Green Card

How to Count Prior Investments in the US Towards an EB-5 Green-card

By | Blog, Business, E-Visa, EB-5, Green Card, immigration, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, LPR, News & Announcements, Visa | No Comments


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An EB-5 immigrant visa is a visa that allows you to become permanent resident if you invest 1-million dollars (or 500k in certain circumstances) and create 10-jobs for US citizens or residents. (Some other day we’ll talk about what “10-jobs” mean. Today I want to talk about how to count the 1-million amount when you have already invested money in the US). When funds have already been invested, there is a lot of confusion as to what counts and what doesn’t.

For the lay reader it might seem simple. 1-million is 1-million. However, as most things in the law, it is not simple and, 1-million might not be 1-million.

Let’s put an example to make it more graphic.

Let’s say Juan wants a green card through the 1M-investment program. Juan has been in the United States for 3-years (under another status, an E2 business visa). When he first came to the US he invested 50k. Because he is so good, he multiplied the 50k, and with only that 50k he generated another 950k in profits from his company. (unlikely but for purposes of explaining the 1M situation, it helps us).

In our example, Juan can only use the 950k generated by the business only if those 950k were distributed by his company to him as profits and he paid taxes on it. Once the money passes through to him and is taxed, then that money can count as part of the 1M investment for an EB5-green card visa. The reason (though not commonsensical from a business stand point since most business retain earnings or reinvest in the company) is that the EB-5 visa regulations talk about “foreign investor.” So the government wants the money to be “foreign” and that it comes from an “investor”—a human being. This is why they make you pass through the money before it can be counted.

In our example if we assume a tax rate for Juan of 30%, Juan would only be able to invest 665k of the 950k (Because 285k would be taxes). But this scenario is unlikely, because generally businesses have partners, and if, for instance Juan was a 50% owner, then we can only count the money that belongs to him, i.e.: 50% of the 665k or 332.5k.

EB-5 (green card) visas are complicated. It all starts simple: invest 1M and create 10-jobs. But, as seen, it is far from straight forward.For more information on investment visas call 305-570-2208 or email at

Vivir en los Estados Unidos Invirtiendo en Bienes Raices en Miami

By | Blog, Business, E-Visa, EB-5, Green Card, immigration, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, LPR, News & Announcements, Noticias, Real Estate, Residencia | No Comments


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En mi experiencia, muchas personas en todo el mundo quieren vivir en los Estados Unidos (EE.UU.) para disfrutar de la seguridad y la estabilidad que su sistema político proporciona. En América del Sur, por ejemplo, la mayoría de las personas con alto patrimonio saben que Estados Unidos nunca tendrá alguien en el poder que amenace las estructuras democráticas del país. La fuerte estructura constitucional y democrática del país no lo permite. Es decir, por lo menos esa es la imagen de los Estados Unidos en el extranjero.


Pero incluso si hay un ambiente político seguro, los extranjeros no quieren entrar en inversiones riesgosas que pueden poner en peligro sus ahorros de toda la vida. En este sentido, inversion en bienes raíces ofrece lo mejor de ambos mundos: una vida legal en los EE.UU. y una inversión segura. A través de un programa llamado EB-5 se puede obtener la residencia permanente haciendo una inversión de $500,000 en un proyecto aprobado por el gobierno.

Muchos de estos proyectos son desarrollos inmobiliarios que, ante el difícil proceso de obtener préstamos de prestamistas tradicionales, se convierten en fondos privados.

Ahora, siempre se puede invertir en su propio proyecto de bienes raíces. Dependiendo del área, la inversión podría ser $500,000 o $1,000,000. Se tiene que crear 10 empleos en los Estados Unidos para calificar a este programa. No estamos hablando de edificios sofisticados. Pequeños proyectos pueden calificar siempre y cuando cumplan con la cantidad requerida y que se creen los 10 puestos de trabajo.


Para aquellos que no necesariamente quieran invertir grandes cantidades de dinero, hay otras inversiones en bienes raíces que requieren una menor cantidad de dinero y que pueden calificar para obtener una visa para vivir en los EE.UU. con su familia.

