Ni Hao, my name is Gregory Finkelson and I am the President of American Corporate Services Law Offices, Inc.
Let me introduce myself and our company, to make sure that you have more information about us:
I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and I moved from Moscow to San Francisco in 1991.
The most important part of our introduction is to introduce Cecilia, she is our immigration attorney – a double attorney because she is licensed in China and she is also licensed to practice Law here in the United States.
Now, let’s talk about what we do: we mostly do immigration services and corporate services.
Talking about corporate services – we have registered our company in every state of the United States. We provide bookkeeping, accounting, taxes and legal support for our clients.
Today, we will mostly discuss the immigration services that we provide, and also about business and investment visas.
Let me list the visas that we will discuss today:
- EB5 Investment Visa
Let’s start with the EB5, that is widely known in China.
The EB5 is an investment visa and an immigrant visa. Using this visa, you will get a permanent visa to the United States, known as a ‘green card.’
There are only 3 requirements for the EB5 Visa:
- you need to invest a minimum of $500k into the US economy
- you need to create at least 10 new jobs
- you need to prove that your funds are legitimate.
What is important to know is that eventually you don’t have to invest your money into someone else’s business like a regional center or a direct project – you can invest this money in your own project. In such case you will be taking care of your business and have full control of your money.
What is also not well known in China is that you don’t have to invest the whole $500k amount at once. Eventually, you can invest $100k at once, then add maybe $50k or $25k per month – it depends in which business you invest.
The second requirement is 10 new jobs for Americans. If you go through a regional center, they will take care of it – you don’t have to worry. If you go through someone else’s direct project they will also take care of it but they will have to hire direct jobs. The regional center will eventually be able to directly hire for those jobs.
If you have your own project, you have to take care of at least 10 new jobs for Americans.
The good news if you go with your own business is that you don’t have to hire all 10 employees at the start of your operations. Eventually, after you file your I526 application for your EB5 you will have 2-3 years before you need to have the full 10 employees as your staff.
The third thing is proving that your money is legitimate. This can be proved by your tax or business records or real estate sales, or other sources.
Of course I understand that this sounds complicated, but you wont have to do it yourself – you will not be able to do it yourself. Either way, you need to hire attorneys who are licensed in the US and who speak your language to help you with your EB5 application. We will help you from the first step to the end of the process.
That was some brief information about the EB5 immigrant investment visa. Now we will go to the next visa; the L1.
The L1 visa is a work visa and it’s a non-immigrant visa.
How does the L1 work? You have a company in China and your company decides to open a representative office in the US and to transfer you to supervise this US daughter company.
What are the requirements for a Chinese mother company?
First; the company should have been registered for more than three years and you are supposed to have been working at this company for at least one year during the last three.
Your Chinese company is supposed to have enough funds to support your daughter company in the US and all its expenses : office space, your salary, other salaries and advertisements etc for your business.
The L1 visa is valid for several years. It is a non-immigrant visa. You’ll stay in the US for several years and then go back to China.
If you ask me, ‘Gregory, how can I transfer my L1 to a green card?’ – I have an answer for you.
You have 2 options : 1, your business will grow, there will be more funds and you’ll be able to apply for the EB5 that we discussed before.
The second option - if your business grows, you’ll get more staff, more profit, more growth and you’ll be able to switch to the EB1C visa.
The EB1C is an immigrant visa that was created for extraordinary experts in the field of business.
What are the requirements for EB1C?
First of all, you need to show that you have created new business and that the business is very successful.
Secondly, if on the L1 you supervise one secretary and one driver, for the EB1C that is not enough…
In such cases, to qualify for the EB1C visa, you don’t need to supervise employees but you need to supervise managers. These managers will supervise the employees.
Let’s say you have 3 managers and each of them supervises 2 employees, that’s about 10 staff that you will have in your US company.
Also we would recommend that you have made at least $500k profit in the last year, before applying for the EB1C.
So today we have discussed the immigrant visa EB5, the work visa L1 and the EB1C for extraordinary business people.
Let’s discuss one more visa that is not very well known in China: the E2 visa.
Citizens of China are not qualified to apply for the E2 visa because there is no treaty signed between China and the US.
Let me explain how it works : You should be an investor. We would recommend you to invest at least $100k in the US economy… it could be in any field of the US economy.
The positive side of the E2 visa is that is could be valid forever. As long as you keep you investment in the US it will be valid, and you could stay here forever.
If you compare the L1 with the E2, the E2 sounds much easier and more productive for you. You don’t have to have a Chinese company, you don’t have to keep the Chinese company active and you don’t have to create a US company.
It’s much less complicated and it could last forever, unlike the L1 which will only be valid for a number of years.
If you ask me, ‘Gregory we are Chinese –why should we care about the E2 if it is not valid for the Chinese?’
There is one trick, a legal trick:
Our clients, citizens of China who want to obtain the E2 visa, they go to the Carribean and obtain citizenship in the Caribbean.
We work closely with several countries in the Caribbean: St Lucia, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis etc – they provide citizenship for a pretty good price - $200k - $400k and you can get the citizenship in 2-3 months.
When you invest in the Caribbean you usually have two options: one, to give it to the government, a government related fund or enterprise…and two, to buy real estate for yourself.
So, we will help you to make sure that your investment in the Caribbean will not be risky and you will not lose your money.
This two step process: first, get Caribbean citizenship, then second get the E2 visa as a citizen of the Dominican, for example.
Today, we have discussed the EB5, EB1C, L1 and E2 visas.
Now, I want to give some information on how you can use the EB5 in combination with the L1 visa.
If you file the I526 petition for an EB5 visa, it will take almost 3 years to get a green card (if you are Chinese).
You have two options, here.
1 – you can peacefully wait in China for the 3 years until you get your green card, then go to the US.
2- if you don’t want to wait for years in China, or you want to send your wife and child to the United States earlier, we can help you with option number 2.
We can file the I526 petition for an EB5 visa and at the same time we can file for an L1 for you.
We can expedite the L1 and it will take 2 weeks to get your approval: so, after 2 weeks you can travel to the US.
This L1 visa will allow you to not have to wait for 3 years in China… you can wait in the US and travel easily between the US and China throughout this period.
Today we discussed the EB5 immigrant investment visa, we discussed the L1 work visa, the EB1C visa for extraordinary business people, and the E2 invesment visa.
This will be the end of our discussion today.
Our attorney is licensed in the US – we can help you if you are located in China or in any city or state of United States or any other country.
Come over, you can go to our website, you will see it on the screen – it is www.business-visa-usa.cn.
You can always contact us by phone on (San Francisco area code) 415-682-2550 and also you will see our WeChat account – you can use WeChat and we will talk with you in your language.
Thank you very much and we will see you soon. Thank you, Cecilia – Xie xie!