An Introduction to U.S. Immigration
The U.S. immigration system is essentially divided into three categories for those seeking permanent residency:
- Close Family Ties: such as spouses, parents, brothers and sisters or adult children
- Education: those with at least a bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s degree or those with no less than 12 years of work experience
- Money: those with no less than $500,000 or $1 million to invest in a qualified regional center in the United Realistically, those with family ties will seek to apply for residency through this process if such ties are of a close degree, the waiting period is not long and the petitioner, or sponsor, has the financial ability to endorse such an application.
Those with a higher education, referred to as ‘skilled or professional workers,’ will need to identify a U.S. sponsor willing to hire them for a specific job, at a specific salary, with a specific job description. Often times this poses a serious challenge for any foreign national as U.S. employers generally seek to hire employees from within the U.S. Furthermore, the employer must demonstrate that it is financially solvent during the entire process time period in order to ensure that the employee will continue to be gainfully employed at the end of the process.
Consequently, we are left with the “money” alternative. The EB-5 program was created as a job creation and foreign investment program specifically to encourage high net worth individuals to migrate to the U.S., stimulate the U.S. economy and make a valuable contribution to society.
Regional Center Development
Florida Immigration attorney Larry J. Behar has created an EB-5 team that helps developers across the country with the creation and administration of regional centers. The team and attorneys provides comprehensive services, including:
- Legal advisement in connection with regional center creation
- Preparation of regional center applications and accompanying documents
- Exclusive processing of EB-5 visas for regional center investors
- Administration of EB-5 regional centers
The BLG team consists of top legal attorneys and business professionals who, each in their own realm, are able to advise clients and provide written reports for the creation of regional center submissions.
Together, the team provides expertise and hands-on guidance at both the initial stage and throughout, for both the investor and the regional center sponsor. The team provides developers with a ‘one stop shop‘ of economists, business plan writers, marketing and IT experts, SEC attorneys, and U.S. EB-5 immigration authorities — all under the direction of Larry J. Behar, a Florida immigration lawyer with more than three decades of experience in immigration law. The team has established regional centers in several states and has pending applications for numerous regional centers. Each regional center submission is created with the uniqueness that lies behind each project and spreads across a vast range of uses, which include: tourism resorts, mega shopping centers, a hospital, gold mines, land development projects and multi-use retail hotels throughout the country.
EB-5 Visa Processing
Immigration Through Investment
The Behar Law Group helps foreign investors and developers benefit from the congressionally mandated EB-5 program. U.S. immigration laws now encourage developers to create regional centers that are designed to boost the U.S. economy through job creation.
Foreign investors who have one million dollars to invest (or a half-million dollars in some cases, when the investment project is in a targeted employment area) may be eligible to receive an EB-5 investor visa, a wonderful path toward permanent residency. A foreign investor applying for an EB-5 visa may live anywhere in the U.S., and over time, an EB-5 visa holder may be eligible to become a U.S. Citizen.
EB-5 Visa Processing
Initially, the firm helps developers establish a regional center. Once the regional center is created and approved by USCIS, the firm then acts as the exclusive visa processor for foreign investors seeking an EB-5 visa. From there, the Behar Law Group offers comprehensive immigration services on behalf of the EB-5 visa holder throughout the road to permanency.
Experience You Can Trust
Florida immigration attorney Larry J. Behar has been practicing in immigration law for more than 30 years. He is the author of “How to Immigrate to the USA,” a step-by-step immigration guide, and “EB-5 United States Immigration Through Investment,” which has helped thousands of people seeking to enter and live in the United States. Mr. Behar cares about his clients and works diligently to find solutions to complex immigration challenges.
The EB-5 immigration program is an opportunity for qualified foreign nationals to become permanent residents “green card” of the United States. The EB-5 franchising (a form of independent investment) option, allows foreign immigrants to invest into a franchise rather than a regional center, bringing down the overall investment risk. EB-5 franchising allows foreign investors to be “hands on” from beginning to end.
