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Posted: April 17th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Employment-Based Immigration | Tags: employment immigration, H-1B visa, H-1b visa quota | No Comments »
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As anticipated, the 2015 H-1B visa quota was met quickly. On April 7, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year 2015, and that it had received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption.
USCIS reported that it received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. Since the quota limit was met, on April 10, 2014, USCIS completed a computer-generated random selection process to select those petitions that would be used to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and 20,000 advanced degree exemption cap. Unfortunately, those petitions that were not randomly selected will be rejected and returned to the petitioner along with the applicable filing fees.
USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than April 28, and will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the 2015 H-1B cap, and USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
- Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
- Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
- Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
- Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
H-1B Visa Eligibility Requirements
The H-1B non-immigrant visa is available to foreign workers who are employed by U.S. companies in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, the employee must meet the following requirements:
- The applicant’s job position requires a bachelor’s or higher degree;
- The applicant possesses at least a bachelor’s degree or its U.S. equivalent, or a combination of education and marketing experience equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree; and
- The wage offered to the applicant is at least the prevailing wage, or the actual wage paid to other marketing professionals similarly employed, whichever is higher.
Contact an Employment Immigration Lawyer
If your H-1B visa petition was not selected through the lottery and is not exempt from the cap, there may be other employment immigration options available. The Chicago employment immigration attorneys at The Shapiro Law Group have more than 30 years of experience helping clients with their visa and immigration needs. We are familiar with the H-1B visa requirements and application process, as well as a number of other work visa options.
Contact us at (847) 564-0712 to discuss your visa needs with one of our employment immigration lawyers.
Posted: April 9th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Employment-Based Immigration, Work Visa Applications | Tags: employment immigration, work visa | No Comments »
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Many employers hire foreign nationals to work in the United States, but the process of obtaining the necessary work permits for foreign national employees can be difficult and time-consuming. The success of a visa petition depends, in large part, on cooperation between the employer and the foreign national employee. The employment immigration lawyers at Shapiro Law Group focus on guiding employers through the work visa process and we can help ensure that employers and employees are working in unison to move through the visa process efficiently and effectively.
In many cases, the petition for a work visa will be filed by the employer and will require that the employer provide detailed information regarding the position that the foreign national will fill. For instance, the L work visa allows multinational companies to transfer overseas employees to the United States if the employee has been employed outside of the United States by the U.S. employer’s subsidiary, parent company, or corporate affiliate. The employer will submit the petition and must show that the foreign national employee was continuously employed abroad for one continuous year within the three year period of time preceding the L visa application being submitted to USCIS, and that the transferred employee will be employed in the U.S. as either an executive, manager, or an employee who possesses specialized knowledge.
Similarly, the H-1B visa is available for business who wish to hire foreign nationals to fill technical positions. Even though the employer submits the petition to USCIS, it must show that the foreign national has a bachelor’s degree or the U.S. equivalent necessary for the job.
According, because many work visas require that employers submit detailed information about both the position and the employee’s education/qualifications, it is important that the employer and employee work together to provide the necessary information.
How We Can Help U.S. Employers Obtain the Necessary H-1B Visas
At Shapiro Law Group, our United States employment immigration lawyers focus on helping employers meet their employment and business needs by securing the necessary visas for their foreign national employees. Shapiro Law Group assists U.S. employers with business and employment-related visas, including PERM labor certifications, H-1B visas, L-1 visas, and O visas.
We use our 30 years of experience to help clients facilitate seamless business immigration and ensure compliance with the legal requirements of the immigration application process. Whether you are an employer or an employee, our business immigration lawyers’ knowledge and experience can help you to navigate the complexities of U.S. immigration law and ensure that you comply with the specific requirements of the application process. Because we understand that a successful petition requires the cooperation between employer and employee, we will work closely to facilitate effective immigration efforts.
Contact us online or call (847) 564-0712 to discuss your work visa options with one of our experienced U.S. immigration lawyers.
Posted: April 9th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Green Card/Permanent Residency, Work Visa Applications | Tags: green card, work visa | No Comments »
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Many people use the words “work visa” and “green card” interchangeably when they are talking about employment-based immigration, but there are several key differences between the two immigration options.
The biggest difference between a work visa and green card is that a green card allows the foreign national to remain in the U.S. indefinitely and a work visa is limited in duration.
There are various ways through which a foreign national may qualify for a green card (or permanent resident status), including through marriage (including same-sex marriage) or familial relationship and certain employment scenarios. Under the labor certification process, there are the following five preference categories for employment-based permanent residency:
- First Preference (EB1) is available for of priority workers, including persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational organization executives and managers.
