, so they are hurriedly filing their I-526 petitions before visa retrogression hits.

Continue Reading