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EB-5 investor visa updates coming in November

EB-5投资移民项目新法案将于2019年11月21日生效

Original English version

美国公民及移民服务局(USCIS)宣布新的EB-5投资移民法案将在2019年7月24日正式公布,并于2019年11月21日开始生效。这是自1990年美国国会创立此法案以来的第一次重大变革。我们公司将会尽快提供更多该法案的细节,但新政策主要包括:

  1. 新投资额:最低投资额为1,800,000美金。位于目标就业地区(TEAs)的项目最低投资额为900,000美金。但是目标就业地区认定过程的可能使该目标区域的大多数项目难以获得TEA认证。
  2. 更新的目标就业地区(TEAs)认定:目标就业地区(TEA)的认定将由美国公民及移民服务局(USCIS)决定,并且由于对连续人口普查的聚集和合并区域的限制,可能认定范围将会越来越窄。如果投资项目仅限于单个或者“直接相邻”人口普查区域,则可能导致大多数项目的投资额达到1,800,000美金。
  3. 优先日期保留的新规定: 如果投资申请人以后必须提交新的I-526申请,他们将能够保留其先前被批准的I-526申请的优先日期。这种灵活性可以保护投资人已经获得了1-526申请的批准,但是由于他们无法控制的情况(例如区域中心终止)可能会使其资格收到损害的情况。这种灵活性还允许在提交投资计划中的一些创意的转换,而不会危及到优先日期。不会将主申请人或投资人的优先日期赠送或者转移给衍生受益人。
  4. I-829灵活性: 如果投资人自己的I-829申请中没有包含其衍生家庭成员,那么衍生家庭成员必须在I-829阶段提交他们自己的申请。

重要的是了解这项新法案将于2019年11月21日生效,即自联邦公报发布之日起的120天。根据现行的EB-5规定,在此之前 “适当提交请愿书” 将被裁定。(备注:请注意,鉴于法案生效前有120天的空档期, EB-5投资计划可能会被重新授权(在2019年9月30日之前),新的改革可能会是从美国公民及移民服务局通过一项新的重新授权的法规。

在新法案生效前,我们有120天的时间。我们专业的EB-5团队在过去两年的时间里已经递交了数千份EB-5投资申请,并与我们的合作伙伴/客户密切合作,在满足不同时限的要求下,成功地为他们提交了EB-5的申请。我们建议现有的合作伙伴和客户立即与我们联系,以确保在新法案于2019年11月21日生效之前正确的提交所有案例。

 

电话: +1-949-383-5358              电子邮件: info@hirson.com       网站: www.Hirson.com

 

11/21/2019 부터 시행될 EB-5투자이민 프로그램의 새로운 규정

Original English version

미국 이민국(USCIS)은 2019년 11월 21부터 시행되고 내일 (2019 년 7 월 24 일) 발간될 새로운 EB-5 규정을 발표했습니다. 이는 1990 년 미국 의회에서 창안된 이래로 이 프로그램의 첫번째 중요한 변화입니다. 저희 로펌은 곧 더 자세한 내용을 제공할 예정이지만 주요 변경 사항은 다음과 같습니다:

1) 신규 투자 금액: 최소 투자 금액은 180 만 달러입니다. TEA (Targeted Employment Areas) 에 위치한 프로젝트의 투자 금액은 최소 900,000 달러입니다. 그러나 TEA 지정 프로세스의 변경은 TEA 지정 자격을 얻기위한 대부분의 프로젝트들을 매우 어렵게 만들수 있습니다.

2) 수정 된 TEA 지정: TEA 결정은 USCIS 가 담당하며 인접한 인구 조사 구역을 집계하거나 결합하는 데 한계가 있으므로 훨씬 줄어들 것입니다.  프로젝트가 단일 또는 “바로 인접한”인구 조사 지역이면, 대부분의 프로젝트 자금은 180 만 달러가 되어질 것입니다.

