USA : Permanent Residence
1. PERMANENT RESIDENT VISAS (GREEN CARDS)A permanent resident visa, or green card, is normally what people want, because it permits PERMANENT residence in the U.S. A USA Green Card holder can generally live anywhere in the U.S. and can work for anyone without restriction. Get your US passport from us and enjoy the numerous business benefits with US citizenship.
Employment based green cards are often the best possibility. There are five types:
- EB-1: for aliens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, or multinational business managers and executives.
- EB-2: for aliens with exceptional ability or aliens with advanced degrees (employer/sponsor required)
- EB-3: for professional workers (with university degree), skilled workers and unskilled workers (employer/sponsor required)
- EB-4: for religious workers
- EB-5: for aliens who invest $1 million and create 10 new full time jobs (in limited situations, an investment of $500,000 and the creation of 5 new jobs is acceptable).
2. TEMPORARY VISASMany clients prefer to be in the U.S. before or during a green card application. Therefore, they first come to the U.S. on a temporary visa. There are about 30 different kinds of temporary visas. The most common temporary visas are as follows:
- B-1/B-2 Visitor Visas, which permit a visitor to remain in the U.S. for up to six month (employment is not permitted).
- E-2 Treaty Investor Visas, which permit investors from certain countries to invest a substantial amount of money and acquire a controlling interest in an active U.S. business. The visa is issued for up to five years and is renewable. The investor can work in his or her own business. The spouse can qualify for an unrestricted temporary work card. Children up to the age of 21 can accompany the parents and attend school, but cannot work.
- F-1 Student Visas, which permit foreign students to attend U.S. educational institutions. Limited employment is permitted in some cases.
- H-1B Visas for Workers in Specialty Occupations, which permit employment of professional level workers by a sponsoring employer. The visa is issued for up to three years and can be renewed another three years (additional renewals are possible in some cases).
- J-1 Visas for Participants in Exchange Programs, which permit business trainees to come to the U.S. to learn about an occupation or profession for up to 18 months.
- K-1 Visas for a Fiancé (e) of a U.S. citizen.
- K-3 Visas for a Spouse of a U.S. citizen.
- L-1 Visas for Multinational Managers, Executives and Specialized Knowledge employees who are being transferred to the U.S. by a related international company.
- O-1 Visas for Aliens with Extraordinary Ability who are seeking temporary employment. This visa is issued for up to three years and can be renewed in one year increments.
- P-1 Visas for Internationally Recognized Entertainment Groups and Athletes.
- R-1 Visas for Religious Workers who are being transferred to the U.S. by a related international church.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor ProgramThe EB-5 “Pilot” Program was created in 1993 to broaden the appeal of the EB-5 visa. Under the Pilot Program, USCIS designated “regional centers” create and manage the business entity, freeing the investor from day-to-day management and direct job creation, and permitting the investor and his/her family to live anywhere in the U.S. and spend their time as they see fit. If the investor complies with EB-5 visa requirements, he/she would be entitled to U.S. “Green Card” (known more formally as “lawful permanent residence” or “LPR”). In 1993 the INS (now called the “USCIS”) offered a second option: the “Regional Center Pilot Program”. In the this 2nd variant of the EB-5, the investor invests not directly in his own business, but rather in a fund, previously approved by the U.S. government, that manages businesses creating jobs in rural or high unemployment areas.
The EB-5 Visa Program was established to offer immigrant investors and their families, the opportunity to obtain a US Green Card (Permanent Residence Status) in a short period of time, receiving priority immigrant visa processing by making a commercial investment in the United States of America.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program requires that foreign clients adhere to a three step process to be completed when seeking their US Green Card:
- The first step requires that an Immigrant Petition be prepared for the investor and their family members.
- Secondly, it must be approved by the USCIS, and then the immigrant investor and their family will obtain their conditional US Green Cards.
- Finally, we file the immigrant investor’s Petition to Remove Conditions and they will become legal permanent residents of the United States of America (US Green Card holders).
The EB-5, program is a highly beneficial permanent residence option for the wealthy individual, it enables a foreign national to obtain permanent residence status more expeditiously than with most other options.
The EB-5 category requires an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in a high unemployment or rural area) in a commercial enterprise that will employ 10 full-time US workers. Although the investor's role cannot be completely passive, he or she does not have to be involved in any way in the day-to-day management of the business unless he or she wants to do so. It is critically important that the investor be able to document the lawful source of investment funds, whether his or her own or funds given to him or her as a gift. The permanent residence obtained by the investor is conditional for two years and can be made permanent upon satisfying USCIS at the end of the two years that the investment proceeds have not been withdrawn and the requisite jobs have been created.
The investor may invest in his or her own commercial enterprise or in a commercial enterprise owned by other parties. The investor may also choose to invest in a pre-approved "regional center". Regional centers are government-approved entities in designated geographical areas for which USCIS has determined that investments will create the necessary 10 jobs per investor, whether directly or indirectly. Virtually all of the regional centers contain geographical areas where $500,000 is the required amount of investment.