Immigrant Entrepreneurs May Be Able to Remain in the U.S. on Parole Under New Rule Proposed by DHS

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On August 31, 2016 , the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed an amendment to its regulations in an effort to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States. The proposed rule would allow for the use of “parole” on a case-by-case basis for certain Startup entrepreneurs whose entry into the United States would provide a significant public benefit through “the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.”  Once the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 45 days from the date of publication to comment. To submit comments in support of this rule, follow the instructions in the notice.

The new “International Entrepreneur Rule” would expand the opportunity for international entrepreneurs, inventors, and startup founders to receive “parole”, which is temporary permission to be present in the United States.  “Parole” is not considered an admission to the United States, and does not confer any immigration status.  In addition, once a person is granted parole, the parolee’s stay in the U.S. is at DHS’s discretion and may be terminated at any time consistent with existing regulations.  DHS has broad discretion to grant parole and may do so on a case-by-case basis. Continue reading

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Apply NOW for U.S. Citizenship: Vote in November Elections & Have Your Application Reviewed Before a New President Takes the White House

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If you are a Legal Permanent Resident who has held off on applying for U.S. citizenship, now is the time to submit your application to USCIS so that it can be reviewed and approved before November 2016.

First, immigration will be a big ticket issue in the upcoming election, and the outcome and future of U.S. immigration policy could ride on your vote.  Click the links to read more about the immigration platforms of the current Democratic (Hillary Clinton) and Republican (Donald Trump) U.S. presidential candidates.

hillaryclinton.wikimediaSecond, as the new president and his or her cabinet may have a different vision of immigration reform than that held by the current administration, it’s prudent to apply for immigration relief before the powers in charge change.donaldtrump.wikimedia

Third, in anticipation of the upcoming election, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has reduced the processing period for naturalization and other immigration applications to between approximately three to six (3-6) months.

Even if you are not eligible for naturalization, you may be able to apply for legal immigration status under various other laws currently in effect.  But you must act now, as any of these laws could change based on the outcome of the November elections. Continue reading

Much Anticipated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Report for Southern California Released at SelectLA

Select LA Recap2016-06-17 13.08.04

Jennifer Grady, Esq. recently participated in the Select LA 2016 Investment Summit. SelectLA is the precursor to SelectUSA, a federal division of the Department of Commerce that seeks to attract international businesses to the United States. An international and domestic audience of more than 350 investors and business people attended the SelectLA summit on June 17, 2016 at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles.  Panelists included Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, President of World Trade Center Los Angeles Stephen Cheung, as well as many other top officials from various Los Angeles organizations such as LA Metro, Los Angeles World Airports, and the Los Angeles Ports.

Summary of FDI Report

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From left: Rodrigo Mladinic Dragicevic, Chilean Trade Commissioner; Jennifer Grady, The Grady Firm; Stephen Cheung, President of World Trade Center Los Angeles

At the summit, the World Trade Center Los Angeles released its much anticipated and expansive Foreign Direct Investment report for Southern California.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a common way for private entities and individuals, both in developed and less developed nations, to increase their wealth and capital by investing beyond their national borders. In 2015, global FDI flows amounted to nearly $1.7 trillion, making it the highest level of international capital flows in the last eight years. The United States is the recipient of more FDI than any other country, and in 2015 received $384 billion in FDI flows, the highest level since 2000. Continue reading

J-1 Cultural Exchange Visitor Visa for Entrepreneurs, Scholars, Au Pairs, Professors, and Trainees

globe with kidsThe J-1 Visa is a non-immigrant US visa available to cultural exchange visitors, scholars, and professors. The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. It is often used by entrepreneurs, “au pairs, ” or to obtain business or medical training in the United States. J-1 visas are obtained as part of an exchange program, and the Department of State designates both public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) provides opportunities for around 300,000 foreign visitors per year to experience United States society and culture and engage with Americans.  Exchange visitors on private sector programs may study, teach, do research, share their specialized skills, or receive on-the-job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.   EVP participants are young leaders and entrepreneurs, students, fledgling and more seasoned professionals eager to hone their skills, strengthen their English language abilities, connect with Americans, and learn more about the U.S. There are fifteen different categories under the J-1 visa program, including: professors and research scholars, short-term scholars, trainees, interns, college and university students, teachers, secondary school students, specialists, foreign medical graduates, camp counselors, au pairs, and the summer work travel program. Continue reading

E-1 Visa for Companies Doing More than Half of Their Business in the United States

cargo shipsThe United States is signatory to a number of treaties with other countries, allowing individuals and companies to develop business opportunities in the United States. As a result, “E- Visas” are available to visitors to the US interested in trade and investment.

