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

 

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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.

 

 

 

EB-5 Fraud Case Continues To Reverberate

 

In the past few years there have been a quite a number of EB-5 Regional Center related cases.   They are pretty well documented in the press — just google “Eb-5 Fraud” and one can get a good sense of the range of scams and fraud causes that can erupt from EB-5 cases.  In our opinion, the best way to minimize the risks involved in an EB-5 investor case (in terms of fraud) is to manage one’s own business enterprise.

In most of the uncovered fraud cases, there has been major litigation and government prosecution involved.  In many cases the investors were able to recover the funds.

Well it looks as if there is a new area where the the litigation is going and it’s towards the banks that are holders of the escrow accounts.  These banks are supposed to hold the EB-5 investment funds in an escrow account until a few agreed upon actions happen, such as approval of the investor’s EB-5 investment petition.  It looks as if in the allegations here, that did not happen.

Click on the link below for the article.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-wilshire-eb5-fraud-20160725-snap-story.html

 

EB-5 Proposals and What They Could Mean

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It’s that time of the year, where the EB-5 Regional Center program is going to sunset and there is a scramble (as usual) to renew it.  And it should be pointed out that this has no effect on the “original” EB-5 program, were an individual invests capital and creates 10 jobs.  That will always be there.

But the Regional Center portion of the EB-5 program has always been given a life for limited periods of time, possibly because of some of the controversy and issues surrounding this program.

There are a number of competing bills summarized here:

http://eb5coalition.org/resources/bill-comparison-chart/