US Immigration Lawyer

Numerous Recent Visa Approvals for D&A Clients

The clients of our firm have been granted a number of different visa approvals over the past week, with the feeling that the Covid pandemic is increasingly behind us. Here are some examples:

E2 Visa for Singapore National Setting Up Advisory Firm in California

We are happy to share that we have secured an approval for another E2 Treaty Investor Visa applicant from Singapore. The applicant will operate as an advisory firm in California. The Company will raise money from qualified investors who will acquire limited partnership interests in a limited partnership fund, and then advise the fund to make minority equity investments in selected startups. The Company will receive advisory fees from the fund and a profit in the form of carried interest when the equity held by the fund in a startup is acquired by an acquirer, or when the startup goes for an initial public offering. 

The E2 company will be committed to partnering with frontier tech entrepreneurs as they start out, becoming their trusted advisor and providing them with the necessary advice to succeed. The Company’s investment philosophy will be to patiently identify and invest in highly-qualified entrepreneurs and accelerate growth through its network of executives in the IT Industry. It will coach frontier tech startups on initial customer selection and how to create compelling marketing pitches. The Company will facilitate meetings with lighthouse customers to help startups achieve success fast. Lighthouse customers are consumers who embrace a product soon after its launch. They will provide considerable and critical feedback to help startups develop and refine their products. Identifying and developing strong relationships with these customers is crucial for startups’ future success.

E2 Treaty Investor Visa for a Swiss National

The E2 Treaty Investor invested in a farm management company based in California. The company will provide custom harvesting and farm management services. The Company purchased selected farming equipment to provide local farmers with harvesting services that will maximize their output and profitability. Additionally, the company will hire agricultural advisory who will help farmers select crops for planting and organize their entire annual cycles to increase their operations’ cost-effectiveness. 

The company will provide its services to farmers from Fresno, Woodland, and Lodi, Californian cities known for their disproportionately high agricultural output and excellent products. The Company will focus on nut tree farmers, primarily those that cultivate almonds and pistachios. 

L1 Visa Extension for a Polish Shipping and Logistics Executive

We have helped a US company secure an extension of status for its current President on L-1A visa. Established on January 8, 1992, the US company was founded with the purpose of securing proper representation of a state-owned shiping company in Poland in North America and to conduct business in the lucrative North American market.  The US Company represents the Polish company’s  interests in all aspects and matters concerning North and Central America and the Caribbean markets; providing the closest and most effective link between Poland’s largest ship owner and all current and future business partners and customers.

As General Agent for the PZM Group in North American and Caribbean ports, the US company provides the following services:

  • Serving as financial center (treasury department/cash manager) for various financial transactions involving United States currency
  • Serving in a similar capacity for North American and Caribbean operational activities 
  • Serving as Chartering Broker for the Polish company’s vessels
  • Supervising execution of shipments performed by vessels within North and Central America
  • Arranging port operations through local Agents’ network, dealing with contractors and sub-contractors, including tugs, pilots, stevedores, terminal operations, holds/tanks cleaners, slop disposal services, ship chandlers, etc.
  • Arranging bunkers and spare parts supplies for vessels, including dealing with suppliers and bunker brokers
  • Controlling all costs and expenses regarding ship’s call to North American market
  • Arranging and coordinating crew changes
  • Arranging cargo, ship, draft, bunker, class, technical surveys and all necessary reports

H-1B for an Indian Developer

The US Company was set up in 2016 and it aims to empower enterprises to unleash the power of cloud on their terms by helping them rapidly achieve continuous and autonomous cloud governance at scale. The company enables enterprises to realize outcomes across FinOps, SecOps and CloudOps such as 40% decrease in cloud costs and 50% increase in operational efficiencies by governing operations, security, cost, access, and resources. CoreStack also assures 100%compliance with standards such as ISO, FedRAMP, NIST, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, AWS CIS & Well Architected Framework (WAF).

Enterprises face significant cloud challenges including unpredictable and unabated cloud costs, ever growing security risks, stringent regulatory compliance needs and operational complexities as they navigate the digital transformation journey. The company helps enterprises overcome these challenges by offering deeper cloud visibility, preventative governance

guardrails, and automatic remediation. With a unique Cloud-as-Code approach that uses deep AI/ML, declarative definitions, connector-less model, and a patented cloud service-chaining technology, CoreStack continually innovates to harness the real power of cloud. The company works with many large global customers across multiple industries including Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail, Education, Telecommunications, Technology and Government.