En Ayala Law PA nos hemos asociado con prestamistas privados que otorgan a los pequeños inversionistas hasta el 50% del capital necesario para comprar bienes raíces comerciales o residenciales. Inversiones de $250,000 pueden calificar para esta opción y son la mejor alternativa para aquellos que no tienen las cantidades más grandes de dinero en efectivo necesario para obtener la residencia permanente.


La mayoría de los expertos coinciden en que ha habido un aumento en la oferta en el mercado de condominios del sur de la Florida, lo cual es muy oportuno para los que tienen la liquidez para comprar. Muchas veces el mejor negociador es el efectivo en mano. Si al mismo tiempo, usted es un extranjero que está buscando la estabilidad de una residencia permanente o una visa de negocios, este es el momento oportuno para reunirse con un abogado de inmigración y bienes raíces para empezar a hacer un poco de planificación al respecto.

También es importante señalar que los EE.UU. no ha aumentado los montos mínimos requeridos para una inversión EB-5 desde la creación del programa en 1990. Desde ese punto de vista, aquellos que tienen el dinero disponible y planean invertir en los EE.UU. deberían hacerlo antes de cualquier posible aumento en los requisitos de capital.

Mi experiencia es que cuanto antes mejor cuando se trata de inmigración e inversión. La mayoría de las veces la planificación migratoria adecuada junto con un buen plan de negocios es la mejor oportunidad para tener éxito tanto en inmigración como en la inversión.

Para mayor información llame para programar una cita al 305-570-2208 or envie un correo a

Are you Defenseless Against Federal Agents’ Abuses at Airports?

By | Admissibility, Admission, Blog, CBP, Civil Actions, Green Card, immigration, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, News & Announcements, Visa | No Comments

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There are several reports that Federal employees at ports of entry are taking measures that are breaching constitutionally protected rights.

In the most recent, remarkable case, a US born citizen and a NASA-engineer employee was detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for no particular reason. This scientist posted the incident on his Facebook account and described how he was sent to a room for a long period of time and asked not only for his cell phone but the password to access the information in it.

The scientist, having concerns about the sensitive nature of the information in his government provided cell phone, initially refused to give out his password. Intimidated by the persistence of CBP and being held already for a long time, he gave his phone access code to the agents.

Situations like this are not uncommon nowadays.This is just one of many remarkable stories at ports of entry which is making CBP agents’ well-earned reputation as abusive, rude individuals increase dramatically under the new administration.

The truth of the matter is that normally you do not have to give out your cell phone password. The Supreme Court has decided that police cannot search peoples’ phones inside the country without a warrant because they contain abundant personal information. The Court has not yet decided on a case about phone searches at the border or ports of entry.However, the Supreme Court in 1976 and 2004 decided that people’s Fourth Amendment privacy rights are less when entering the US because the government has to protect its borders.

If you are a US citizen or a Green Card holder (and you do not give out your password) they eventually have to let you in. It will be just a bad experience. But if you are coming to the US with a non-immigrant visa (as a tourist for instance) you are not only facing the hassle (and a bad time)but also a potential denial of entry.

Is there any remedy?

Yes. If you manage to make it through and feel that your rights have been violated, there are certain things you can do. The Supreme Court has held that “a violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures by a federal agent acting under color of his authority gives rise to a cause of action for damages consequent upon his unconstitutional conduct.” Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 389, 91 S. Ct. 1999, 2001 (1971).

Damages can include “humiliation, embarrassment, and mental suffering as a result of the [federal] agents’ unlawful conduct” Id. at 390. Attorneys fees are also a possibility in some cases.

For more information about “Bivens” actions call or text at 305-570-2208 or email us at






By | Blog, Business, Green Card, immigration, News & Announcements, Real Estate, Visa | No Comments

From my experience, a lot of people worldwide want to live in the United States (US) and enjoy the security and stability that its political system provides, even in the Trump era. In South America for instance, most high net worth individuals know that the US will never have a demagogue in power that threatens the democratic structures. A strong constitutional and democratic structure do not allow it. That is, at the very least the image of the US abroad.


