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Immigration Options for Business Owners and Investors

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Overview of visas and green cards for business owners and investors

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Immigration Options for Business Owners and Investors

  1. 1. PRESENTED BY COWLES & THOMPSON IMMIGRATION GROUP
  2. 2. I 2 3 Agenda IMMIGRANT VISAS – PATH TO PERMANENT RESIDENCE THROUGH BUSINESS TEMPORARY VISAS FOR WORK AND BUSINESS QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
  3. 3. E-2 L-1 O-1 H-1B •Treaty country nationals (TN) only •Investors and essential skills employees •TN must own 50% of business and •Indefinite duration •Spouse can work •No visa quota •Existing foreign business and “affiliated” US business •Managers(L-1A) & Specialized Knowledge workers (L-1B) •Five (L-1B) to 7 (L-1A) duration •Spouse can work •No visa quota •People in the arts, sciences or business who are at the “top of their fields” •Indefinite duration •Spouse cannot work •No visa quota •Professional Workers in “Specialized Occupation” •Foreign National must have a Bachelor’s Degree in the occupational field •Six year duration •Spouse cannot work •Annual quota of 65,000 with 20,000 master degree exemptions NON-IMMIGRANT VISAS FOR BUSINESS
  4. 4. Foreign company unnecessary – need to make substantial investment in U.S. business Must make substantial investment based upon proportionality test (depends upon the type of business) Source of funds must be legitimate-savings, gifts, salary, loans secured by personal assets Five year business plan with staffing and income projections so that business is not “marginal” 1 2 3 4 5 E-2 Treaty Investor Requirements Must develop and direct business or be executive or manager or highly skilled worker
  5. 5. Foreign company must be in existence at least one year and continue to operate Must document relationship between foreign company and U.S. company to meet legal definitions Must be executive/manager or specialized knowledge worker – extensive proof of duties required 1 2 3 4 5 L-1 Transferee Requirements U.S. company must be operational or “new office” exception applies and business plan is necessary Must be employed by overseas business for at least 1 year out of the preceding 3 years
  6. 6. U.S. company can be newly formed and owner can qualify Must provide “peer consultation” from labor union or expert in the field (occupation) Criteria: Awards, memberships, feature articles, authorship, judge of colleagues, high compensation, critical role, original contributions 1 2 3 4 5 O-1 Extraordinary Ability Requirements Extensive documentation necessary including recommendation letters to show “risen to the top of the field” Must meet 3 criterion to show extraordinary ability and national or international recognition in the occupation
  7. 7. U.S. company can be newly formed and owner can qualify if board of directors or members control employment Employer must post notice of labor condition application and keep public access file with specific documentation 1 2 3 4 5 H-1B Specialty Occupation Requirements Position must typically require a minimim of bachelor’s degree in the specialty occupation Must have equivalent to four year bachelor’s degree in a specialty occupation Position must pay the “prevailing wage” for the location of employment
  8. 8. EB-1A EB-1C Labor Cert EB-2 NIW EB-5 •People who are at the “top of their fields” •Must meet at least 3 criterion to show national or international recognition •Self-petition with prospective employment •Foreign and US business both operational for at least one year •Must be employed by overseas business for at least 1 year •Must be manager or executive •Advanced degree or exceptionality ability •Employment must benefit the U.S. national interest •Waiver of the usual labor certification requirement •Self-employment ok PERMANENT RESIDENCE THROUGH BUSINESS •Unskilled, skilled, professional, advanced degree workers qualify •Shortage of US workers •Slow process and recordkeeping requirements •Substantial investment required •Creation of 10 full-time jobs •Own business or investment in approved regional center
  9. 9. Self-sponsorship permitted – no employer or business required but must show prospective employment Must show your employment or business will benefit the United States) Criteria: Awards, memberships, feature articles, authorship, judge of colleagues, high compensation, critical role, original contributions 1 2 3 4 5 EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Requirements Extensive documentation necessary including recommendation letters to show “risen to the top of the field” Must meet 3 criterion to show extraordinary ability and national or international recognition in the occupation
  10. 10. Foreign company must be in existence at least one year and continue to operate Must document relationship between foreign company and U.S. company to meet legal definitions Must be executive/manager – extensive proof of duties required 1 2 3 4 5 EB-1C Multinational Manager/Executive Requirements U.S. company must be operational for at least one year with financial records and ability to pay salary Must be employed by overseas business for at least 1 year out of the preceding 3 years
  11. 11. U.S. employer required that has financial ability to pay the required salary Employment categories include EB-3 unskilled, skilled, and bachelor degree workers as well as EB-2 advanced degree workers 1 2 3 4 5 Labor Certification Requirements Position duties must be typical for the occupation; cannot be tailored to the foreign national’s education and experience Employer must test the local market and advertise the position to prove no qualified U.S. workers Position must pay at least the “prevailing wage” for the location of employment
  12. 12. Waiver of labor certification and job offer – no employer required so self-sponsorship is available Must show national interest benefit outweighs labor certification national interest benefit 1 2 3 4 5 EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) Requirements Must be advanced degree professional (equivalent to master’s degree or higher) OR exceptional ability Must show that employment will benefit national economy, cultural interests, educational interests, or U.S. welfare Meet 3 exceptional ability criteria: degree, 10 years experience, professional memberships, license, recognition, high salary
  13. 13. Must invest $500,000 in targeted employment area or $1,000,000 in other areas 1 2 3 4 5 EB-5 Immigrant Investor Requirements Can form new business, purchase or expand existing business, or invest in approved regional center Must create 10 full-time jobs or retain jobs in a failing business Investment must be at risk (no guarantees) and used to create the required jobs Source of funds must be legitimate and traceable-savings, gifts, salary, or loans secured by personal assets
  14. 14. Next Steps to Success STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 DEVELOP YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN AND TIMELINE. GATHER NECESSARY DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION IMPLEMENT YOUR PLAN. WELCOME TO THE U.S.! DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE – MEET WITH ATTORNEYS AND CONSULTANTS TO CONSIDER FINANCIAL, IMMIGRATION, AND OTHER RELEVANT ASPECTS. DETERMINE YOUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES.
  15. 15. Questions & Answers
  16. 16. Facts of each case are different. The information provided here is general in nature and should not be relied upon for your specific situation and is not legal advice. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to get the right advice to secure your future in the United States Legal Notice

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