3) 우선 날짜 보유 위한 새로운 규칙: 나중에 I-526 신청서를 새로 접수해야하는 경우, 신청자는 예전에 이미 승인되어진 I-526우선 순위 날짜를 유지할 수 있습니다. 이러한 유연성은 I-526 청원이 승인된 투자자를 보호하지만, 통제가 불가능한 상황 (예 : 지역 센터 해지)으로 인해 자격이 위태로워질 수 있습니다. 이러한 유연성은 또한 우선 순위 날짜를 위태롭게하지 않으면서 접수한 후에 투자 전략에서 창의적인 전환을 가능하게 합니다. 그러나 우선 순위 날짜를 주요 신청자 / 청원자로부터 그들의 배우자나 자녀들에게 양도할 수 없습니다.

4) I-829 유연성: 투자자의 가족은 투자자의 I-829 청원서에 포함되지 않은 경우 I-829 단계에서 본인의 I-829 청원서를 제출해야합니다.

이 새로운 규정은 연방 등록부에서 발행한 날로부터 120 일 후인 2019 년 11 월 21 일에 발효될 것임을 이해하는 것이 중요합니다.  그전에 “적합하게 접수된 청원서”는 현행 EB-5 규정에 따라 판결될 것입니다. (참고: EB-5 개정안이 효력을 발생하기 전에 120 일간의 유예기간이 주어진 상황에서, EB-5 프로그램이 (2019 년 9 월 30 일 이전에) 국회를 통해EB-5 프로그램이 USCIS 가 발표한 개정법안과는 다른 내용으로 재승인될수 있는 가능성도 배제할수 없기때문에 조심스럽게 상황을 지켜봐야하겠습니다).

우리는 이제 새로운 규정이 효력을 발생하기까지 120일의 시간이 있습니다. 우리 그룹은 지난 2년 동안 수천 건의 EB-5 청원서를 제출했으며 EB-5 사례를 성공적으로 접수하기 위해 저희의 파트너들 / 고객들과 긴밀히 협력해 왔습니다. 현재 저희의 파트너들 및 고객들은 새로운 규칙이 2019 년 11 월 21 일에 발효되기 전에 모든 케이스가 적절하게 접수되도록 저희에게 즉시 연락 주시기를 당부 드립니다.

Tel: +1-949-383-5358                      Email: info@hirson.com                Website: www.Hirson.com

Major EB-5 Regulations coming in November

DỰ LUẬT MỚI CHO CHƯƠNG TRÌNH ĐẦU TƯ EB-5 HIỆU LỰC TỪ NGÀY 21 THÁNG 11 NĂM 2019

Ngày 24 tháng 7 năm 2019, Cơ Quan Nhập Tịch Và Di Trú Hoa Kỳ (USCIS) đã công bố chính thức dự luật mới cho chương trình đầu tư EB-5. Dự luật mới sẽ bắt đầu có hiệu lực từ ngày 21 tháng 11 năm 2019. Đây là những sự thay đổi cực kỳ quan trọng cho chương trình đầu tư di trú từ những ngày đầu khi quốc hội khai sinh ra chương trình này năm 1990. Chúng tôi sẽ cung cấp thêm nhiều chi tiết cụ thể hơn sau, và những thay đổi quan trọng bao gồm:

1) Tiêu chuẩn mới về số tiền đầu tư: Số tiền đầu tư tối thiểu sẽ là 1 triệu 8 trăm ngàn đô la Mỹ ($1,800,000). Số tiền đầu tư tối thiểu cho những dự án nằm trong khu Trung Tâm Vùng (TEA-Targeted Employment Area) sẽ là chín trăm ngàn đô la Mỹ ($900,000). Tuy nhiên, dự luật mới với những thay đổi giành cho trung tâm vùng sẽ có thể gây khó khăn lớn trong việc thành lập những dự án thoả mãn cho việc thành lập trung tâm vùng.

2) Sửa đổi tiêu chuẩn cho Trung Tâm Vùng: Tiêu chuẩn cho trung tâm vùng sẽ được quyết định bởi USCIS và sẽ có khả năng những tiêu chuẩn sẽ được thu hẹp lại gắt gao hơn do sự xác nhập tổng quát vị trí địa lý của khối kinh tế. Nếu dự án bị giới hạn vào “vùng trực tiếp”, khả năng dự án phải lên một triệu tám $1.8.