The H-1B beneficiary will assume the position of a Developer who will perform highly specialized duties in the occupation of application development and analysis with a focus on software application design and development and engineering support.

By Verdie Atienza, Head of E2 & L1 Visa Practice Group

Employment-Based Green Card Quotas

Roll Over of Employment-Based Green Card Quotas

A large chunk of last year’s quota is going to waste, but there is likely to be a rollover from this year’s unused quota

By Tishita Agarwal

A recent report suggested that close to 100,000 employment based visas, or green cards, are liable to go to waste if they are not issued by the end of the month. A green card, or US Permanent Residency, is issued to show the bearer can reside permanently in the United States.

The quota for this year’s employment-based visas is set at 261,500 – much higher than the usual cut-off of 140,000 because of overspill from last year’s allocation that was not used because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, if they are not issued by the end of the month, they will all go to waste because the annual visa allocations reset on October 1 of each year. That said, the overspill from this year will likely result in another bumper year for employment-based Green Cards next year (October 2021 to September 2022).

Many are blaming this situation on the Biden administration, citing slow assignments and unchanging protocols and reaction times as the reason why the US government has been so slow to approve green cards and why the new quota will not be filled. In fact, about 125 Indian and Chinese professionals living in the US have also issued a lawsuit against the Biden administration on this issue. It is reported that almost 136,000 children from Indian families had to deport or transfer to a student visa when they became of age because they got caught up in this visa backlog. 

However, this is only part of the picture – the United States Citizenship and Immigration Servicies (USCIS) has been affected by Covid lockdowns and staff shortages due to the pandemic. Similarly, embassies and consulates around the world are effected by the ebb and flow of lockdowns and the need to keep staff safe in each respective country.

Since this is an ongoing issue, this year’s unused allocation will roll over and should be more available if embassies and USCIS reopen as hoped.

The increased quota was a result of an unusually low number of family-based green cards being approved in the fiscal year 2020, causing them to ‘roll over’ into this fiscal year. As a result, USCIS had an obligation to approve more employment-based green cards than usual, and announced that it will accept applications from thousands of immigrants who had been waiting for years, some even decades. Employment-based green cards are subject to annual quotas based upon your country of birth. This quota takes no account of a country’s population, which means that the world’s most populous countries India and China have the same annual quota as small countries with tiny populations.

The result is that China and Indian applicants for various employment-based Green Cards face waiting lists. You can read about the latest in our upcoming analysis of the September visa bulletin. Generally speaking China faces a long wait for the EB-5 Investor Visa category (EB standing for Employment-Based) and India faces long waits in the EB-3 highly skilled worker category. Vietnam also faces shorter delays for EB-5 visa and India is often close to the annual allocation for EB-5 (which is approx 700 visas per country per year not counting any rollovers).

Our clients are always reminded that non-immigrant (non-permanent) alternatives are available and can be used as a stop-gap to live in the United States. The two strongest options are the L-1 Visa, which allows you to set up a US office of your foreign company and transfer to manage that business, or the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which allows you to move to the US for the purposes of investing in and running a business in America. Spouses can apply for a work permit under both the L-1 Visa and the E-2 Visa. To be eligible for an E-2 Visa, you must be from an E-2 country. India in not an E-2 Visa country, which means you must first obtain citizenship of an E-2 country like Grenada or Turkey to become eligible

As always, the best option is to speak to our team who can explore all the various options and help you to select the best immigration solution for you, your family and/or your business.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

