What’s the Difference Between the E-2 and EB-5 Investor Visas?

handshakeFor 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

City of San Francisco Announces its 2016 Increased Employer Healthcare Spending Rates

San Francisco increases healthcare spending law Photo © Jennifer Grady

San Francisco increases employer healthcare spending law rates. Photo © Jennifer Grady

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.

Beginning January 1, 2016, the health care expenditure rate for employers with 100 or more employees will be $2.53 per hour, and the rate for medium-sized businesses with 20-99 employees will be $1.68 per hour.
The health care expenditures must be made on behalf of employees employed for more than 90 days and who regularly work at least eight hours per week in San Francisco. Businesses with 19 or fewer employees and nonprofits with 49 or fewer employees are exempt.

The Grady Firm, P.C. attends the 4th Annual EB-5 Conference in Los Angeles

Jennifer Grady, Esq. with Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

Jennifer Grady, Esq. with Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

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

Startup Genome Report Reveals Top 20 Startup Ecosystems in the World- Los Angeles and Silicon Valley Retain Top Spots

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

TodWorld webay, 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

Changes to California Paid Sick Leave Requirements on July 13, 2015

sick leaveBy Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

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

July 2015 Updates to California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and Posting Requirements

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

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

July Ushers in New Paid Sick Leave Requirements for California Employers

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

sick leaveOn 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

Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Changes for “Outdoor Places of Employment” in Effect May 1, 2015

waterBy Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

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

Should I Marry My Foreign Fiancé(e) in the US or Abroad?

by Anthony Mance, Esq.

marriageA 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

Webinar 4/29: How to Bring Your Business to the Largest Consumer Economy in the World

Presenting to Startup Chile

The original presentation at Startup Chile in Santiago, Chile

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 yearsThe 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

H-1B Cap Reached by April 7, 2015 for Fiscal Year 2016

American Visa (XL)by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

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. 

Continue reading

SEC Rules Everyday Citizens (Non-Accredited Investors) Can Now Participate in Equity Crowdfunding & Invest in Startups

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

CrowfundingFinally, after three years the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled that investments in businesses with less than $50 million no longer require that an investor be an “accredited investor.”  This means that everyday citizens can now invest in Startups and small businesses as an investor on Crowdfunding platforms.  The long-awaited decision to democratize small business and Startup funding comes from Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, and will done initially through what are called Regulation A+ investment offerings. Continue reading

Looking for Path to a Green Card? Try the EB-5 Investor Visa

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

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 and is the fastest way to obtain a visa, although it is not a path to Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card).  The EB-5 Visa requires an initial investment of USD $500,000 to $1 million, and comes with Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card), and ultimately, US citizenship.  This article will discuss the EB-5 “million dollar visa” option.  What may be surprising is that an investor can be eligible for this visa with only a $500,000 investment in a rural or targeted employment area. Continue reading

The E-2 “Entrepreneur Investor” Visa Provides a Path for Small Business Owners to Live and Work in the US

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Dolla billFor 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 and is the fastest way to obtain a visa, although it is not a path to Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card).  The EB-5 Visa requires an initial investment of USD $500,000 to $1 million, and comes with Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card), and ultimately, US citizenship.  This article will discuss the details of the E-2 “Entrepreneur Investor Visa.”                     Continue reading