- Second Preference (EB2) is available for professionals holding advanced degrees (or persons of exceptional ability) working in a position that requires an advanced degree or the equivalent.
- Third Preference (EB3) is available for professionals and skilled workers if the job requires a bachelor’s degree or two years of specialized training or experience.
- Fourth Preference (EB4) includes special immigrants, such as religious workers and some government workers, among others.
- Fifth Preference (EB5) is available for investors who make a substantial U.S. investment that create jobs for U.S. workers.
It is important to know and understand your EB preference category and the priority date assigned to the I-140 petition since the preference category will impact the cut-off date for priority status of your application. The EB category assigned to your application can be found on the I-140 receipt and approval notices.
Once employment-based permanent residency is established, there are certain obligations placed upon the green card holder in order to maintain permanent residency. For instance, the green card holder must not commit an offense that results in deportation, not abandon the status, file tax returns as a permanent resident, and renew the green card.
Conversely, the following nonimmigrant work visas are available for foreign nationals who enter the U.S. temporarily to work:
- L-1 visa for intra-company transfers. Generally, an applicant must have worked abroad as an executive, manager or specialized employee for at least one continuous year within the previous three year period in order to qualify for the L-1 intra-company transfer visa.
- H-1 visa for specialty occupations. Foreign workers who are employed by U.S. companies in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers, may qualify for an H-1B visa. The H-1B visa is subject to strict quota caps, however.
- TN visa for residents of Canada and Mexico who will enter the U.S. to be engaged in activities at a professional level.
- E visas for business investors. An E-1 or E-1 visa is available for traders and investors who are citizens of countries with which the U.S. has a treaty of trade and commerce. The EB-5 investor visa is available for foreign nationals who invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise, or $500,000 in a regional center.
- O visa for workers with extraordinary ability. The O visa enables people with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or the motion picture and television industry to enter the U.S. for temporary periods of time.
In most cases, prior to filing an employment-based immigrant visa application on the employee’s behalf, employers must receive approval of a Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) labor certification. Accordingly, it is important for employees and employers to work together throughout the visa or green card application process, with the help and guidance of an experienced immigration lawyer.
Contact a U.S. Immigration Lawyer
If you are an employer looking to hire a foreign worker permanently or temporarily, the U.S. employment immigration lawyers at Shapiro Law Group are here to help you with all of your business immigration needs. We will educate you on the available visa options and green card options and guide you through the application process. Contact our office today at (847) 564-0712 to schedule a consultation with one of our employment immigration lawyers.
Posted: April 9th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Business and Investor Immigration, Employment-Based Immigration, Work Visa Applications | Tags: business immigration, employment immigration, work visas | No Comments »
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As we move toward a more global economy, many employers are choosing to hire foreign nationals to meet their employment needs. While hiring a foreign national may be in an employer’s best interest, the process of obtaining the necessary work permits and visas can be daunting. The Chicago immigration law firm of Shapiro Law Group focuses on helping businesses meet their employment needs by securing the necessary immigration and visa documents for foreign national employees.
The following is a general checklist of items that employers should consider when hiring a foreign national employee:
- Determine the visa(s) for which the foreign employee qualifies. There are a number of visa options for foreign nationals, each with their own qualifications, requirements, and limitations. For instance, the H-1B non-immigrant visa is availabchicagole to foreign workers who are employed by U.S. companies in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, the employee must meet the following requirements: (1) the applicant’s job position requires a bachelor’s or higher degree; (2) the applicant possesses at least a bachelor’s degree or its U.S. equivalent, or a combination of education and marketing experience equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree; and (3) the wage offered to the applicant is at least the prevailing wage, or the actual wage paid to other marketing professionals similarly employed, whichever is higher. But even if a foreign national employee qualifies for the H-1B visa, there are strict quota requirements on the number of H-1B visas that can be issued each year.
In some situations, an employee may qualify for an L-1 visa as well. Generally, an applicant must have worked abroad as an executive, manager or specialized employee for at least one continuous year within the previous three year period in order to qualify for the L-1 intra-company transfer visa.
Foreign nationals from Canada and Mexico who enter the U.S. to work in a professional job are generally eligible for the TN work visa under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Unlike some other visas, there are no caps on the number of TN visas that can be issued each year.
