“IT’S A TRAP!”: EB-6, Parole for International Entrepreneurs

 

itsatrap

Our office has gotten some calls about the “EB-6” visa that was announced last year and has been implemented at the start of 2018.  I put “EB-6” in quotes, because that’s not the official designation and it’s not permanent residence visa (i.e., green card).

The official designation is the International Entrepreneur Rule.  Essentially, if an entrepreneur qualifies, he or she qualifies for “parole” which is to grant a period of authorized stay.  The period of authorized stay allows you to stay in the United States but it is not green card or even a nonimmigrant visa.

The details of the International Entrepreneur Rule (the putative EB-6) can be accessed below:

Short Version

Long Version

Essentially, one can apply as an entrepreneur by fulfilling the following requirements:

  • The applicant possesses a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created within the past five years in the United States that has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
  • The applicant has a central and active role in the start-up entity such that the applicant is well-positioned to substantially assist with the growth and success of the business.
  • The applicant can prove that his or her stay will provide a significant public benefit to the United States based on the applicant’s role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by:
    • Showing that the start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
    • Showing that the start-up entity has received significant awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation (or other types of grants or awards typically given to start-up entities) from federal, state or local government entities that regularly provide such awards or grants to start-up entities; or
    • Showing that they partially meet either or both of the previous two requirements and providing additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

THE WARNING

While the International Entrepreneur Rule may be useful for those who can’t qualify for an E-2 or an EB-5 or need some time to grow their company until they can qualify for another category, there is a huge caveat.

In one of the government’s press releases concerning the International Entrepreneur Rule (referred to as the IER, they specifically state (emphasis all mine):

“While DHS implements the IER, DHS will also proceed with issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeking to remove the Jan. 17, 2017, IER. DHS is in the final stages of drafting the NPRM.”

You can actually read the release here in its entirety.

So there you go.  While they are announcing that the IER is going to be available, they are telling us that they intend to kill it as soon as they can.

It’s disheartening and disingenuous at its best.  It’s a trap for those whose options are limited at its worst.

 

 

 

Mainland China and EB-5s: Rationales and Visa Usage

The plight of mainland Chinese who use the EB-5 investment immigrant visa have been in the news.

Of note are the rationales for those who leave (via the EB-5 or other means) in the Wall Street Journal (paywall):

http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-great-chinese-exodus-1408120906

The other being story is how the allotment of the EB-5 visa for mainland Chinese have been used up for this fiscal year. (The NEW fiscal year starts up on October 1). 

http://online.wsj.com/articles/investor-visas-soaked-up-by-chinese-1409095982

It should be noted that this doesn’t affect EB-5 users from other countries.

E-2 visa helps many non-U.S. citizens start small firms

E-2 visa helps many non-U.S. citizens start small firms.

Los Angeles Times article revisits an old standby, the E-2 visa, aimed at small business entrepreneurs.

A few things to keep in mind about the article:

1) It discusses a $50,000 minimum investment, but that number was plucked from a now unpublished guidance memo.  The minimum varies from consular office to consular office and the business being proposed, but oftentimes it is much higher than the $50,000.

2)  The E-2 only works if the foreign national’s country has an E-2 treaty in place.  Check this list from the US  State Department to make sure you qualify:

Official List of E-2 Treaty Countries

H1-B numbers: Canary in the Mine?

There used to be a time when there was an actual lottery for the 65,000 H1-B slots.  A few years ago, USCIS would get 120,000 application on the second day of accepting applications (April 2nd) and then shut down accepting any more applications.  A lottery would ensue — giving one a rough 2 to 1 chance to even get _accepted_.

For fiscal year 2011, when applications were accepted on April 1, 2010 to begin work on Oct. 1, 2010 — the cap was not reached until January of 2011.

This year, as of May 15, 2011, only 10,000+ applications have been received.

I would imagine that an increase in H1-B numbers, if it happens, will be a good indicator of a true economic recovery in the US.

Visa Bulletin for September 2009

The September 2009 Visa Bulletin is available.  The third employment category is still unavailable.  However, the Fourth Category — Special Immigrant Category and the Certain Religious Worker Category became UNAVAILABLE.  They expe

Because of the new regulations concerning Religious Workers enacted last year — the category for non-ministers is set to expire on September 30, 2009.

Please click here for the entire bulletin.