March Visa Bulletin Analysis: EB-5 Visa Wait Times Explained

July 2021 Visa Bulletin – Chuyển biến tích cực Vietnam EB-5

By Simon Nguyen

Bộ Ngoại giao đã công bố bản tin thị thực tháng 7 năm 2021 cho thấy có sự chuyển biến tích cực trong quá trình xử lý hồ sơ của Nhà đầu tư , đặc biệt đối với Nhà đầu tư Việt Nam so với Bản tin thị thực tháng 6/2021 và tháng 5/2021 đều ít chuyển biến với Ngày hành động cuối cùng là năm 2018.
Cụ thể, “Ngày hành động cuối cùng” cho hồ sơ EB5-Trực tiếp (Nhà đầu tư tự thực hiện và quản lý khoản đầu tư) dành cho Nhà đầu tư Việt Nam đã tiến tới ngày 01/04/2020.
Có một điểm khác lạ trong bảng tin thị thực tháng 7 so với tháng 6 về trạng tháng của “Ngày hành động cuối cùng” chương trình EB-5 Trung tâm Vùng đã chuyển thành U (unothorized) cho tất cả các quốc gia.
Tuy nhiên, việc này được giải thích vì chương trình EB-5 thông qua Trung tâm Vùng sẽ được gia hạn lại vào ngày 30/06/2021 sắp tới như cách nó đã được gia hạn trong những năm qua kể từ khi được thông qua vào năm 1990.
Tham khảo lại các bảng tin thị thực các tháng trước đây, ta dễ dàng nhận thấy, “Ngày hành động cuối cùng” của cả hai chương trình EB-5 (Trực tiếp và Trung tâm Vùng) thông thường đều có cùng một mốc thời gian. Vì vậy, Nhà đầu tư có thể tin tưởng và hy vọng rằng Ngày hành động cuối cùng của EB5 Trung tâm Vùng sẽ cùng ngày 01/04/2020 với EB5 Trực tiếp..
Đây là một tín hiệu đáng mừng cho các Nhà đầu tư vẫn còn đang phân vân về tiến độ xử lý và thời gian chờ của EB-5. Nếu việc gia hạn chương trình EB5 – Trung tâm Vùng được thông qua. Liệu đây có phải tín hiệu cho thấy động thái của Hoa Kỳ tái khởi động lại chương trình sau khi được gia hạn lại vào ngày 30/06/2021.
Chủ tịch tập đoàn toàn cầu của chúng tôi – Mr. Mark Davies đã có buổi hội thảo trực tuyến cùng với các chuyên gia di trú đã tranh luận về tương lai của chương trình EB5 (“The Future of EB5 Investor Visa” webminar) về các vấn đề trọng tâm của chương trình EB5 như việc:Uỷ quyền gia hạn lại hoặc có khả năng mất hiệu lực tạm thờiCác đề xuất cải cách trong Đạo luật về tính liêm chính và cải cách EB5 tại Thương viện hoặc việc phải thoả hiệp với một dự luật khác đối trọng với chương trình EB5.Đồng thời, khả năng số tiền đầu tư giảm từ 900.000$ còn 500.000$ có khả thi không? Khi một số vụ kiện đã được tiến hành tại bang California về việc tăng mức đầu tư là bất hợp pháp vì một số bên cho rằng Bộ trưởng Bộ An ninh Nội địa Hoa Kỳ (DHS) đã được tổng thống Trump bổ nhiệm không đúng cách. 
Tất cả thông tin chi tiết đã được tham luận và tranh luận tại buổi hội thảo. Quý nhà đầu tư và quý đối tác có thể xem lại chi tiết ghi hình hội thảo lại đường link sau đây.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Vietnam clients of Davies & Associates

Phân tích bản tin thị thực tháng 3 và Giải thích thời gian chờ EB-5

Bộ Ngoại giao đã công bố bản tin thị thực tháng 3 năm 2021 cho thấy có sự thay đổi nhỏ đối với Thị thực đầu tư định cư EB-5 so với Bản tin thị thực trước đó vào tháng 2 năm 2021.
Thời gian chờ EB-5 hiện chỉ áp dụng cho những người sinh ra ở Việt Nam và Trung Quốc. Ấn Độ đã hết thời gian hồi quy visa vào tháng 7 năm ngoái và không có danh sách chờ đối với người nộp đơn ở nước này.
Tất cả các quốc gia khác trên thế giới được liệt kê là “C” (“current”) có nghĩa là Hiện tại. Điều này có nghĩa là hạn ngạch của các quốc gia này không được đăng ký quá hạn mức và họ có thể tiến hành đặt lịch hẹn với Trung tâm Thị thực Quốc gia (NVC) sau khi Mẫu I-526 của họ được chấp thuận.
Lý do Ấn Độ, Trung Quốc và Việt Nam xuất hiện thường xuyên trong các bản tin thị thực là vì hạn ngạch mỗi quốc gia không được xác định trên cơ sở bình quân đầu người. Cả ba quốc gia này đều có dân số đông và mục đích di cư đến Hoa Kỳ.

Giải thích danh sách chờ EB-5
 Với chỉ hơn 700 thị thực EB-5 có sẵn cho mỗi quốc gia một năm, điều dễ hiểu rằng hạn mức này có thể nhanh chóng được sử dụng hết so với nhu cầu thực tế của người dân mỗi quốc gia. Thị thực EB-5 cung cấp thẻ xanh cho khoản đầu tư tối thiểu từ 900,000 USD.