- Work with the employee to complete and submit a timely petition for the appropriate visa. Depending on the visa sought, different petition forms and supporting information will need to be provided to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A skilled immigration lawyer can help you determine the appropriate visa to seek, assist with the petition preparation, and ensure that the visa petition is submitted in a timely manner. Businesses should also work in conjunction with the foreign national employee to ensure that accurate information is provided.
- Confirm employee’s employment eligibility with E-Verify. E-Verify is a voluntary computer system provided to employers by the USCIS that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees. E-Verify can only be used to check new hires, must be used within 3 days of the employee’s start date, and cannot be used to pre-screen employees.
- Obtain a completed Form I-9. As we recently discussed, I-9 investigations are at an all-time high, with more than 3,000 audits taking place in 2012 compared to only 250 in 2007. Given that the government is stepping up its investigations and looking more closely at I-9 procedures, most organizations would benefit greatly from enhanced I-9 self-examination procedures. Organizations should examine their current I-9 forms to confirm that they are up-to-date, look at their current processes and procedures, and consider implementing new processes and procedures with respect to I-9 verifications.
Contact an Employment Immigration Attorney
The U.S. business immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group focus on helping employers and nonresident employees with all of their immigration issues, guiding clients through the process from start to finish. If you are an employer in need of immigration assistance, do not hesitate to contact us at (847)564-0712 to speak with our experienced U.S. employment immigration attorney.
Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Family-Based Immigration, Green Card/Permanent Residency | Tags: Family-Based Immigration, green card | No Comments »
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Divorce is an unfortunate reality for many couples. In fact, approximately 41 percent of first marriages and 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce. Divorce is a stressful and unsettling time for anyone, impacting a person’s living arrangements, financial situation, and parenting relationships. But when one of the spouse is a foreign national, the divorce can have even farther-reaching consequences.
The impact of a divorce on permanent resident status depends, in large part, on when the divorce occurs. After a green card is issued, the permanent residence status is conditional for a period of two years. After the couple has been married for two years, they can jointly petition USCIS for removal of the condition on the resident status. If the divorce occurs after the condition has been removed from the permanent resident status, it will have little to no impact on the divorced alien’s residency status. The only impact that a divorce would have on a green card holder with unconditional permanent resident status is a delay in obtaining citizenship since the residency requirement is three years for those applicants married to a U.S. citizen and five years for all other applicants.
If a couple is divorced within two years of obtaining a green card, the permanent resident status could be in jeopardy since permanent resident status is conditional for the first two years. In other words, a divorce generally terminates the conditional permanent resident status.
In some situations, however, the conditional green card holder may be able to obtain a waiver of permanent residence termination. In order to have the condition removed from permanent resident status, the foreign national must submit Form I-751 along with the request for a waiver of the joint filing requirements. Waivers are more likely to be granted if the petitioner can show that the marriage was entered into in good faith and that there was abuse by the U.S. spouse or extreme hardship will occur to the foreign national if returned to his or her country of origin.
If the divorce was finalized before the end of the two-year conditional period, the foreign national should also be prepared to provide a written explanation detailing the reasons for the divorce. USCIS grants I-751 waivers on a discretionary, case-by-case basis after considering the individual circumstances. For instance, if USCIS determines that the foreign national spouse was at fault for the divorce by abandoning the other spouse or committing adultery, the waiver may be denied. But if, on the other hand, USCIS determines that the foreign national spouse made a good faith attempt to make the marriage last or the foreign national spouse is the victim of domestic abuse, USCIS will be more likely to grant a waiver.
Divorce is never easy, and it is even more stressful when one of the spouses is a foreign national. Whether you have a conditional green card or unconditional permanent resident status, the Chicago family immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group have the knowledge and experience necessary to advise you on impact of the divorce on your immigration status. If you have conditional permanent resident status, we will help you file the necessary documents to seek a waiver of the joint filing requirement.
Contact our office at (847)564-0712 to speak with an experienced Illinois green card attorney.
Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Employment-Based Immigration, Family-Based Immigration, Green Card/Permanent Residency | Tags: employment-based immigration, Family-Based Immigration, permanent resident | No Comments »
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The Department of State has released its April 2014 Visa Bulletin. Each monthly visa bulletin provides the priority cutoff dates for specific countries in order to regulate the flow of visa applications. Foreign nationals are permitted to file applications for an adjustment to status or for approval of an immigrant visa as long as the priority date is prior to the respective cutoff date specified by the Department of State in the monthly visa bulletin.
Pursuant to the April 2014 Visa Bulletin, the following cutoff dates are in effect:
- All EB-1 categories remain current.