3) Quy định mới cho việc duy trì ngày đáo hạn (priority date): Nếu sau này phải nộp hồ sơ I-526 mới, đương đơn sẽ được quyền duy trì ngày đáo hạn bằng ngày hồ sơ I-526 cũ được chấp thuận. Tính linh hoạt này sẽ bảo vệ nhà đầu tư mà đơn I-526 đã được chấp thuận nhưng chưa có khả năng hội tụ đủ điều kiện vì những tình huống ngoài sự kiểm soát của họ (ví dụ trung tâm vùng bị giải tán). Sự linh hoạt này cũng cho phép nhiều sự sáng tạo trong phương pháp kiến tạo phuơng thức đầu tư sau khi nộp hồ sơ mà không gây ảnh hưởng tới ngày đáo hạn.

4) Sự linh hoạt cho đơn I-829: Người thân trong gia đình hưởng lợi ích phát sinh bắt buộc phải tự nộp hồ sơ I-829 nếu bản thân họ không nộp cùng lúc khi đương đơn chính nộp đơn I-829.

Dự luật bắt đầu có hiệu lực từ ngày 21 tháng 11 năm 2019, 120 ngày kể từ ngày đuợc phát hành trên thông cáo của Liên Bang, và việc thông hiểu thông hiểu những điều luật mới ngày rất quan trọng. Nhưng hồ sơ nộp đúng cách trước cột mốc này sẽ được cứu xét dưới dự luật đương thời. (Lưu ý: Xin lưu ý rằng mặc dù 120 ngày cho phép trước khi dự luật mới có hiệu nghiệm, sẽ rất có khả năng chương trình EB-5 sẽ được phê chuẩn tiếp (trước ngày 30 tháng 9 năm 2019) với những đạo luật mới nữa mà có thể sẽ đối nghich với những đạo luật sắp thông qua nêu trên.

120 Ngày kể từ hôm nay, dự luật mới sẽ hiệu nghiệm. Cùng với đội ngũ nhân viên dày dạng kinh nghiệm và quá trình làm việc chặt chẽ với những đối tác kinh doanh, chúng tôi đã hỗ trợ quý thân chủ để nộp hàng ngàn những hồ sơ EB-5 trong vòng hai (2) năm qua, giúp quý thân chủ đi trước những điểm mốc nhạy cảm. Hãy liên hệ với chúng tôi ngay để đảm bảo hồ sơ của quý khách được nộp trước khi dự luật mới có hiệu nghiệm.

Tel: +1-949-383-5358                      Email: info@hirson.com                Website: www.Hirson.com

New Bill Extends Funding for EB-5 but Drops Key Program for Women

EB-5 Regional Center Pogram Extended into September 2019

U.S. Government Receives Funding Through September 30, 2019: Effects on EB-5 Regional Center Program and VAWA

On Friday, February 15, 2019, U.S. Congress and President Trump agreed on and signed Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, a spending bill that funds the U.S. government and extends the EB-5 Regional Center Program with no changes through September 30, 2019. This is another “clean” extension in a line of short-term extensions since 2013 of the EB-5 investment and job-creation program. The EB-5 regional center program has been a benefit to local U.S. economies and U.S. workers. Along with the rest of the EB-5 industry, we hope that this seven-month extension will allow beneficial updates to be made to the EB-5 program.

It is interesting to note that one key U.S. immigration program was not reauthorized in this latest spending bill: The Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”). VAWA was dropped from the spending bill near the end of intense negotiations to avoid another shutdown of the U.S. government. This U.S. government program was created in 1994 to fund programs that help victims of domestic violence. In addition to funding, VAWA created a special visa category that allows battered immigrants to petition for legal status in the United States without relying on abusive U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouses, parents or children to sponsor their Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) applications.[1] The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.[2]

If you have any questions about investment/corporate immigration or other avenues to immigrate to the U.S., contact us to speak with our group of experienced immigration attorneys.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358         Email: info@hirson.com               Website: www.Hirson.com

[1] https://www.uscis.gov/archive/archive-news/fact-sheet-uscis-issues-guidance-approved-violence-against-women-act-vawa-self-petitioners