Cả gia đình có thể tham gia vào một khoản đầu tư duy nhất – đó là người nộp đơn, vợ / chồng của họ và bất kỳ con cái nào dưới 21 tuổi. Mặc dù đó chỉ dược tính là một khoản đầu tư, nhưng mỗi người sẽ yêu cầu một thị thực riêng cho họ. Điều này làm cho việc sử dụng hết hạn ngạch 700 so với việc nó được tính trên 700 khoản đầu tư/đơn xin EB-5 diễn ra nhanh hơn.

Vì vậy, khi quốc gia của bạn không áp dụng thời gian hồi quy, con đường đến với EB5 có thể nhanh chóng. Ấn Độ chỉ mất một vài năm để đạt được 100 thị thực EB-5/năm cho đến khi bắt đầu tính hồi quy. Những nơi như Hàn Quốc và Đài Loan đang sử dụng gần đến hạn mức hàng năm.
 Ngày hành động cuối cùng (Final Action Date)Bản tin thị thực tháng 3 một lần nữa cho thấy không có động thái chuyển tiếp đối với các ứng viên EB-5 Trung Quốc và chuyển tiếp một cách hạn chế đối với các ứng viên EB-5 Việt Nam.

Trung Quốc vẫn bị đứng yên vào ngày 15 tháng 8 năm 2015 và Việt Nam chuyển ba tuần sang ngày 22 tháng 10 năm 2017. Các cập nhật trong bản tin thị thực của tháng này – liên quan đến EB-5 – chỉ ảnh hưởng đến một số lượng rất nhỏ những người đến từ Việt Nam và có ngày ưu tiên của họ trong khoảng thời gian từ ngày 1 đến ngày 21 tháng 10.

Được dự kiến ​​sẽ có thị thực dành cho những người có ngày ưu tiên trước ngày được liệt kê. Các ngày được liệt kê trong bản tin thị thực có thể lùi lại cũng như lùi về phía trước vì có rất nhiều yếu tố được áp đụng để tính toán ngày.

Có một ngày khác trong bản tin thị thực, Ngày nộp hồ sơ, cho biết thời gian chuẩn bị cho những hồ sơ đang chờ để chuẩn bị nộp cho Trung tâm Thị thực Quốc gia. Không có cập nhất mới nào trong tháng này, chỉ có Trung Quốc vẫn bị trì hoãn, vẫn là vào ngày 15 tháng 12 năm 2015.
Bài viết này được viết dành cho khách hàng, bạn bè và khách hàng đang quan tâm khác với mục đích cung cấp thêm thông tin. Nội dung của bài viết không được xem như tư vấn pháp lý và không nhất thiết phản ánh ý kiến ​​của tôi hoặc ý kiến ​​của Davies & Associates hoặc bất kỳ luật sư hoặc khách hàng nào của bài viết.

Find Out More

November Visa Bulletin Analysis for EB 5 Investor Visa

January Visa Bulletin Analysis for EB-5 and Employment-Based Visas

The U.S. Department of State’s January Visa bulletin shows very little change since our previous analysis. In the EB-5 immigrant investor visa category, only China and Vietnam continue to face delays. There has been no movement in the priority dates for EB-5 applicants born in China and only very slight progress for Vietnam with a revised Final Action Date of September 15, 2017.

India continues to remain “current”, meaning Indian EB-5 applicants are still no longer subject to retrogression delays. Yet, this could change. Our firm is seeing a recovery in demand following the initial “sticker shock” of the increased EB-5 investment amounts in November 2019.

Understanding Priority Dates

The date referred to in the visa bulletin is a “priority date”. This is the date that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services receives your initial EB-5 petition (form I-526).

If your country of birth is not listed in the visa bulletin or it is listed with a “C” next to it (meaning current), this means there is no waiting list for people born in your country and your application can proceed immediately.

If there is a date next to the country in which you were born, you will need to wait until your priority date becomes current. That means waiting until your priority date is before the date listed in the visa bulletin.

So this month, for EB-5 we only saw very slight movement in the Final Action Date associated with Vietnam. It moved from September 1, 2017 in the December 2020 visa bulletin to September 15, 2017 in the most recent one. This means there is expected to be a visa available to any EB-5 investor from Vietnam with a priority date in this two week window.

Final Action Date vs Dates for Filing

The visa bulletin has two tables associated with EB-5 and other employment-based visa categories. This is because they are signalling two different things to applicants.