- Applicants in the EB-2 category (professionals holding advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability) from India continue to have a cutoff date of November 15, 2004 (no movement from the March 2014 bulletin). The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-2 category from China will move forward by 21 days to March 8, 2009. The EB-2 category for individuals from all other countries remains current.
- With the exception of India, there was slight forward movement in the EB-3 category (skilled workers and professionals) for all countries. The cut-off date for EB-3 petitions from India remained unchanged at September 15, 2003. Petitions from the Philippines moved forward 45 days to June 25, 2007, and petitions from China, Mexico, and the rest of the world moved forward 30 days to October 1, 2012.
- The cutoff date for individuals in the family-based F2A category from Mexico has retrogressed from previous months to April 15, 2012.
- A cutoff date of September 8, 2013 for individuals in the F2A category from all countries other than Mexico continues from previous months.
Although there was not much movement for employment-based visa categories, applicants are urged to submit their application as soon as possible. For more than 30 years, the Chicago employment immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group have helped businesses and their employees obtain the necessary employment-based visa as efficiently as possible. We can advise you of the appropriate visa, help with preparation of your visa application, and file your application in a timely manner.
Similarly, legal residents who want to sponsor legal residency for their spouses and/or minor children under the F2A category are urged to contact The Shapiro Law Group as soon as possible to begin the application process. Although the F2A category is no longer “current,” as it was in August and September 2013, the waiting period is still relatively short and applicants should submit their petitions as soon as possible before the waiting time increases further.
The F2A visa application process can be confusing, but the Chicago family immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group are here to help. If you are interested in bringing your spouse or minor children to the U.S. under the F2A visa program, you will need to file a petition to sponsor an alien relative, known as an I-130 petition in the F2A category, and our Chicago immigration lawyers can assist you in doing so.
Contact our office at (847)564-0712 to speak with an experienced Illinois immigration attorney to learn more about employment-based immigration options, the F2A application process, or the April Visa Bulletin.
Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Family-Based Immigration, Green Card/Permanent Residency | Tags: Family-Based Immigration, green card, same-sex marriage | No Comments »
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The process of obtaining a marriage-based green card can be long and fraught with challenges. Married couples seeking to obtain a green card for one of the spouse should keep in mind the following do’s and don’ts when embarking on the green card petition process.
Whether a newly-married couple, a same-sex couple, or a long-term married couple, petitioners for a marriage-based green card SHOULD:
- Submit timely petition documents with the necessary supporting information.
- Be prepared for your interview with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Dress professionally and review your green card application prior to the interview. Spend some time reviewing the facts and circumstances of your relationship with your spouse prior to the interview, including where and how you met, how the relationship developed, who proposed, and things that you like to do together.
- Be patient. The process of obtaining a green card can be a long one. In some cases, the USCIS officer will approve your application and stamp the passport of the immigration spouse at the interview and, within 30 days, the immigrant spouse will receive the official green card in the mail. In other cases, the USCIS will not have adequate time to perform all of the necessary security checks on an applicant so the case will be marked as “pending security checks,” with the applicant required to check back periodically regarding status. And in some cases, the USCIS will request additional documents or a subsequent interview.
- Consult with an immigration lawyer who understands the process of obtaining a marriage-based green card.
Petitioners for a marriage-based green card SHOULD NOT:
- Do not, under any circumstances, lie on your application, supporting documents, or during the interview with immigration officials. You will be asked to take an oath of truthfulness at your interview with USCIS officials and violating this oath will not only result in a denial of your petition, but could also result in criminal charges and fines.
- Do not miss filing deadlines or be unprepared for your USCIS interview.
- Do not be offended by personal questions asked throughout the process. Part of the review process for marriage-based green cards is for the USCIS to determine whether the foreign national and his or her spouse are a legitimate couple and that the couple wasn’t married for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card. As a result, USCIS officials may ask personal information about both spouses and their relationship.
Contact an Marriage-Based Green Card Lawyer
The process of obtaining a marriage-based green card is not easy or automatic. A qualified immigration lawyer can be instrumental in guiding you through the entire process. The Chicago green card lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group use their extensive knowledge of USCIS requirements and processes to help clients obtain green cards for their spouses and/or children. Whether your spouse is already in the U.S. and seeking a green card, or you are filing a new immigration application on their behalf, our Illinois immigration lawyers are here to guide you through the entire process. If you would like more information about obtaining a marriage-based green card, do not hesitate to contact us at (847)564-0712 to speak with our Illinois green card attorney.