But even if there is a safe political environment, foreigners do not want to enter risky investments that can jeopardize their lifetime savings or capital. In this sense, real estate provides the best of both worlds in terms of living legally in the US and making a safe investment. Through a program called EB-5 you can obtain a green card by making a $500,000 investment in a project approved by the US government.

A lot of these projects are real estate developments that, facing the difficult process to obtain loans from traditional lenders, turn into private funds.

You can always take matters into your own hands and invest in your own real estate project. Depending on the area, the investment could be $500,000 or $1,000,000. You will have to create 10 US jobs to qualify. We are not talking about sophisticated high-rises. Small developments may qualify as long as you meet the required amount and create 10 jobs.


For those who do not necessarily want to invest large sums of money, there are other smaller investments in the real estate that may qualify you for a visa to live in the US safely with your family.

At Ayala Law PA we have partnered with small private lenders who give smaller investors up to 50% of the capital needed to purchase commercial or residential real estate. Investments of $250,000 can qualify you for this option and are a better alternative for those that do not have the larger sums of cash required to obtain a green card.


Most experts agree that there has been an increase in supply in the condo market in South Florida that makes it very opportune for those with buying power to purchase. Often times the best dealmaker is cash in hand. If at the same time, you are a foreigner who is looking for the stability of a green card or a business visa, then get together with an immigration and real estate attorney to start doing some planning.

It is also important to note that the US has not raised the minimum amounts required for an EB-5 investment since the creation of the program in 1990. From that standpoint, those who have the cash available and plan to invest in the US should do it before any potential raise in capital requirements.

My experience is that the earlier the better when it comes to immigration and investment. Most of the time adequate immigration planning along with a good business plan is the best chance to be successful.

For more information contact us at or call or text at 305-570-2208

Sobre la política “Pies secos, Pies Mojados”

By | Admission, Blog, Cuban Adjustment, Green Card, Immigration Law, News & Announcements, Noticias, Residencia | No Comments

La Ley de Ajuste Cubano (CAA, por sus siglas en ingles) es una ley que otorga a los ciudadanos cubanos, a sus cónyuges y a sus hijos la posibilidad de obtener la residencia permanente si han estado presentes físicamente en los Estados Unidos durante al menos un año y si han sido admitidos legalmente para ingresar al país (por ejemplo, que hayan ingresado con una visa) o con un parole.

Una ley es un acto del congreso, no del presidente. [1] La famosa frase “Pies secos, Pies mojados” no refleja una ley, sino una política; es una manera que tiene el Presidente de los Estados Unidos de hacer cumplir la ley. De hecho, las palabras “Pies secos, Pies mojados” no están escritas en ningún código o documento oficial. Es una manera coloquial de describir ciertas pautas de la política emitida por el Poder Ejecutivo sobre cómo aplicar la Ley de Ajuste Cubano.

Así, cuando Obama cancela el “Pies secos, Pies mojados” no está cancelando ninguna ley, y por lo tanto no está cancelando una palabra de la Ley de Ajuste Cubano.

Lo que Obama hizo no afecta a todos los cubanos que emigran a los Estados Unidos con una visa o un parole. Afecta a los cubanos que intentan entrar ilegalmente en los Estados Unidos (a través de la costa de los Estados Unidos o a través de las fronteras).

¿Por qué Obama hizo esto? Parece haber tres razones importantes. Primero, acabar con la inmigración ilegal cubana. En segundo lugar, el cambio desincentiva a los involucrados en la trata de personas cubanas y a los inmigrantes que se atreven a correr ese riesgo. Y por último lugar, un acuerdo con el gobierno cubano (en un esfuerzo por normalizar las relaciones con Cuba) para que Cuba reciba de vuelta a los criminales cubanos que Estados Unidos remueve constantemente y que Cuba se rehúsa a recibir. Terminar la política de “Pies secos, Pies mojados” aparentemente era parte del acuerdo.

Para obtener más información sobre este tema, puede programar una consulta en:

[1]También hay leyes realizadas por las legislaturas estatales, pero como la Ley de Inmigración es una ley federal, sólo puede ser dictaminada por el Congreso de los EE.UU.