One relates to “Final Action Dates”, which is when there is expected to be a visa available to people born in that particular country. The other table is the “Date for Filing”, which is when you can submit a visa application to the National Visa Center, even though there might not yet be a visa available. For applicants already inside the US making an “Adjustment of Status” (AOS), this may have implications for your rights to work.

The Date for Filing remains current for all countries except China. The Date for Filing for China-born applicants has not moved this month.

Final Action Dates Table

Note: EB-5 is – as the name suggests – the fifth of five employment-based immigrant visa category

Date for Filing Table

Understanding Waiting Lists

The reason some countries are subject to a waiting list is because these employment-based immigrant visa categories are subject to an annual per-country quota. In terms of EB-5 this is just over 700 visas per country per year, determined by a person’s citizenship at birth rather than any subsequent changes to citizenship.

When demand exceeds supply, countries are subject to a waiting list. Priority dates can sometimes cause confusion, especially as they can move backwards as well as forwards. This happens partly because it can be difficult to predict the exact number of people in the queue and much relies on a series of assumptions based upon past averages.

The number of applications is not equal to the number of visas / Green Cards. A single EB-5 visa application can cover not just the applicant, but a spouse, and children under the age of 21 – which means multiple visas are required for the one application.

Furthermore, it is difficult to know exactly how many people ahead of you in the queue would be denied or required to provide further evidence (RfE).

One of the main reason for a denial or demands for more evidence is poorly documented Source of Funds. To avoid this happening, it is vital to select a reputable law firm who has a strong track record in this area. Here at Davies & Associates we have never had a client rejected because of a Source of Funds issue.

Other Employment-Based Categories

For the EB-3 visa category for highly-skilled workers, every country is current except for India and China. The EB-3, which is essentially the long-term immigrant counterpart to the H-1B visa, is inevitably very popular in India. The waiting list for Indian applicants is very long and only moved forward one week from March 15, 2010 to March 22, 2010. China moved forward six weeks from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2020.

For the EB-1 visa category for extraordinary talent, researchers, and managers & executives, again India and China are the only country in retrogression. One of the reasons these two countries appears so often in this analysis is that the annual quotas do not take account of population size and are not determined on a per capita basis. China and India have the world’s largest populations as well as a long tradition of immigration to the United States.

The Final Action Dates are the same for both countries at September 1, 2019, having both moved forward by the same five month period since the last visa bulletin.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

E-2 Visa approved for a Singaporean national during COVID-19

EB-5 Visa Quotas Almost Double in 2021, Potentially Benefiting India, China, Vietnam

The number of EB-5 visas available to investors is set to almost double in the coming year – a peculiar side-effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

EB-5 is an employment-based US immigrant visa. The number of employment-based immigrant visas available each year is limited to 140,000. However, this is topped up if there are any unused family-based visas from the previous year.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented number of unused family-based visas. The closure of US embassies and the temporary suspension of various visa categories have had a significant impact.

This means there is a large number of visas that can be carried over from the family-based allocation to the employment-based one. The October Visa Bulletin puts this at 121,500 visas.

When added to the 140,000 visas, this means that 261,500 employment-based visas are available for the fiscal year 2021, which runs from October 2020 to September 2021.

What does this mean for EB-5?

As the acronym suggests, EB-5 is the fifth employment-based visa category. It targets foreign investors with an offer of permanent residency (Green Card) for a $900,000 investment that creates ten American jobs in a Targeted Employment Area. Learn more.

EB-5 is limited to 7.1% of the total employment-based visas available in any given year. Normally this is almost 10,000 visas, but in the bumper FY2021 this will jump to 18,566 visas.

18,566 EB-5 Visas Available in FY2021

Each country is subject to an annual cap. No country can exceed more than 7% of the total EB-5 visas available. This is determined by country of birth (unlike the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which takes account of country of current citizenship see: E-2 plus Citizenship by Investment)

Normally, that means each country is subject to an annual quota of around 700 visas. Note: that the number of visas does not equate to the number of applications. A single application and investment can cover the applicant, a spouse, and dependant children under 21. Each individual would be counted separately in terms of visas but together as one in terms of applications.

The 2021 rollover means 1299 visas available to each country in this fiscal year. While most countries don’t come close to this annual limit, three countries are or have been severely impacted by this: India, China and Vietnam.

EB-5 Country Quota of 1300 in FY2021

Demand for EB-5 visa from these three countries is especially high and has often exceeded supply. This is a result of their large populations and historically high levels of interest in emigrating to the United States.