As discussed in a previous post, E-2 visas are temporary visas based on a reciprocal commercial treaty between the United States and the individual’s country of nationality, where the individual is visiting the US primarily for investment purposes.

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Jennifer Grady Esq. to Participate in SelectLA International Investor Summit; Keynote Speech by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

NEW-Select-LA-Logo-4-11-16-166x300On June 16 and 17, 2016, Jennifer Grady, Esq. will be attending the SelectLA International Investor Summit in downtown Los Angeles, California.  SelectLA is is Southern California’s premier international trade event at which local leaders in business and government will gather with investors from around the globe in order to facilitate foreign direct investment and provide exclusive insights on opportunities in the Los Angeles region. SelectLA is hosted by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (@LAEDC).  Ms. Grady will be one of the local experts with whom international investors can consult on business and immigration issues during the business matchmaking session on June 17.

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SelectLA’s 2015 VIP Reception

This year, the event kicks off with a VIP reception at Fox Studios on June 16, followed by a day of corporate matchmaking, education, and presentations on June 17. The keynote speaker will be Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Last year, speakers included Larry Kurzweil (President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood); Peter Rice (Chairman & CEO, Fox Networks Group); Chance Barnett (CEO, Crowdfunder), Ted Craver (CEO, Edison International); and Michael Antonovich (Chairman, LA County Board of Supervisors). Continue reading

All Canadian Residents Applying for K-1 Visas Must Now Interview in Montreal

city-skyline-montreal-canada-pexelsAs of April 1, 2016,  the Vancouver offices of the U.S. Consulate General will cease processing of K-1 visas. Now, the K-1 visas, commonly known as”Fiancé(e) visas,” will only be processed by the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal.

While the Bureau of Consular Affairs acknowledged that this change may inconvenience some applicants who will now need to travel for their interviews, it promises that the adjustment will help the consulate schedule and adjudicate K-1 applications more efficiently. Continue reading

5 Secrets to Preparing a Successful H-1B Application

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

H-1B visaOne of the most notorious ways for foreign professionals to obtain a visa and even a Green Card in the US is through an H-1B visa, which requires sponsorship by the professional’s employer, and can be granted for three years with one additional three year renewal. The H-1B allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, and requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

However, with great benefits comes great competition. The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit, or cap, of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Due to the United States’ stability in an increasingly unstable world, in 2015, 233,000 foreigners applied for the H-1B, a significant increase over 2014 (172,500 applications), and nearly double the applicants from two years ago Lottery Balls(124,000). Because the average applicant with a bachelor’s degree has only a 27% chance of making the quota, it is essential to not only meet the requirements and have an outstanding application, but to first make it into the H-1B lottery. Continue reading

Apply Now for the Diversity Visa Lottery for the Chance to Obtain a Green Card (Lottery Open Oct. 1 to Nov. 3, 2015)

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Lottery BallsStarting October 1, 2015, and until November 3, 2015, applicants from eligible countries can apply for a chance to win a Green Card through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered annually by the Department of State. Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for a class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants” from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For Fiscal Year 2017, 50,000 Diversity Visas  (DVs) will be available.
There are no USCIS filing fees to register for the DV program. (*Be weary of potential scams from “notarios” or immigration agents and consultants).

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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 and work legally in the United States, there are two options available through the E-2 and EB-5 investor visa programs.  The E-2 Visa requires less startup capital (around $100,000), 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 to Attend EB-5 Market Exchange Conference in San Francisco, October 22-24, 2014

Photo Credit: http://marketplace.iiusa.org/collections/2014-eb-5-international-investment-economic-development-forum-san-francisco-ca

Photo Credit: http://iiusa.org

Jennifer Grady, Esq., founding attorney of The Grady Firm, P.C. will attend the fourth annual EB-5 Market Exchange in San Francisco on October 22-24, 2014, hosted by IIUSA. The exchange is the industry’s largest annual gathering of business-focused EB-5 professionals and will draw over 500 attendees for a week of business development, industry education, and Program Advocacy.

