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

What is the E-2 “Entrepreneur Investor” Visa, and Who Qualifies for this Visa?

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

The Grady Firm, P.C. Celebrates Its Third Anniversary With Expansion Across California and Latin America

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On March 19, 2015, The Grady Firm, P.C. celebrates its third anniversary. Founded in 2012 by Jennifer Grady, Esq. as a one-woman firm dedicated to serving the legal and business counseling needs of entrepreneurs, the firm has evolved into a one-stop shop for business owners with a team of eight attorneys specializing in business, employment, litigation, immigration, and international business law.

The Los Angeles office located at 5900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

The Los Angeles office in Miracle Mile

The firm has offices throughout California, in its Los Angeles Headquarters in the museum district of Miracle Mile; the Financial District of San Francisco; and the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. Most recently, The Grady Firm will be partnering with a law firm in Guadalajara, Mexico, in order to establish a link between businesses in the United States and Mexico, and open its first office abroad.

Presenting to Startup Chile

Ms. Grady speaking to entrepreneurs at Start-up Chile

This year, the firm expanded globally by pursuing international business opportunities in Chile, Argentina, and Mexico by acting as the liaison for international Startups wishing to expand their market reach to the United States. To that end, Ms. Grady attended the IIUSA EB-5 Conference in San Francisco in October; gave a presentation to a community of international entrepreneurs at Start-up Chile, a government-funded incubator in Santiago de Chile; and established relationships with Argentinian, Mexican, and Swedish investors intending to open new businesses in the United States.

Ambassador Locke

With Ambassador Locke, former US Ambassador to China, at the IIUSA EB-5 Conference in San Francisco

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President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration on Hold Pending Further Legal Action

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq.

Statue of LibertyOn November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

However, on February 16, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas issued a ruling that has led to the temporary suspension of President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration. The ruling prevents the Obama administration from implementing the proposed expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) until the constitutionality of the executive actions can be determined. Continue reading

Santiago, Chile Named to Top 5 Emerging Startup Hubs by Inc. Magazine

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

The March 2015 issue of Inc. Magazine named Santiago de Chile one of the top five emerging Startup hubs for opportunities to launch or expand internationally.  According to Inc. Magazine, one of the top draws to Santiago, a city of  6.3 million inhabitants, is Start-up Chile, the government-sponsored incubator program that attracts top international talent with a one-year visa, free workspace, and $33,000 in seed money that does not have to be repaid. Over 16,000 applicants applied to the program, and 1,000 companies from 75 countries have been selected to date.  According to its website, Start-up Chile’s goal is “to hasten the occurrence of customer-validated and scalable companies that will leave a lasting impact on the Latin American ecosystem”. Continue reading

Jennifer Grady, Esq. to Speak at Just People and Start-up Chile in Santiago: How to Do Business and Live in the US Legally

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

JustPeople

SANTIAGO, CHILE-  Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. will be speaking to Chilean entrepreneurs on February 20th, 2015 from 11 am to 12 pm at JustPeople in Las Condes, Santiago de Chile.  She will present a seminar on the practical aspects of achieving the American Dream by living and doing business in the United States, and will provide practical examples from a business and immigration law perspective. In addition, Ms. Grady will be joined by Mariana Noli, Esq., an intellectual property attorney based out of San Diego, CA and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Changes to California Employment Laws in 2015 that Every Employer Should Know

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

California-State-Capitol1The California Legislature was quite active in 2014, resulting in several substantial changes to the law for 2015 that are employee-friendly.  Employers should take note of the changes to the law described below.

I. CHANGES TO WAGE AND LABOR LAWS

1. Minimum Wage Increases

The minimum wage increased statewide, with even higher increases in particular cities:

  • California’s minimum wage of $9.00 will increase again to $10.00 on January 1, 2016;
  • San Francisco wages will increase to $11.05 on January 1, 2015; then to $12.25 in May; wages will increase every year thereafter until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 in 2018;
  • Oakland will increase to $12.25 on March 2, 2015;
  • San Diego will increase to $9.75 on January 1, 2015;
  • Note: exempt employees must meet new minimum wage laws

Continue reading

Can’t I Just Hire an Intern? What Employers Need to Know to Stay Compliant With California Law

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

Photo Credit Buzzghana.com

Photo Credit Buzzghana.com

Internship programs provide great benefits to businesses and interns alike, but employers must comply with both California and Federal laws in order to avoid potential lawsuits and fines.