Various Benefits Include:
- Recognized brand names both in the U.S. and abroad;
- Locations in urban and rural areas;
- Increased chances of business success because you are associating with proven products and methods;
- Low risk inventory, most are non-perishable;
- Recognized job creation levels;
- Business in a box model. Support from the franchisor in training, consulting, bookkeeping (accounting services), technology, property and equipment, product distribution, advertising support
- Projected return of principal in the business plan;
- Fair rate of return during investment period;
- Live, work, and attend any school in the U.S.
- U.S education for all minor children below 21 years of age;
- Personal and Family Security in America;
- Royalty arrangement- pay the franchisor based on your store’s gross profit.
- Making the investment
- Step-by-step timeline- Learn the steps to joining a franchise business- from the application to taking over stores in a few months.
- Discovering the best franchise- Figure out what the best franchise is for you and decide if it is a good fit.
To be considered as a candidate for a franchise, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be 21 years of age or older
- Prove permanent residency in the United States
- We prefer you have Retail, Management and/or Customer Service–related business experience within the United States
- Not have filed for bankruptcy within the last 7 years
- Have excellent credit
|Legal fees (immigration)||
|Franchising Documents Review||
|Source of funds||
NOTE Costs vary depending on the franchise you wish to invest in, as well as how many you choose to invest in.
- Sales manager interview
- Qualification testing
- Store selection
- Business selection
- Business planning
- Final interview
- Agreement signing
EB-5 Independent Investor
The EB-5 visa preference category, created by Congress in 1990, is available for immigrants seeking to enter the United States by investing $1 million into a legal entity, which in turn benefits the U.S. economy and creates jobs. The EB-5 independent investment allows the investor to be “hands on” from start to end. Investors have the liberty of starting a legal entity or investing in a U.S. franchiseof their choice.
To qualify you must:
1. Form a legal entity:
2.Investment in a new or established commercial enterprise
- $1 million
- $500,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA)
3. Secured by personal property, not by investment
4. Substantial completion of payment in 2 years of investment
- Preferably prior to filing I-526
5. Investment made or funds committed in concrete business activity.
6. Investor EB-5 compliant comprehensive business plan
7. Job description of each position, salary, title, U.S. lawful of employees
- I-9 (employment eligibility verification form)
- W2 (tax form issued by employers)
8. Critical path jobs ramp up, dates of future employment
9. Creation of ten (10) direct jobs for U.S. workers within two years of filing
10. Description of investor management duties, time, policy formation, day-to-day business activity, tile.
11. Proof of employment, I-9, pay stubs, pay roll records, W2
12. State targeted employment area (TEA) where applicable
- Letter from the State RE TEA
- Letter from Municipality (optional)
13. Lifting of conditional residency I-829, funds invested or actively investing, substantial capital investment requirement met
- i. Job creation
- ii. Foreign direct investment
15. No criminal record
16. Spouse and children considerations
- Integrate all components of case
18. I-526 application
If all qualifications fit, an application for immigration investor status will be available through the completion and filing of the I-526 application. Included in the filing are: extensive documentation recognizing the commercial investment, the I-5 26, and supporting documents, which are then submitted to the USCIS for review.
Acquiring lawful permanent residence (“Green Card”) through the EB-5 category is a three step self-petitioning process:
- The successful applicant must obtain approval of his or her Form I-526 Petition for an Alien Entrepreneur;
- He or she must either file an I-485 application to adjust status to lawful permanent resident, or apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the United States. The EB-5 applicant (and he or her derivative family members) are granted conditional permanent residence for a two year period upon the approval of the I-485 application or upon entry into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa;
- A Form I-829 Petition by an Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions must be filed 90 days prior to the two year anniversary of the granting of the EB-5 applicant’s conditional Green Card. If this petition is approved by CIS then the EB-5 applicant will be issued a new Green Card without any further conditions attached to it, and will be allowed to permanently live and work in the United States