International investment and economic development professionals from all over the world gather to network, do business, and learn from over 80 speakers and experts, which will include former San Francisco Mayor and Speaker of California State Assembly Willie Brown; Honorable Congressman Aaron Schock; and Honorable Gary Locke, Former U.S. Ambassador to China, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and Governor of Washington. Continue reading

Canadian Immigration Policy Turns Against Investor-Based Immigration, Leading to More Opportunities for Foreign Investors in the United States

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

 A report in the Hong Kong media led to the downfall of the world’s most popular investor-based visa program in Canada, leaving thousands of foreign investors out in the cold. According to an article published in Forbes magazine on February 13, 2014, the Canadian government announced the immediate cancellation of the popular investor visa program after the highly publicized report stated that “the country’s investor visa program had become an express lane for wealthy Chinese hoping to secure overseas residency”. The cancellation of the program meant that 65,000 pending applications, including 45,500 of which were submitted by individuals from Mainland China, were immediately eliminated.

In a statement made on the evening of February 11, 2014, the Canadian government announced the termination of both the Federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and Federal Entrepreneur (EN) program. In 2011, approximately 10,000 immigrants entered Canada through the IIP, while almost 1,000 entered through the EN program. Continue reading

The Grady Firm, P.C. Expands to San Francisco and San Diego, California

The San Francisco Office is conveniently located at 555 California Street, San Francisco, CA  94104

The San Francisco Office is conveniently located at 555 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94104

The Grady Firm, P.C. is pleased to announce that it has opened offices in San Francisco and San Diego, California to better serve the needs of its clientele throughout the state. These offices are exciting additions to the current Los Angeles headquarters in the Miracle Mile/Museum District of Los Angeles, which is located across the street from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles.

At the San Francisco location, The Grady Firm, P.C. offers Startup/business advising, employment law, criminal law, family law, immigration, and Intellectual Property services.

The San Francisco office building is centrally located in the downtown Financial District on 555 California Street.  As the fifth tallest building on the west coast of the United States, it is a monument to San Francisco’s bold natural landscape and one of the most recognized buildings in the country.  Also known as the “Triple 5,” the building has starred in several classic movies, including Dirty Harry (1971), The Towering Inferno (1974), and in the Chuck Norris film, An Eye for an Eye (1981).  The building has easy access to public transportation, including BART and the Muni Metro.

The San Diego office is located at 964 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

The Granger Building at 964 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

At the San Diego location, The Grady Firm, P.C. offers services in immigration law, business law, and employment law.  The San Diego office is located in the Romanesque-style, turn of the century Granger Building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, the gateway to the world-famous Gaslamp Quarter and Core/Civic District.  Throughout its hundred year history, the Granger building served San Diego as a bank, office space, and even hosted animals for the San Diego Zoo.  The building is close to public transportation.

The Grady Firm, P.C.’s Los Angeles Headquarters at 5900 Wilshire Blvd, 26th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

At the Los Angeles, California headquarters, The Grady Firm, P.C. continues to offer services in Startup/business advising, employment advising, business litigation, employment litigation, immigration, estate planning, and Intellectual Property.

The Grady Firm attorneys are able to serve clients throughout California and the globe through in-person meetings, phone calls, and Skype calls.   To best serve its international clientele, The Grady Firm attorneys are fluent in Spanish, Chinese, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Armenian, Swedish, Hungarian, Korean, and Russian.

Schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation today with The Grady Firm attorneys by calling (323) 450-9010, or submitting a contact request form.

 

EB-5 Investor Alert: 8 Tips for Avoiding Investor Visa Scams

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are jointly issuing this Investor Alert to warn individual investors about fraudulent investment scams that exploit the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) are aware of investment scams targeting foreign nationals who seek to become permanent lawful U.S. residents through the Immigrant Investor Program (“EB-5”).  In close coordination with USCIS, which administers the EB-5 program, the SEC has taken emergency enforcement action to stop allegedly fraudulent securities offerings made through EB-5.

Continue reading: http://1.usa.gov/1gq7Gnf