[2] https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/battered-spouse-children-parents

EB-5 CLIENT & PARTNER ALERT

DATE:            November 10, 2017

FROM:           David Hirson & Partners, LLP

SUBJECT:      Summary & Analysis from USCIS IPO EB-5 Stakeholders Meeting – November 7, 2017

*NOTE: The following is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with your counsel for advice specific to your situation and needs.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (“USCIS”) Immigrant Investor Program Office (“IPO”) hosted an EB-5 Stakeholders meeting in New York on November 7, 2017. IPO representatives provided some valuable guidance into issues while leaving many questions yet to be answered. Please see below for a summary/analysis of pertinent points:

  1. Processing Order for I-526 Petitions – No “FIFO;” Project First, I-526 Petitions Second

IPO went as far as to admit that they do not adjudicate I-526 petitions on a strict “First In, First out” (“FIFO”) basis. Rather, IPO organizes adjudication of EB-5 petitions by individual projects and each adjudication team is assigned certain projects which are adjudicated after coming in and the team has capacity to move on to adjudicating that project.

The main takeaway is that project review always comes first, followed by the associated I-526 petitions on a FIFO basis. Thus, there are two scenarios that illustrate when the FIFO “clock” for the investors actually begins:

  1. Projects with Exemplar

In this situation, IPO will review project documents first and then adjudicate all associated I-526 petitions afterwards.

  1. Projects without Exemplar – Project Review begins after Two I-526 Petitions are Received

If an exemplar has not been filed, IPO will generally wait to receive at least two (2) I-526 petitions for a project before reviewing the project documents. If the project is EB-5 compliant, IPO will then adjudicate the remaining I-526 petitions.

Thus, it may become a practical necessity for Regional Centers/Projects to file exemplars, whenever feasible, if the goal is to speed up I-526 adjudication. It is already becoming a standard expectation from the EB-5 market, so not much may change.

  1. Exemplar Filings – Include a List of Associated I-526 Petitions

IPO made it clear that when filing an I-924 Exemplar, it would make their life easier if a cover letter listing all I-526 petitions filed under that exemplar was included. Note that Regional Centers should already have this information on file and the list would be similar to the supplement that is filed with the I-526 petitions. On approval of an exemplar, it may be advisable to update the list of filed I-526 cases associated with the project.

  1. Filing of Form I-924A

For the annual I-924A report, IPO stressed that they want RCs to provide accurate accounting/estimates of job creation for all projects under sponsorship.

Specifically, IPO expects “live updates” on the number of jobs created for the Fiscal Year being reported on. Regional Centers should calculate job creation by using (1) the same economic methodology that’s contained in their project’s economic report and (2) updating the corresponding job creating inputs for the past Fiscal Year.

In plain English, projects need to take the budget (or other input used in the economic report) they submitted with their business plan and update what progress they have made that fiscal year. Essentially, it is a yearly update one usually prepares for the Form I-829 petition’s job creation analysis.

Note that the information must be based on the past Fiscal Year to be credible and it’s no longer acceptable to merely count jobs based on the number of approved I-829 petitions.

Finally, the I-924A must be filed at the California Service Center (not the IPO office) by December 29, 2017.

  1. Material Change & Switching Projects/RCs after I-526 is Filed

This was the longest discussion during the call. All roads lead back to Matter of Izummi and Chapters 4 & 5 of the Policy Manual, but even then, it is unclear if IPO is understanding the questions being asked.[1] This will probably be revisited in a future stakeholder engagement.

One major issue that was discussed was when can an investor safely transfer to a second project if there’s a problem with the Regional Center or project. Part of the answer here depends on if the contemplated switch is to occur before or after the investor receives Conditional Permanent Residence (CPR). However, not much clarity has been provided after that.

  1. Before CPR (I-526 Pending Adjudication)

Unfortunately, there are not many options for the investor here. IPO stated that the following scenarios will be considered a material change if it occurs before an investor attains CPR and consequently will result in grounds to deny an I-526 petition: RC termination/loss of designation (even if another RC takes over the project), switching NCEs, and switching projects/JCEs.