On Wet Foot; Dry Foot

By | Admission, Blog, Cuban Adjustment, Green Card, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, News & Announcements | No Comments

The Cuban adjustment Act (CAA) is a law that gives Cubans citizens, their spouses and children the possibility of getting a green card if they have been physically present in the US for at least one year and have been admitted or paroled (i.e.: entered with a visa or a parole document).

A law is an act of congress, not the president.[1] The famous “Wet Foot; Dry Foot” phrase reflects not a law but a policy; a way to enforce a law by the president of the United States. In fact the words “Wet Foot; Dry Foot” are not written in any code or official document. It is a colloquial way to describe certain policy guidelines issued by the executive branch as to how to apply the CAA law.

Thus, when Obama cancels the Wet Foot; Dry Foot policy, he is not cancelling any law, and therefore he is not cancelling one word in the CAA.

What Obama did does not affect at all Cubans immigrating to the US with a visa or a parole document. It does affect those Cubans trying to enter the US illegally (through the US coast or through the borders).

Why did Obama do this? There appears to be three important reasons. First, end illegal Cuban immigration. Second, the change makes a disincentive for those involved in Cuban human trafficking and those immigrants who dare to take such a risk. And three, an agreement with the Cuban government (in an effort to normalize relationships with Cuba) for Cuba to take back Cuban criminal immigrants the US constantly removes and that Cuba refuses to take. Ending the Wet Foot; Dry Foot was apparently part of the deal.

For more information about this topic you can schedule a consultation at:


[1] There are also state laws that are made but state legislatures but since immigration law is federal law, immigration laws are only made by the US Congress.

Sobre la ley del ajuste cubano

By | Cuban Adjustment, Green Card, Noticias, Residencia | No Comments

La Ley de Ajuste Cubano (AC) es una ley que le da a los ciudadanos cubanos, sus cónyuges e hijos, la posibilidad de obtener la residencia.

AC debe distinguirse de asilo político. El asilo es un proceso completamente diferente bastante mas complejo. El AC es un proceso único y tiene sus propios requisitos. Para obtener el AC es necesario lo siguiente:

  • Haber estado físicamente presente en los Estados Unidos por un año,
  • Haber sido admitido o tener un parole,
  • Ser admisible a los Estados Unidos.

El primer requisito es muy simple. Usted tiene que haber estado físicamente presente durante al menos un año. En ciertos casos, un viaje corto fuera del país, sin la intención de abandonar los Estados Unidos, no quiebra el requisito de la presencia continua de un año, pero en general, para estar seguro, y no arriesgarse a que se lo nieguen, usted debe haber estado aquí durante un año antes de la aplicación.

El segundo requisito pide la admisión o tener parole. En palabras simples, esto significa que usted vino a través de un aeropuerto o un puerto, vio algún funcionario de inmigración y este le puso un sello en su documento. En el caso de Cubanos que entran ilegalmente, (a través de la frontera o otros medios) que les dieron el parole. Esto ocurre normalmente cuando son atrapados (o se entregan) y le dan libertad condicional en los Estados Unidos. Básicamente, se reconoce que no tiene documentos válidos, pero después de verificar que usted es cubano, le permiten entrada bajo su propia palabra.

Este último requisito es básicamente lo que pide las leyes de inmigración a cualquier persona que está a punto de obtener la residencia. Tienen que ser admisibles. No pueden ser criminales, terroristas o ser el tipo de persona que a la cual no le daríamos la residencia.

Ahora ¿que ocurre con los miembros de su familia? Mi esposo, que no es cubano ¿califica también?

Sí, su cónyuge y hijos no cubanos califican. Los requisitos para ellos no son diferentes: (1) Tienen que estar aquí por un año, (2) tienen que haber sido admitido o puesto en libertad condicional (parole), (3) tienen que ser admisibles.

