In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, US Missions in India have cancelled all immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments from Monday, March 16 onwards, according to an announcement on Saturday. "Your visa appointment stands as cancelled. Once Mission India resumes regular consular operations, appointments will be made available and you will be able to reschedule. From Monday, Mission India's American Centers in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai will "pause in-person programming and close public access until further notice".
The United States is the number one country for migrants and investors from all over the world. Though the US has a complicated Immigration system with stringent checks – there are several possibilities that will enable investors to obtain US residence to allow them to live and work in the US.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to benefit the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
Applicant and their family members (children up to the age 21) are granted a 2-year conditional green card, after which the applicant applies for removal of conditions. Conditions are removed if the RIC can demonstrate that they have created 10 jobs (direct or ancillary).
Required minimum investments are:
- General. The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million.
- Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.
When you invest through a Regional Investment Centre (RIC) you are required to invest US$ 500,000
- Govt. fees + RIC attorney fees + Consolidation fees: Approx. US$ 80,000
- Our services to identify RIC with preliminary information and connect: INR 125,000/-
- Representing the applicant in dealings with the RIC and checking paperwork: 1.25% of the total transaction value.
The main benefit of this option is that investors may rely on indirect job creation rather than directly hiring ten employees. Moreover, the day-to-day management of the investment is facilitated by the Regional Centres so that the applicant is free to live and work anywhere in the USA.
There are no requirements as to age, language or past business experience in order to qualify.
After five years of legal residence from the date of receipt of Conditional Green card, it is possible to acquire US citizenship.
For businesses, wanting to start, buy or expand a business in the U.S., the L-1 Visa may be ideal for your U.S. visa needs.
The L-1 visa is especially useful for business owners and immigrant entrepreneurs who want to start a new business, expand their existing business, or “test the waters” of doing business in the U.S. without a big investment.
You can simply form a subsidiary or affiliate in the U.S. or open a new office and start transferring foreign employees under the L-1 visa. You can test the waters by starting a small branch office. No minimum investment and no set number of employees must be hired, however, the company has to show that after one year the company can support the activities of the L-1 visa holder.
The L-1 status is a non-immigrant visa, L-1A managers and executives may work in the U.S. for up to seven years while L-1B individuals with specialized knowledge may work in the U.S. for up to five years. The L1 visas are dual intent visas and we can apply for adjustment of status to ‘green card’ once in the USA.
L-1 visas are available to employees of an international company with offices in both the United States and abroad. The visa allows such foreign workers to relocate to the corporation's US office after having worked abroad for the company for at least one continuous year within the previous three prior to admission in the US.
The L-1 visa has two subcategories:
- L-1A for executives and managers (7 years) and
- L-1B for workers with specialized knowledge (5 years)
Spouses and children
An L-1 visa holder’s spouse and minor children can live and study in the U.S. under an L-2 visa for the length of time as the L-1. They may also travel in and out of the U.S. on short trips. Spouses may work full-time with the proper employment authorization from the USCIS, however dependent children on an L-2 visa are not eligible to work.
The US and non-US employers must be related in one of four ways:
- parent and subsidiary;
- branch and headquarters;
- sister companies owned by a mutual parent; or
- 'affiliates' owned by the same or people in approximately the same percentages.
The L-1 classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an employee to the United States to help establish one, with additional requirements.