Posted: March 13th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Family-Based Immigration, Green Card/Permanent Residency, Work Visa Applications | Tags: health care, immigrants | No Comments »
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America is home to more than 21 million non-citizen immigrants, according to Kaiser Health News, and for many of these immigrants, health coverage is a top concern. Given that the health care landscape has undergone significant changes in light of the recent enactment of the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare), many immigrants are left confused and uncertain about their health coverage rights and options.
If you are an immigrant and your employer does not offer health care insurance, there are several things that you need to know about health coverage. First, in order to buy private health insurance through the Marketplace, you must be a U.S. citizen or “lawfully present” in the United States through one of the following ways:
- “Qualified non-citizen” immigration status without a waiting period
- Humanitarian statuses or circumstances (including Temporary Protected Status, Special Juvenile Status, asylum applicants, Convention Against Torture, victims of trafficking)
- Valid non-immigrant visas
- Legal status conferred by other laws (such as temporary resident status, LIFE Act, or Family Unity individuals)
If you are a lawfully present immigrant, you can purchase private health insurance on the Marketplace and you may be eligible for lower costs on monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs if your income falls below the following thresholds:
- If your annual income is 400% of the federal poverty level (about $45,960 for an individual or $94,200 for a family of 4) or below, you may be eligible for tax credits that can be used immediately to reduce monthly premiums for insurance bought in the Marketplace.
- If your annual household income is below 100% of the federal poverty level (about $11,490 for an individual or $23,550 for a family of 4), and you are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid, you will be eligible for tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs for private insurance through the Marketplace if you meet all other eligibility requirements.
If you are one of the following “qualified non-citizens” immigrants, you will generally be eligible for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, if you meet your state’s income eligibility rules:
- Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)
- Cuban/Haitian entrants
- Immigrants paroled into the U.S. for at least one year
- Conditional entrants granted before 1980
- Battered non-citizens, spouses, children, or parents
- Victims of trafficking and spouse, child, sibling, or parent or individuals with a pending application for a victim of trafficking visa
- Immigrants granted withholding of deportation
- Immigrants who are members of a federally recognized Indian tribe or American Indian born in Canada
In order for most green card holders to get Medicaid or CHIP coverage, however, there is five-year waiting period unless they meet certain exceptions, such as refugees or asylees.
If you are part of a “mixed status” family, with members having different immigration/citizenship statuses and some taxpaying members who cannot buy health insurance through the Marketplace, you can apply for a tax credit or lower out-of-pocket costs for private insurance for your dependent family members who are eligible for coverage in the Marketplace or for Medicaid and CHIP coverage.
If you are a “lawfully present” immigration purchasing private insurance on the Marketplace, it is important to know that, while Health Insurance Marketplaces and state Medicaid and CHIP agencies can require you to disclose the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of applicants, recipients of benefits, and certain people whose income is needed for computing tax credits, they cannot require you to provide information about the citizenship or immigration status of any household members who are not applying for coverage. Moreover, states cannot deny benefits to you because a non-applicant family member refuses to disclose his or her citizenship/immigration status.
As dedicated Illinois immigration attorneys, the Shapiro Law Group helps immigrants and their families navigate the visa process and educates immigrants on their rights, options, and obligations once in the U.S. If you would like information on your health coverage options depending on your immigration status, contact us at (847)564-0712(847)564-0712 to speak with an experienced and qualified Illinois immigration attorney. You can also visit this government website for more information about health coverage options for immigrants.
Posted: March 13th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Business and Investor Immigration | Tags: EB-5 visa, foreign investors, Investment | No Comments »
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Businesses looking to obtain capital and financing for projects in the United States often think of bank loans or securities offerings, but the EB-5 investor program is a little-known investment vehicle that is a viable option for many U.S. businesses looking to raise capital for a new project.
The EB-5 visa program works by linking U.S. businesses seeking to raise capital with foreign investors seeking a U.S. visa. The EB-5 visa program was created as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors, and is available for investors who invest a minimum amount of capital in a U.S. business. In order to qualify for the EB-5 investor visa, the following requirements must be met:
- The foreign national applicant must invest at least $ 1 million in a new commercial enterprise or $500,000 if investing in a Regional Center in a targeted area in a United States.
- The commercial enterprise receiving the investment funds must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s admission into the United States.
- The commercial enterprise receiving the investment funds must have been established after November 29, 1990. If the commercial enterprise was established on or before November 29, 1990, it may still qualify as a “new commercial enterprise” if (i) it was purchased and the existing business was restructured or reorganized so that a new commercial enterprise results, or (ii) it expanded through the investment such that a 40% increase in net worth or number of employees resulted.