It appears that IPO is taking the stance that if a project is under investigation and a receiver is appointed to take over the NCE/project, then this is not necessarily a material change. It appears that the rationale is that if the underlying purpose of the NCE remains the same, the project remains the same, and that the project will otherwise be completed, then a mere change in management of the NCE will not necessarily negatively impact the investors. However, whether this is true is unclear.

On the other hand, IPO appears to be taking a hardline stance that if the RC is terminated or loses its designation, then that is an automatic material change and consequently a denial. This was a controversial point and was met with immediate resistance.

  1. Between CPR and Filing of I-829

If the investor has obtained CPR, then he has a few more options. IPO appeared to allow an investor to switch projects, but was unclear what procedures or steps must be taken. It appeared that IPO was stating that it would only be acceptable if the funds are returned to NCE1, which will then invest into NCE2 and the second project. It appears that IPO is also requiring NCE1 to remain operational during this entire process.

  1. Reinvestment of EB-5 Funds into a Second Project (Scenarios)

The following are the scenarios that were also discussed and ones that are likely to be encountered in situations involving a failed/troubled investment:

  • If a project has failed, but the EB-5 funds were not spent (i.e. money held in escrow), then can the funds be reinvested to another project where 10 jobs have been created? Likely answer is yes, but must be aware of timing so that the reinvestment is not considered a material change.
  • If the funds have been spent, and the project fails so that the investment has been completely lost, can the investor become a member of a new NCE with no further investment and no jobs created or insufficient jobs created by the first JCE? – Likely answer is no.
  • If funds have been spent, only 5 jobs have been created, can remaining funds be redeployed to another project to create 5 more jobs to meet the required 10? May have to deal with both a timing issue (for material change) and a nexus issue (would some of the EB-5 funds have to be invested in Project 1 and Project 2 to establish nexus?).
  1. Completed Project – Redeployment of Funds
  • If funds have been spent, 10 jobs have been created, however, I-829 is pending (e.g. China backlog), so funds must be redeployed to another project to ensure funds are “at risk.” If 10 jobs have already been created by the first project, is the investor required to create another 10 jobs from the second project? – EB-5 eligibility is already locked in. (this is true even if RC is terminated at this stage).
  1. Bridge Financing

There is apparently some controversy about how IPO is deciding what is acceptable bridge financing for EB-5 projects, but without specific facts, it’s unclear if this is a widespread policy change or a problem with an individual case/rogue adjudicator. One issue that IPO was adamant about was that when EB-5 funds are being used to repay bridge financing, the EB-5 funds must flow from the NCE to the JCE, who can then pay the bridge facility. The NCE cannot pay the bridge facility directly (because the EB-5 funds would not be made “fully available” to the JCE).

Typically, when discussing bridge financing, the focus is generally on 3 factors: (1) temporal (when must it be contemplated), (2) procedural (do you need a MOU or agreement), and (3) nature/purpose of financing being repaid. Of the three, the last one is arguably the most important.

Implicitly, for bridge financing to be acceptable the “short-term” financing that is being repaid with EB-5 funds must have been spent on costs related or necessary to the project (in other words, a project-related nexus). On one end of the spectrum, a short-term loan to pay for construction costs in advance of the EB-5 loan closing is uncontroversial. On the other hand, IPO has specifically rejected (including during this call) the use of EB-5 funds to buyout developer/owner equity or to pay down permanent financing. This makes sense if we look at it from an economic policy standpoint. The first situation has a direct nexus to the project’s development and thus creates economic benefits to the surrounding community. The second situation provides no economic benefit (or jobs) to the community because EB-5 is being used to facilitate a paper transfer of wealth or to refinance and help lower the cost of capital for a project.

Our firm will share our thoughts on this issue in a separate article, but we expect this topic to be revisited again in a later engagement.

