Immigration Blog

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 eayala@ayalalawpa.com.

Ayala Law Obtains Visas for Plaintiff in Mass Tort Litigation

By | Admission, B1 Visa, Blog, immigration, Immigration Law, Litigation, News & Announcements, Travel Abroad, Visa | No Comments

 

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In what was an uphill process, Ayala Law obtained special visas for over 33-plaintiffs and witnesses to travel for litigation in the United States. The Plaintiffs-Applicants are Peruvian citizens from a remote, poor area of the city of La Oroya, Peru.

The plaintiff are part of a case filed in federal court in Missouri where they are seeking recovery from several corporate and individual US Defendants for injuries, damages and losses caused by exposures to lead and other toxic substances as a result of Defendants use, management, supervision, and release of materials from a metallurgical complex in the region of La Oroya, Peru.

The Plaintiffs were minors at the time of their initial exposure and injuries. At critical times during gestation and their developmental years, Plaintiffs were exposed to damaging levels of lead and other toxic substances including arsenic, cadmium, and sulfur dioxide. Attorney Eduardo Ayala has been involved in this case since early 2013.

The visas were crucial to allow the plaintiffs to appear at their deposition in Saint Louis Missouri. Had they not been able to appear to their deposition in the United States they could have faced adverse rulings in the case or even dismissal.

For information about visas call 305-570-2208 or email eayala@ayalalawpa.com

Can you Travel to the United States on a Visitor Visa to Litigate?

By | Admission, B1 Visa, Blog, immigration, Immigration Law, Litigation, News & Announcements, Travel Abroad, Visa | No Comments

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The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) establishes that everyone is presumed to be an immigrant except, among others, certain categories of aliens visiting for business or for pleasure. Section 101(a)(15)(B) of the INA states that “ . . . an alien . . . having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning and who is visiting the United States temporarily for business or temporarily for pleasure . . .” is not an immigrant. See 8 U.S.C. 101(a)(15)(B) [1101(a)(15)(B)] (2017).

Similarly the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) states that “[n]on-immigrant visas are for international travelers coming to the United States temporarily. . . for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, medical treatment and certain types of temporary work.” 9 FAM 401.1-2 (2015).

The “[f]actors to be used in determining entitlement to Temporary Visitor Classification are . . .

(a) Have a residence in a foreign country, which [the applicant] do not intend to abandon;

(b) Intend to enter the United States for a period of specifically limited [temporary] duration; and

(c) Seek admission for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure. . .” 9 FAM 402.2-2(B)(U) a-b (2015).

Residence:

The term “residence” is defined in INA 101(a)(33) as the place of general abode; the place of general abode of a person means his principal, actual dwelling place in fact, without regard to intent.” 9 FAM 402.2-2(C)(U) (2015).

Temporary Period of Stay:

The FAM states that “[a]lthough “temporary” is not specifically defined by either statute or regulation, it generally signifies a limited period of stay. The fact that the period of stay in a given case may exceed six months or a year is not in itself controlling, provided that . . .[the reviewer is] . . . satisfied that the intended stay actually has a time limitation and is not indefinite in nature.” Additionally, “[t]he period of time projected for the visit must be consistent with the stated purpose of the trip. The applicant must establish with reasonable certainty that departure from the United States will take place upon completion of the temporary visit. 9 FAM 402.2-2(D) (U) a-b (2015) (emphasis added).

Legitimate Activities Related to Business:

“Engaging in business contemplated for B1 Visa classification generally entails business activities other than the performance of skilled or unskilled labor.” 9 FAM 402.2-5(A) (U) a (2015) The applicant must show that she possesses adequate funds to avoid having to obtain unlawful employment.” See 9 FAM 41.31 N4.2 (2005).

Among the permitted business activities applicants may travel on a B1 Visa if they have litigation in the United States. See 9 FAM 402.2-5(B) (U) (4) (“Aliens should be classified B1 visitors for business, if otherwise eligible, if they are traveling to the United States to: . . . Litigate . . .”)

Litigation can include attending depositions, testifying at a trial, meeting with your attorneys or other reasons related to a case of which you are part in the United States.

For more information about traveling to the US to litigate or for business call or text at 305-570-2208 or email us at eayala@ayalalawpa.com

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.

RESIDENCIA PERMANENTE A TRAVÉS DE BIENES RAÍCES

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.

VISAS DE NEGOCIO A TRAVÉS DE BIENES RAÍCES

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.

COMBINANDO LA OPORTUNIDAD EN EL MERCADO Y SUS METAS PERSONALES

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 eayala@ayalalawpa.com

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 eayala@ayalalawpa.com