To clarify, a person hired as an unpaid intern must (1) be a student enrolled in an accredited academic program and receive academic credit for the internship, or (2) be enrolled in a program that provides training and is approved by a public agency.  If the intern is not part of an accredited program, the employer must pay the intern at least minimum wage for all hours worked. Continue reading

The Grady Firm, P.C. Donates to “Reading Open Minds” Charity

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

Reading Opens Minds LogoThe Grady Firm, P.C. is proud to support the good work of Reading Opens Minds, a charity promoting community and literacy by bringing the joy of reading and sharing to disadvantaged populations and at-risk youth through book clubs in county jails, halfway houses, clinics and schools in the Los Angeles area.  The organization provides new books and facilitates weekly, bi-monthly or monthly club meetings where members’ opinions and insights are heard and valued.

The Grady Firm attorneys agree with Reading Open Minds’ philosophy that the shared experience of reading and discussion encourages a stronger sense of self-worth, empathy and community, while supporting higher literacy levels.  Reading Opens Minds provides new books and facilitates weekly, bi-monthly or monthly club meetings where members’ opinions and insights are heard and valued.

The Grady Firm made its donation through Process Green, and will continue to make this donation annually.   Its attorneys will also act as volunteers during the after school program for middle school and high school students.  To learn more about donating or volunteering for this organization, visit the Reading Opens Minds website.

New Laws Limit the Scope and Privacy of Arbitration in California Starting January 1, 2015

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

Photo ANCA Western Region

Photo ANCA Western Region

California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law aiming to restrict the reach of arbitration agreements, starting January 2015. The bills have the effect of chilling arbitration by making it a less attractive option for employers and making it less private.

1. Private Arbitration Providers Must Publish Quarterly Matter Details Online re Consumer Arbitrations

After January 1, 2015, AB 802 will have the effect of reducing the privacy of arbitration by requiring major arbitration providers such as JAMS and AAA to publish at least quarterly on their websites detailed information concerning consumer matters they have abritrated.  Continue reading

New Laws for California Employers in 2015

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

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

The California legislature has passed numerous laws that will take effect January 1, or July 1, 2015.  Employers must revise their policies to reflect the new laws.  We have provided a summary of these new laws below.   Continue reading

Increases in IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2015

© Jennifer Grady

© Jennifer Grady

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup, or panel truck will be:

-57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
-23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
-14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business expense reimbursement rates have increased 1.5 cents from 56 cents per mile in 2014.  The medical and moving expense rates will decrease one-half cent from the 2014 rates.  The charitable rate is based on statute.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

For more information, visit the IRS website.

The Grady Firm Now Offers Customized Record-Keeping Forms for Employers

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

personnel files pic

California enacted numerous new laws in 2014 that continue to make it more challenging for employers to comply with California employment law.

To take out some of the guesswork that employers and Human Resources managers face as they try to run their businesses, The Grady Firm, P.C. has created a package of over fifteen (15) customized forms and checklists to ensure that employers are properly documenting their procedures before hiring, at the time of hire, during employment, and at termination. Continue reading

New Cell Phone Reimbursement Laws for Employers

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

cell phone

New Cell Phone Laws for Employers

A new law now requires that California employers reimburse employees for use of their personal cell phone for mandatory business purposes, as decided by the California Appellate Court in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. The ruling affects millions of employers who must update their company policies in order to stay compliant with the new law. Continue reading

The Grady Firm Shared Legal Tips with Dozens of Entrepreneurs at the Be Great Fest in Los Angeles

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The Grady Firm booth at Be Great Fest

On November 14, 2014, the attorneys from The Grady Firm, P.C. met with over 60 entrepreneurs and small business owners at the second annual Be Great Fest at Los Angeles Center Studios.  The all-day event featured presentations by keynote speakers from game-changing companies such as Shoe Dazzle, Nordstrom.com, Playboy, Legal Zoom, and The Honest Company. Continue reading