Businesses looking to access EB-5 financing generally do the following:
- Determine whether the project meets the requirements of the EB-5 program, including location in a targeting employment area and satisfaction of the new job requirement.
- Contact one or more regional centers in the geographic location of the project. The business owner should discuss the terms of a possible project with the regional center and conduct a background check of the individuals sponsoring the regional center to ensure that they have the necessary experience with the proposed project.
- Contact one or more foreign marketing agents. Some regional centers will provide marketing efforts as part of their EB-5 financing, but many do not. The foreign marketing agent will seek interested foreign investors for a fee.
- Prepare offering documents for the EB-5 financing. Since most EB-5 financings involve the sale of securities, they must comply with applicable securities laws and regulations, including Regulation D (for private offerings of securities) and Regulation S (for offshore offerings of securities).
- Negotiate other sources of financing, such as bank loans.
- Prepare foreign offering documents. The regional center or foreign marketing agent often assists with this process.
- Market the project in the applicable foreign country.
- Upon receipt of a subscription agreement and investment funds from the foreign investor, the business owner will commence the immigration process of obtaining an EB-5 visa by filing an I-526 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- After the project is complete, each EB-5 investors will be required to file an I0829 visa application within two years of the date that he or she received his or her conditional visa.
Because of the EB-5 visa program has strict and specific legal requirements, and because the process can be complex and time-consuming, it is highly recommended that businesses seeking to use the EB-5 visa program and foreign investors seeking to obtain an EB-5 visa, consult with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer. The Chicago immigration attorneys at the Shapiro Law Group focus on helping businesses, investors, and families with all of their immigration and visa needs, including EB-5 visas and green cards.
Contact our office at (847)564-0712 to speak with an experienced Illinois employment immigration attorney about the EB-5 investor visa.
Posted: March 13th, 2014 | Author: CO - Admin | Filed under: Green Card/Permanent Residency | Tags: green card, permanent resident, taxation of immigrants | No Comments »
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The U.S. tax filing deadline is fast approaching on April 15, 2014. Green card holders often have a number of questions when it comes to tax obligations. As we explained in this recent post, green card holders are generally required to file a U.S. income tax return and report worldwide income no matter where they live. In an effort to assist green card holders with tax preparation, this article explains 7 things that green card holders need to know when filing a tax return:
- As a permanent resident of the U.S., green card holders must file their income tax returns or request an extension by April 15 of each year.
- It is very important that green card holders file their tax returns using a Form 1040 or a Form 1040-EZ. Green card holders should not file a tax return as a nonresident on a Form 1040NR even if all income was earned outside of the U.S. If a green card holder files as a nonresident, the green card holder can lose green card status.
- In some cases, a green card holder may be a dual-resident taxpayer (a resident of both the U.S. and another country) and may claim the benefits of any applicable tax treaties between the countries. Dual-resident taxpayers who claim treaty benefits as a resident of another country need to file a return by April 15 (or the extension data if requested) using Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. U.S. federal tax obligations should be calculated as a nonresident alien.
- If income tax was paid or owed in another country, the green card holder can claim a foreign tax credit for such income in order to avoid double taxation.
- If a permanent resident surrenders his or her green card, he or she must comply with nonresident alien requirements for filing a Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return.
- If a foreign national is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. in at least 8 of the last 15 tax years, he or she will be considered a long-term resident, in which case he or she may also be subject to expatriation tax if his or her green card is surrendered.
- In some cases, a foreign nationals without a green card may also be required to file a tax return if he or she spends a significant amount of time in the U.S. each year. Specifically, a nonimmigrant visa holder will be required to file a nonresident tax return if he or she is present in the U.S. at least 31 days during the current year and 183 days during the three-year period that includes the current year and the two years immediately prior. A nonimmigrant visa holder may be exempt from U.S. tax obligations, however, if he or she is present in the U.S. less than 183 days in the current year, has not applied for a green card, has a closer connection with a foreign country, and maintains a home in this foreign country.
Contact Us Now for More Information regarding Tax Obligations
The knowledgeable Chicago green card lawyers at The Shapiro Law Group have more than 30 years of experience helping clients with their visa and immigration needs, including advising clients about their tax reporting obligations. If you are a green card holder and have questions about filing a tax return or would like information regarding your tax reporting obligations, contact us at (847) 564-0712 to discuss your visa needs with one of our knowledgeable green card immigration attorneys.