Ahora, ¿qué sucede cuando la familia no cubana entró en diferentes fechas? Por ejemplo, el esposo Cubano entró hace un año, y la mujer entró hace 9 meses. El esposo cubano puede ajustar su estatus, y la mujer cubana tiene que esperar 3 meses más. Ahora, lo más práctico aquí, en términos de proceso, sería esperar y hacer las dos aplicaciones en conjunto, sin embargo, nada impide que el esposo cubano aplique justo después del año. La esposa puede solicitar la residencia más tarde si quisiese. Lo que no puede ocurrir es que la aplicación de el no cubano sea antes que la de el esposo cubano. Tiene que ser al mismo tiempo o después.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre el proceso de Ajuste Cubano llama o envié mensaje al 305-570-2208 o mande un email a

On Cuban Adjustment

By | Blog, Cuban Adjustment, Green Card | No Comments

The Cuban adjustment Act (CA) is a law that gives Cubans citizens and their spouses and children the possibility of getting a green card.

CA is to be distinguished from asylum. Asylum is an entirely different process. CA is its own world and has its own requirements. To obtain CA you need to:

  • Have been physically present in the US for at least one year
  • Have been admitted or paroled,
  • Be admissible.

The first requirement is very simple. You have to have been physically present for at least a year. In certain rare exceptions, a very short departure might not break the one year continuous presence requirement for CA, but generally, to be on the safe side, you must have been here for a year before applying.

The second requirement asks for admission or parole. In simple words this means that you came through an airport or a port, saw some immigration official and they put a stamp on your document. In the case of Cuban entering illegally, (through the border or other means) they have to be paroled. This normally happens when you are caught (or turn yourself in) and they parole you into the US. Basically, they acknowledge that you do not have valid documents but after verifying that you are Cuban, they let you in on your own word.

This final requirement is basically what immigration asks of anyone that is about to get a green card. They need to be admissible. They cannot be criminals, terrorist or be the kind of person that we would not give a green card.

Now what happens to your family members? Does my non-Cuban spouse qualify too?

Yes, your non-Cuban spouse and children will qualify and the requirements for them are no different than the ones for you. (1) They have to be here for a year, (2) they have to have been admitted or paroled, (3) they have to be admissible.

Now what happens when the non-Cuban family entered at different times? For example the Cuban husband entered a year ago, and the wife entered 9 months ago. The Cuban husband can adjust status, and the Cuban wife has to wait 3 more months. The more practical thing here, in terms of process, would be to wait and do both applications together, however, nothing prevents the Cuban husband from applying right after the one-year mark. The wife can apply later. What cannot happen is the non-Cuban applying for green card before the Cuban. It has to be at the same time of after.

If you have more questions about the Cuban adjustment process call or text at 305-570-2208 or email at

Matrimonio y Green Card

By | Admissibility, Blog, Green Card, immigration, Immigration Law, LPR, misconceptions, Noticias, Peticion familiar, Residencia | No Comments

Constantemente me preguntan lo siguiente: Mi novio y yo nos amamos muchísimo. El es ciudadano americano. Si nos casamos, ¿en cuanto tiempo me llega la residencia?

La respuesta sincera a esta pregunta es: Nunca. Existe una gran confusión acerca de como opera el gobierno americano. Esto evidentemente requeriría una clase de un semestre entero, pero trataré de dar una explicación simple por ahora.

La palabra “Inmigración” significa muchas cosas. Muchas entidades componen lo que coloquialmente se llama Inmigración. Tomaría mucho tiempo explicarlo, pero lo que tiene que entenderse es que Inmigración es un organismo federal. Los Estados Unidos esta compuesto de estados y de el gobierno federal. Los estados regulan varios aspectos de la vida humana como los crímenes, la educación, el tráfico, y el matrimonio.[1]

Como los estados regulan todo lo que es el matrimonio, ahí es donde tienes que ir si quieres casarte. Si vives en la Florida, irás a una corte estatal de la Florida a casarte. Si te casas en una corte estatal y no haces nada mas, nunca recibirás la residencia (o Green Card). Nunca. El matrimonio literalmente, te da nada en términos de beneficios migratorios. Tienes que ir al gobierno federal y decirles que te has casado. “Decirles” es un eufemismo porque en realidad, es un proceso complejo de solicitudes que tienes que seguir para lo cual es recomendable un abogado de inmigración.

