Danger of Proposals : Sometimes They Never Become Law

Recently there was news from the Department of Homeland Security that there would be a proposal to allow spouses of certain H-1B workers to work.  See link for the actual release.

While this particular proposal seems likely to happen, it does raise the issue of when proposals are seen as actual “law”.  Not too long ago there was a proposal by US Senator Schumer to grant permanent residence visas to overseas investors who put in $500,000 US dollars into residential property.  The Wall Street Journal wrote about it as well as other national news outlets.  Overseas, especially in Asia, it received a lot of positive press.  It should be noted that several countries, such as Panama, have residential property investment visas.

However, this proposal did not get passed into law.  But we do get questions about this residential real estate property visa all the time.  Unfortunately, we have to tell them it doesn’t exist.  Some don’t believe us and presumably go to others trying to utilize this residential property visa.  What’s there not to like about this?  You buy a property that you would have normally and they throw in a green card in the process as a nice freebie.  Much better than having to create 10 jobs and putting one’s capital at risk (the current EB-5 scheme).

Other attorneys (US attorneys, I may add), ask about this as well.  That’s why it’s a bit problematic writing about proposals before they come law.

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):


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). 


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

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.

EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended

The US Senate just passed the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill. It is now headed to President Obama for approval, which is expected.

The EB-5 Regional Center Program extension (not to be mistaken with the regular EB-5 program) was part of the above bill. The earlier extension originally sunset earlier this week, but with the approval, the program will be extended until September 30, 2009.

EB-5 Generally: Investor Visa

EB-5 Investor Visa

There’s been some discussion about the EB-5 Investor Visa on this blog, without any real discussion of what one should do to acquire an EB-5 visa.

Generally, the EB-5 Investor Visa requires two things (this is VERY general):

1)  An initial investment into a new business enterprise of $1,000,000 (one million US dollars) in the United States.

2)  And in the process of accomplishing the above, create 10 full time jobs for US citizens or US permanent residents.

One can reduce the required amount of $1,000,000 to just $500,000 (five hundred thousand dollars) in one of two ways:

a)  Invest in a rural area or an area where the employment is 150% of the national average; OR

b)  Go through an EB-5 Regional Center.

As noted in other posts, the future of the EB-5 Regional Center has not been decided by the new administration (currently it is set to sunset around March).

And the EB-5 should not be mixed up with the temporary visa E-2.  The EB-5 allows the foreign national to acquire permanent residence (along with the immediate family as well).

The grant of permanent residence, is conditional (almost like a marriage greencard).  One has to file another petition to make the green card permanent in two years time, where the USCIS will review the petition once more.

The problem for most people is the amount of capital required (different from the E-2 visa, which doesn’t have a set monetary amount).  And the fact that one has to be involved quite a bit in the day to day operations (please compare to the EB-5 Regional Center, which has different requirements).