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奥巴马总统最近宣布了其对移民政策变化的新提议,提议对EB-5投资移民将产生特殊影响。此文章简述这些举措对EB-5的影响。

奥巴马总统访华期间宣布了中国公民将有资格申请有效期为10年的赴美旅游签证。这使得一些国人认为,如果拿到了10年有效签证,通过EB-5获得美国永久居留权将变得不重要。这种理解存在许多误区。首先,虽然中国公民个人有资格申请有效期10年的旅游签证,但并不代表批准的签证就是为期10年。领馆或许仍会选择发放有效期为1年的签证。其次,持旅游签证在美国境内的逗留时间仍为6个月。再次,旅游签证仅限于持签证者在美国旅游,而不能在美国学习或永久生活。所以,如果个人仍希望在美学习或生活,还是要申请EB-5类型签证。接下来,我们讨论奥巴马总统最近在移民改革问题上的行政决定。

在2014年11月20日,奥巴马总统概述了通过改动现有法规,不改动现有法规,和总统备忘录三种方式对移民进行改革。提议对EB-5将有以下影响。

在不制定新法规的情况下对行政规章进行变动,对EB-5将无较大影响,因为行政规章变化主要影响其它类别签证和自2010年1月1日起居住在美国境内的人员。

依照《行政程序法》而实施的法规变动将会使EB-5投资者在两方面获益。首先,允许研究人员、发明创造者或商业创立者以企业家身份来美国工作。企业家身份的定义应适用于EB-5投资者,因为EB-5投资者是“外籍企业家”,如果该定义适用,那么投资者就可以在其绿卡获批之前进入美国,投资者及其家庭将受益颇多。

第二方面获益来自“提早身份调整”。这可以让有资格申请身份调整、但目前不在签证排期表优先日期上的个人,递交身份调整申请并获得提早在美工作许可。所以,一旦I-526申请获批,EB-5投资者和其家庭可申请递交身份调整以获得上述益处。倡导EB-5的团体需要向行政部门提议,境外的EB-5投资者应该获得和在美申请“提早身份调整”相同的待遇。比如,外籍公民和美国公民结婚申请入籍的情况下,如果外籍公民在境外递交I-130申请,其可申请K-3签证进入美国等待入籍程序。我们认为,在美国境外的EB-5投资者应获得相似待遇。最后,我们讨论总统备忘录。

总统备忘录在签证革新上有两点积极影响EB-5投资者。首先,如果国会批准但未用完部分永久居留签证数额,这些数额可以被借用。如果这项举措得到实行,那么未用完的签证数将会留到下一年。所以,如果在某一年EB-5签证需求量大于分配数额,那么有可能上一年未用的签证数量会填补至这一年份,使国会计划得到实行。如果总统允许国务院倒退回5年或更长时间,“借用”较早年份未发放的移民签证数量的话,那么今年将不会出现签证名额用尽这种现象。

更具影响的另一种可能性,是不将配偶和子女计入EB-5签证配额。目前,当EB-5投资者递交I-526申请并获批后,投资者和其家庭将重新计入10000位EB-5移民签证数额。我们假设,一个家庭成员数量平均为三人(丈夫、妻子和一个孩子),这意味着在任何一年中,平均仅有3333位投资者可获得永久居留权。然而,如果配偶和子女不计入签证配额中,那么10000位投资者就可获得永久居留权。这对于EB-5类签证影响重大,签证配额不足的风险也将极大减小。

需要注意的是,奥巴马总统设定总统备忘录的目标时间为120-180天,所以在接下来的6个月中,我们希望会看到一些规则出台。

奥巴马总统提议的改变将会对EB-5团体有着正面的影响。现在我们需要做的是向行政机构积极提议,让EB-5在商业和投资者中继续保持强劲势头。

谨以此文章,向Laura Reiff律师为成员的EB-5移民联盟同仁表示感谢。

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.