Pero la historia no termina ahí. Incluso si te casas, y luego vas al gobierno federal para pedir tu residencia, no necesariamente tienes derecho a que te la den. Si eres Osama Bin Laden, y te casas con un ciudadano americano, te garantizo que no obtendrás la residencia. Osama es una exageración, pero violaciones criminales mucho mas pequeñas te podrían descalificar de el privilegio de tener la residencia. Presta atención a todo los cargos criminales relacionados al fraude.[2] Llevarte una soda podría, potencialmente, descalificarte.

Sumado a los temas criminales, es muy importante considerar como entraste a los Estados Unidos. Si entraste de manera legal, y te quedaste mas de el tiempo permitido, (y no tienes crímenes) entonces podrías ser elegible para la residencia basada en el matrimonio. Si entraste ilegal, cruzando la frontera, entonces el camino es bastante mas difícil para ti. Necesitarás algo llamado “waiver” (perdón o dispensa) y, muy probablemente no podrás obtener tu residencia sin antes, en algún momento, salir de los Estados Unidos y regresar a tu país de origen y ser admitido legalmente.

Como pueden ver, no es un proceso tan simple. Si tienen mas preguntas sobre este tema, llame o envié un texto a 305-570-2208 para una consulta.

[1] En algunos ámbitos, los estados y el gobierno federal se cruzan, pero si un estado decide regular un ámbito que es prerrogativa del gobierno federal, la regulación estatal no puede contradecir la federal.

[2] Pongo énfasis en la palabra “cargos” porque incluso si una corte criminal estatal desestimó tus cargos, es posible que todavía estés en problemas con Inmigración. Inmigración tiene su propio sistema para evaluar los crimines que hacen a alguien elegible para beneficios migratorios—un sistema mucho mas estricto que el sistema estatal.

Marriage and Green Card

By | Admissibility, Admission, Blog, Green Card, immigration, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, LPR, misconceptions, Residencia | No Comments

I am constantly faced with the following question/fact pattern:

My boyfriend and I love each other a lot. She is a US Citizen. If we marry, in how long will they send me my green card?

The truthful (kind of mean) answer to this question is: Never. There is a huge confusion out there as to how the US government is organized. This would obviously would be a semester’s worth class, but let me try to do a simple explanation here.

The word “Immigration” means a lot of things. A lot of entities compose what we called “immigration”. It would take long to explain but what has to be understood is that Immigration is a federal body. The US is composed of States, and of the Federal Government. States regulate certain aspects of human life, like crimes, school, traffic, and marriage. The federal government regulates other aspects like taxes, employment and Immigration.[1]

Since states regulate marriage, that is where you have to go to get married. If you live in Florida, you will go to a state court in Florida and get married. If you marry in a state court, and do nothing else, you will never ever obtain a green card. Never. Marriage literally gives you nothing in terms of immigration benefits. You have to go to the federal government and tell them that you got married. “Tell them” is a euphemism because in reality, it is a complex paper work process you have to follow, for which it is recommendable to get an immigration attorney.

But the story does not end here. Even if you marry, and then go to the federal government to request for a green card, you are not necessarily entitled to one. If you are Osama Bin Laden, and you marry a US citizen, I guarantee you; you will not get a green card. Osama is the extreme example, but much much lighter criminal violations could disqualify you from getting a green card. Pay attention to all charges related to fraud.[2] Shop lifting a soda could potentially disqualify you.

In addition to criminal issues, it is very important to take into consideration how you entered the United States. If you entered legally, and overstayed your visa, (and you have no crimes) then you might be eligible for the green card. If you entered across the border, illegally, then the road is much steeper for you. You will need what is called a “waiver” and you likely WILL NOT be able to get your green card without a at some point in time, leaving the United States and being admitted legally.

As seen it is not that simple a process. If you have any further questions call or text Attorney Eduardo Ayala at 305-570-2208 for a consultation.

[1] In some of the areas the federal government and states overlap, but if a state regulates an area that is the realm of the feds, the state regulations cannot contradict the federal law.

[2] I put emphasis on “charges” because even if in a state criminal court you were acquitted, you might still be on the hook with immigration. Immigration has its own system of evaluating what crimes make someone eligible for immigration benefits. A system that is much tougher than the state system.