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San Francisco Immigration Law Blog

What investors need to know about the EB-5 program

Many residents come to the United States to pursue “The American Dream,” a concept that some people believe is unattainable. However, many immigrants found a new way to attain the unachievable and secure economic stability in the United States.

The new technique is investing in the U.S. economy. Congress created a visa program, the EB-5 program, in 1990 that allows foreign investors to come to the United States if they invest capital into local jobs. It stimulates job creation and encourages diversity in American companies.

What should I know about employer abuse against immigrants?

There are more immigrants in California than any other state, but few people – especially native-born Americans – stop to consider the terrible injustices inflicted upon immigrant workers in many employment settings. You and others may be interested in learning about employment rights for immigrants, especially when it concerns undocumented workers and those in industries where abuse is rampant.

Many immigrants, particularly the undocumented, work in the agriculture and construction industries in California and elsewhere. As you may have heard, unscrupulous employers commonly exploit these groups for their own financial gain, preying on undocumented immigrants’ lack of knowledge of their rights and their fears of deportation to threaten and abuse them. Public Radio International has outlined common employer abuses against immigrants, which include the following:

  • Forcing them to work in unsafe, unsanitary and inhumane conditions
  • Making them work overtime without compensation
  • Withholding wages or paying a fraction of minimum wage
  • Threatening to discipline or report workers to immigration officials if they stand up for their rights
  • Holding workers against their will

Understanding H-1B visas

At the Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney in California, we represent many immigrants who are seeking ways to bring family members or friends into the United States on at least a temporary basis that hopefully can change to permanent status in the future.

If this description fits you, one way to do this is to have your relative or friend look into the H-1B visa program. As the American Immigration Council explains, the H-1B visa program is employer sponsored, meaning that it originates with American employers. Each year, employers who seek highly educated, skilled and qualified foreign “specialty occupation” workers apply to the USAIC on the first business day in April to get an H-1B visa allotment.

Understanding permanent employment-based immigration

As someone looking to immigrate permanently to California or another part of the United States, you may be interested in finding out more about what it takes to establish lawful permanent residency. With this distinction, you will become eligible for the vast majority of available jobs in the United States, and you can also apply to become a U.S. citizen after holding permanent resident status for at least five years. At the Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney, we have a firm understanding of your options when it comes to immigrating to the United States through employment, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances find solutions to help them do so.

According to the American Immigration Council, there are typically three steps in the process of establishing lawful permanent residency in the United States. First, the employer looking to add you to his or her team will need to first secure certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. To do so, he or she will need to demonstrate that there are no U.S. residents who are able and capable of filling the position for a reasonable wage.

What should you know about an EB-5 visa?

If you are interested in working in the United States in any capacity, there are specific visa options available to you. When you obtain one of these, you will have the ability to enter the U.S. and do specific types of work. You will find it greatly beneficial to learn more about an EB-5 visa and what steps you need to take to reach your goals.

The United States grants just 10,000 EB-5 immigrant investor visas every year. Due to the limited number, individuals with the intention of applying would be wise to learn about how to avoid missteps and complications with their registration process. Created in 1990, the EB-5 program is for the purpose of benefitting and boosting the economy by providing a way for immigrant investors to become lawful residents.

Robert Gaffney Speaks At Investor Immigration Law Events

Attorney Robert P. Gaffney recently participated in two "EB-5 To H-1B" Expos in Phoenix and San Jose, California. The first expo took place March 27 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix and the San Jose expo occurred at Wyndham Garden San Jose Airport on March 29.

As the U.S. government has made it more difficult for skilled workers abroad to get approved for H-1B visas, more and more foreign nationals have turned to the EB-5 visa as an option for living and working in the United States. The EB-5 visa allows wealthy individuals to immigrate to the U.S. in exchange for investing at least $500,000 in a new commercial enterprise in this country.

The immigrant spouses of work visa holders

Complying with governmental requirements will not guarantee you will be able to obtain a green card or a work visa. There are special rules that accompany such visas. And there may only be a specific number of visas available.

The rules concerning visas will impact the entire family. For example, a recent NBC news story highlights the difficulties that families face. While an individual employed on an H-1B visa may be eligible to work, the spouse may not have the same opportunity.

The Importance of Financial Due Diligence Before Investment in an EB-5 Project

If you are looking for ways to immigrate to the United States, you have probably explored a variety of possible ways to make that a reality. And if you have money to invest, you might be interested in looking at some of the companies who are actively looking for international investments leading to EB-5 immigrant visas and permanent residency in the U.S.

It is in your best interest to do conduct thorough due diligence before investing in a project offering permanent residence under the U.S. immigrant investment program. The due diligence required before making an EB-5 investment can be viewed as consisting of the analysis of two types of risk - immigration risk and financial risk. In this post, we will address briefly that types of issues that should be analyzed prior to investing in an EB-5 enterprise.

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