  1. Miscellaneous Points:
  • I-485 interviews will become a standard requirement for all petitions, including EB-5 petitions.
  • A number of practitioners (including our office) have reported that they never received physical copies of RFEs/NOIDs despite receiving online case updates that they have been mailed out and requesting them from CIS Customer Service. Thankfully, IPO said they are aware of the issue and that it should be resolved now.
  • IPO reiterated that the only way for a RC to expand its geographic designation is through a Form I-924 filing.
  • IPO again confirmed that the “sustainment/at-risk period” ends once the two-year CPR period is over.

Contact our expert EB-5 team at David Hirson & Partners, LLP for more information about you specific EB-5 situation and needs.

Telephone: (949) 383-5358                 www.hirson.com                     info@hirson.com

PL/NP

[1] For reference, a material change is one that affects an investor’s decision-making at the time of filing the I-526 petition. Under Matter of Izummi, a petitioner must establish eligibility at the time of filing and that a petition cannot be approved if, after filing, the petitioner becomes eligible under a new set of facts or circumstances.

Invest In America The Hitsory Of EB5 Visa

The History of the U.S. Investment Visa

The US Congress’ Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT 90) established the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to stimulate the U.S. economy through foreign investment and create jobs.

This act dramatically reformed the U.S. immigration system and amongst other things, instituted changes to non-immigrant visa classes, the rules governing deportation, and raised the limits on legal immigration.

EB-5 Reforms of the 1990s

The Immigrant Investor Program was founded as a pilot program in 1990 and is administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The program permits foreign investors to invest funds in the United States in order to be granted greens cards for themselves and their families to live and work in the US. At least 10 full time and paid jobs must be created for each investor. Read more

Donald Trump Presidency And The Future of EB5 Visas

EB-5 Visas Expected to Reach New Heights Under The Trump Administration

Recently, there has been a great deal of discussion on the fate of the EB-5 visa program and what sort of impact the US presidential election and its surprise result will have on immigration laws in general in the US.

The Eb-5 visa program, also referred to as the Immigrant Investor Program, grants visas to foreign investors who invest at least $500, 000 into a U.S. project that will create a minimum of 10 jobs for US workers.

Some Changes Expected, But The EB 5 Program To Continue

As most people who followed the presidential debates are aware, Donald Trump was very much anti-trade, anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), anti-North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and against the ability of other countries to manufacture and ship product to the United States in a way that undercuts American companies that produce the same goods. Read more

American Investors What You Need To Know About EB5 Investments

What Every EB-5 Investor Needs to Know When Selecting an EB-5 Investment

All investments come with a certain amount of risk, and this is no different for the investments made through the EB-5 program, where in fact the law mandates on at risk equity investment.

As it related to an EB-5 investor, risk is defined as the financial position into which the investor will place himself or herself in an attempt to obtain US residency by investing into an approved EB-5 project of any nature.

Risk may be inherent in any aspect the investment, for example:

  • The type of investment
  • The location of the project
  • The capital structure
  • The history of the Regional Center and any minor projects
  • The integrity of the people behind the Regional Center or the project

Every EB-5 investor must investigate and know his or her own level of tolerance and choose an investment project accordingly. Read more

The Donald Trump Presidency & Its Effect on EB-5: An Industry Insider’s Perspective

By Phoung Le.

As you may have heard, last week Donald Trump became a little bit more famous as the newest elected president of the United States. Understandably, there has been much noise and uncertainty about how a Trump presidency will affect the world (be it Great Walls or trade treaties), our focus today will be on the EB-5 industry.

Our firm is deeply involved with the EB-5 industry on all levels and our viewpoint on EB-5 is this: namely, if the question is “Will EB-5 disappear”, the answer remains the same “Unlikely.” Why? As usual, the easiest way to make sense of thing is “follow the money”. We offer the below perspective as industry insiders. Read more

Huge Increase In EB-5 Visa Applicants

Eb5 immigration applications show a 113% increase in 2015.

As reported by the USCIS, the number of applicants for the EB-5 visa increased to 17,791 in 2015, up from 11,744 in 2014. This amounts to an 113% rise in applications filed. This increase in applications is primarily due to worries that key aspects of the program may not be renewed by the US government in the future.

Around 21,998 applications were still pending at the end of 2015, and currently, there is a 5-year backlog for Chinese mainland born investors looking to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program for themselves and their family members. Read more