When demand exceeds supply, the countries enter what is called visa retrogression and applicants face a waiting list. How this work in practice is detailed on our visa bulletin blog.

With more visas available, there is opportunity for China and Vietnam to make greater inroads into the current backlogs. This would significantly reduce waiting times. India has not faced retrogression since July, but it had been teetering close to a return to waiting list. The risk of retrogression would recede.

India and China also face visa retrogressing in other employment-based visa categories, including EB-1 for people with extraordinary ability and EB-3 for highly skilled workers. The waiting times in both these visa categories may also fall.

Ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic

Caveats remain. An increase in visa availability would need to be matched by an administrative capacity to cope. With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing, it is unlikely that business-as-usual will resume anytime soon.

This may mean that India, Vietnam and China are unable to make full use of the extra visa availability in 2021. Any unused visas would not be rolled over again.

Yet, the ongoing pandemic may also mean that family-based visas will not use up their full allocation in 2021 either. This portends further rollovers into the employment-based visa categories in 2022.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

November Visa Bulletin Analysis for EB 5 Investor Visa

November Visa Bulletin Analysis

The Department of State has issued the November visa bulletin showing little movement for Chinese- and Vietnamese- born EB-5 investor visa applicants continuing to face delays. All other countries remain “current” for EB-5, meaning there is no waiting list for a Green Card.

India has been “current” since July, but retrogression delays may return because demand for EB-5 has been consistently high in recent years. Indians planning an EB-5 petition should consider acting while the country is current. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has changed the way it sequences EB-5 applications to benefit countries that are current over countries facing retrogression delays.

The Final Action Date for Vietnam crept forward two weeks to August 15, 2017, while China remained unchanged at August, 15 2015. The Final Action Date refers to whether there is expected to be a visa available within a quota system (or visas – plural – depending upon how many family members are included in the application).

The date in question here is the priority date. This is the date that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services received your initial EB-5 petition (I-526).

Visa availability is determined by a country quota. As with all the employment-based immigrant visa categories, no country is permitted more than 7 percent of the total visas available in any given year (approximately 10,000 for EB-5).

In the case of EB-5 that is just over 700 visas, determined by the primary applicant’s country of birth.

Visa Bulletin Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Categories

The visa bulletin also includes a Date for Filing. This refers to when you can submit your visa application to the National Visa Center, even though there might not yet be a visa available. For applicants outside the US, this additional date provides some extra notice to prepare the application documentation. For applicants inside the US adjusting their status, they may be able to apply for a work permit based on the Date for Filing.

Most countries have current filing dates, with the sole exception of China, which has a Date for Filing four months sooner than its Final Action Date.

Visa Bulletin Date for Filing for Employment-Based Categories

The EB-5 program provides the opportunity to obtain Green Cards for a $900,000 investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) in the United States. The investment must sustain ten American jobs. Outside of these TEAs, the required investment is $1.8 million. A single application can cover the primary applicant, a spouse, and any children under the age of 21.

EB-3 Visas – Permanent Residency for Skilled Workers

China and India remain in visa retrogression in the EB-3 visa category for highly-skilled workers. The EB-3 visa is similar to the H-1B visa which is especially popular in India. However, as an immigrant visa, the EB-3 offers permanent residency whereas the H-1B visa does not. H-1B is renewable up to a limit of six years, after which the holder needs to explore alternatives like EB-3 and EB-5, or leave the country.

The Date for Filing is significantly more recent than the Final Action Date for Indians in particular. This time gap has implications for certain applicants’ ability to work in the United States. This relates to people already in the US seeking adjustment of status. If you are in this position, we advise you to speak with one of our attorneys.

EB-1 Visas

Similarly, people born in India and China are the only two groups facing delays in the EB-1 visa category. The EB1-A visa targets individuals with extraordinary abilities in their field, the EB1-B visa targets academics, and the EB-1C visa is for multinational managers and executives.

People faced with retrogression in these categories should contact us. There are non-immigrant counterparts that are not subject to quotas and could provide a pathway to these immigrant (permanent residency) categories at a later stage. The EB1-C, for example is similar to the non-immigrant L-1 visa, and the EB1-A is similar to the non-immigrant O-1 visa.

Non-immigrant status has advantages to people who do not wish to obtain permanent residency. For example, US permanent residents are liable for tax on income earned outside the US. This does not apply to non-immigrant visas. People seeking permanent residency are encouraged to arrange a consultation with our tax attorney as early in the process as possible.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.