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The US golden visa is called the EB-5 visa. Many families have used this golden visa category to set up their families in the US, especially those looking to place their children in schools and provide career opportunities. At the investment amount of $800,000 into a US-based government approved project, an entire family can obtain their US Green Card and ultimately their US passports.

The American Legal Center is a team of US-licensed lawyers that have over time built a reputation as the leaders of the EB-5 Regional Center programme in the Middle East and emerging markets. Under the direction of Shai Zamanian, top EB-5 consultant, the team has opened the doors to successfully assisting families within the GCC to file their EB-5 applications. In the upcoming weeks the team will continue their live presentations in the GCC to educate families on the EB-5 immigrant investor visa programme. “Since the reauthorization of the program there has been a plethora of information disseminated to the public. Not all of the information has been accurate and up to date and as an advocate for the program, I know that it is important for investors to have the most current and accurate information that will best influence their immigration decision,” says Zamanian.

A family decision

The goal for most EB-5 investors is to improve the quality of life for their immediate family and to secure their multigenerational futures. By participating in the EB-5 program, investors instantly provide access to innumerable opportunities and benefits. However, choosing to partake in the programme is not an easy decision; it is a decision made for the family by the family and requires investors to have access to all current and relevant information, and that is what the team at The American Legal Center aim to achieve with the upcoming seminars.

The programme has recently jumped started again. For nearly nine months, no EB-5 applications were being accepted under the Regional Center programme. Time was taken to enact changes and to improve the programme for the entire industry and specifically for investors. This March, the Biden administration enacted the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA). The enactment of RIA was to enforce new integrity and transparency provisions, and protections for both investors and regional centers, to ensure that the programme continues to fulfill its primary obligations of attracting new investments that will boost the US economy and labour market, and also ensure that said investors are protected from any fraudulent behaviours. The legislation then provided the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the responsibility of developing procedural guidelines for pending and prospective investors. Unfortunately, this created a further delay for the industry as USCIS requested a 60-day no-file period to allow the agency to better understand the new regulations and to determine strategic avenues to implement the changes.

During this 60-day application hiatus USCIS further announced that regional centers seeking regional center designation under the EB-5 programme must reapply for designation per USCIS’s interpretation of the new legislation. This has had a direct impact on project constructions and the U.S. economy. EB-5 stakeholders have thus been fighting for USCIS to reconsider their request for redesignation. Since the announcement, the industry has responded by submitting a petition by EB-5 stakeholders stating that redesignation is redundant and creates further delays, they have submitted a Congressional letter from prominent senators to the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Maykas, requesting that USCIS withdraw its request from redesignation outlining the legal reasons as to why the new law does not require redesignation, and one of the leading regional centres have filed a temporary restraining order challenging USCIS’s interpretation of the law.

Raising awareness

According to the team at the American Legal Center, these, and other RIA influenced changes, are the topics that they will be addressing and providing more detailed information on during the seminars. ALC has utilised the 60-day filing hiatus to educate and align themselves with EB-5 leaders and lobbyists to better understand the new programme updates and how these could affect current and future investors. They are now in a position to start educating the market on the right way to file.

The new reauthorised programme has a number of positive elements that are introduced in RIA. Prior to the enactment of RIA, EB-5 investors could only tap into their residency benefits after the approval of their I-526 petitions. The new regulations attempt to amend this with the introduction of concurrent filing. Concurrent filing provides investors with the benefit of legally residing and working in the US while waiting for the adjudication of their EB-5 application. To be eligible for the benefit, investors must legally be in the US on any non-immigrant visa (H1-B, Stem OPT, F1 student visa, E2, or B1/B2) at the time of filing their I-526 or any time after filing but before the adjudication of their application. Once their I-526 petition has been filed with USCIS, their attorney of record will file a secondary application for their adjustment of status application (I-485). The attorney will further file for work authorisation to provide the applicant authority to start working in the US. Concurrent filing not only benefits the applicants who already are in the US but also greatly benefits investors that are in backlogged categories such as China Mainland and Vietnam.

It is important that prospective investors attend the upcoming seminars to best acquaint themselves with the new laws and regulations. The team will provide information about new filing requirements and how the new programme is essentially better for investors. To reserve your space mail Silu.ntshangase@america.ae or WhatsApp +971 50 938 6092

Golden Visa Seminar
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Saturday, June 4, 2022
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Saturday, Jun 11, 2022
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