The E-2 treaty investor visa can be a great way for a foreign entrepreneur to open a business and live and work in the United States legally. What’s more, it is relatively affordable in that it only requires a “substantial” capital investment in a bona fide U.S. enterprise (usually in the amount of $100,000 to $250,000). The investor must be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
The E-2 visa allows the status holder from a treaty country, and his or her family, to come to the United States to open and operate a personal business; the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are able to attend school and work as dependents of the visa. Unfortunately, however, the E-2 treaty investor status does not offer a direct path to Permanent Residence. This means that unless the status holder, or the status holder’s immediate family, has a separate path to Permanent Residence, the visa holder and family will not be able to obtain Permanent Residence status, regardless of how long they maintain their E-2 status. This is further complicated by the fact that the E-2 status is temporary and must be regularly renewed with no guarantee of success.
Furthermore, because the E-2 visa is only available to member of treaty countries, it is not available to everyone. For example, citizens of mainland China, India, Russia, and Brazil are ineligible for the E-2 visa. Continue reading
In speaking with students in the international community, we discovered that nearly forty percent (40%) of the international students who are fortunate enough to be accepted into the graduate schools of their choice at American universities are unable to attend those schools because their F-1 student visas are rejected. Many of the students prepare the applications themselves, and are consequently missing the information needed to prepare a strong application. We discuss the reasons for these rejections, and ways to overcome those objections, below. Continue reading
For foreign investors wishing to obtain a visa to live, work, and attend university in the United States with in-state tuition rates, there are two options available through the E-2 and EB-5 investor visa programs.
The E-2 Visa requires less startup capital (around USD $100,000 to $250,000) and is the fastest way to obtain a visa, although it is not a path to Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card). The E-2 is a temporary visa based on a reciprocal commercial treaty between the United States and the individual’s country of nationality. The visa is only available to treaty countries, for which citizens of China, India, Russia, and Brazil are not eligible. Its processing times are generally 2 weeks to 90 days. Continue reading
The City of San Francisco has announced the 2016 rates for its employer health care spending law, under which employers must either contribute a specified amount toward their employees’ health care costs on a regular basis, or pay into a city health care fund for San Francisco residents. Employers with workers in San Francisco will have to pay more next year to comply with the city’s health care spending law.
The Grady Firm, P.C. attended the 4th annual EB-5 Conference in Los Angeles hosted by EB5 Investors Magazine on August 2-3, 2015 at the sold out Hyatt Century Plaza in Century City. Five hundred regional centers, attorneys, and EB-5 program stakeholders attended the event. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5), administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides opportunities for qualified foreign nationals to achieve permanent legal residency in the U.S. through an investment in an USCIS-approved project that will generate at least ten full-time jobs in the United States. Continue reading
Today, Compass revealed the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking. With this report, Compass hopes to “accelerate the development of startup ecosystems around the world by answering critical questions for entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers that are difficult to answer without the data [it has] gathered and analyzed in this report, as well as to raise the general populace’s awareness of the increasing socioeconomic importance of startup ecosystems.” The index is produced by ranking ecosystems along five major components: Performance, Funding, Talent, Market Reach, and Startup Experience. Continue reading
The new Paid Sick Leave law that went into effect in California on July 1, 2015 was already amended less than two weeks after it took effect on July 1, 2105. This means that employers may have to revisit, and most likely update their paid leave policies and Employee Handbooks.
An employer must individually notify all employees hired prior to January 1, 2015 of changes to terms and conditions of employment that relate to paid sick leave within 7 days of the actual change. Information concerning any new or previously existing paid sick leave program that includes information required to be given to each employee by Labor Code section 2810.5(a), must be provided to all employees. A revised DLSE notice form may be used for providing individual notice to these existing employees unless the employer chooses an authorized alternative method. Continue reading
On July 1, 2015, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing made significant amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Now, all private employers with 50 or more employees in at least 20 workweeks in a year and within a 75-mile radius will have to update their leave policies and posted notices, as well as train supervisors and managers in order to comply with the regulations. Employers also include government entities and joint employers or successor in interest to a covered employer.
The purpose of the amendments is to incorporate those of the federal regulations in the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), but there are still some differences in the state law. Continue reading
On July 1, 2015, a new law affecting millions of Californians went into effect requiring that employers – both public and private – provide paid sick leave to all their employees. Under the new law, employers will have to modify or update existing paid sick leave or time off policies, as well as payroll, recordkeeping, and employee notice procedures.
The “Healthy, Workplace, Healthy Families Act” (AB-1522) signed into effect by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. applies to all employees who work in California for thirty (30) or more days in a year. The law defines “employer” as any person employing another under any appointment or contract of hire” regardless of how many (or few) employees they have, and covers employees whether they are full-time, part-time, seasonal, or temporary. Specifically, the new provision provides that employees who work thirty (30) or more days within a year from commencement of their employment will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked.
Employees become entitled to their sick leave beginning on the ninetieth (90th) date of employment. However, an employer may limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 24 hours—or three (3) days—in each year of employment, which results in no carryover requirements. Click HERE for the full text of the new law. Continue reading
Employers with potential heat-related exposures are reminded that Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standards were changed effective May 1, 2015. California employers at “all outdoor places of employment” are required to take steps to prevent heat illness in relation to training, water, shade, and planning in their business practices. There are additional requirements for certain industries during periods of high heat (over 95°F or above). Continue reading
A frequent concern among couples applying for a fiancé(e) visa is whether there is a preference within immigration law when it comes to when and where a marriage between a U.S. citizen and a foreign fiancé(e) should take place. Specifically, couples may wonder whether it is more advantageous to get married outside the United States and then apply as the spouse of a United States citizen (IR1, CR1, or K-3 visa), or to apply as a fiancé(e) (K-1 visa) and get married in the United States. The answer depends on several factors, which we describe in detail below. Continue reading
On April 29, 2015 at 11 am PST, The Grady Firm attorneys will be presenting a webinar on how foreign entrepreneurs can do business in the United States, from a corporate and immigration law perspective.
Today, A.T. Kearney released its 15th annual Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, which ranks countries based on how changes in their political, economic, and regulatory systems are likely to affect foreign direct investment inflows in the coming years. The Index ranks the United States as #1 for the third year in a row. Learn how to be a part of that investment trend during the following presentation:
HOW TO BRING YOUR BUSINESS TO THE LARGEST CONSUMER ECONOMY IN THE WORLD Continue reading
On April 7, 2105, USCIS announced that it reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption, and more than the 65,000 “regular cap” limit for applicants without a Master’s Degree. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as engineering, science, and computer programming.
In the meantime, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2016 H-1B cap.
For foreign bank account holders, if the aggregate maximum values of the foreign financial accounts exceed $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, account holders must file a timely FBAR report or face severe civil and criminal penalties.
Information below provided by IRS FBAR Reference Guide.
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) gives the Department of Treasury authority to collect information from United States persons who have financial interests in, or signature authority over, financial accounts maintained with financial institutions located outside of the United States. This provision of the BSA requires that a FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) be filed if the aggregate maximum values of the foreign financial accounts exceed $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. FinCEN Form 114 supersedes Treasury Form TD F 90-22.1 and is available online only through the BSA E-Filing System. Continue reading