We have been getting numerous injuries from our Turkish EB-5 clients regarding the new restrictions on non-immigrant visas at US embassies in Turkey. Our clients are asking question such question as: “Will the new non-immigrant visa restrictions jeopardize my EB-5 application?” The simple answer is no. The EB-5 green card application is an immigrant visa and the new restrictions at the US Embassies in Turkey are only regarding non-immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas are F-1, O-1, B-1, B-2, L1A, H1B, P-1, J-1, E-1, and E-2, which are not being issued at this time. However, EB-5 green cards are being normally processed at the US embassies in Ankara and Istanbul. Another question we have received regarding EB-5 is, “Will there be any problem with the regional center returning EB-5 applicant’s funds back to their personal account in Turkey?” First, there are no present restrictions regarding EB-5 funds being transferred back from the USA to a Turkish bank account.

In addition, after the EB-5 investor has received their green card, they can direct the regional center to transfer their investment funds to any account they may have throughout the world. The EB-5 green card holder can also keep the money in the United States and is under no obligation to move the investment funds back to Turkey. Our Turkish clients are concerned about the deteriorating relationship with the US government and the Turkish government; however, we have reminded our clients that EB-5 applications are still processed for countries such as Iran. Therefore, regardless of how bad the US-Turkish relations become, the EB-5 investment program for Turkish nationals will always be an avenue in which to obtain a green card relatively quickly for Turkish citizens.

The Diversity Lottery (DV lottery) has specific rules. Often immigration attorneys are forced to sue USCIS if it gets close to the September 30th deadline to act on the application because it would cause immediate and irreparable harm. The applicant needs to receive their green card before September 30th of the DV lottery year.

On occasion we needed to go in front of a judge and argue that our client needs to have a US CIS interview or they would suffer serious harm because of the September 30thdeadline, and, usually the judge orders the government to proceed with the I – 485 (application for permanent residence/green card) interview.

We can sue the USCIS because there will be an irreparable harm to the lottery winner if the green card is not issued by September 30th as the application becomes void and there is no chance to receive green card even if you can prove that immigration made a mistake in your application.

For example, even if you have a letter from USCIS saying that they lost your file and that is why they could not give you a green card you would still lose the case because the law is very clear the DV green card needs to be issued by September 30th or the application becomes void.

Ideally we would need 15 recommendation letters, from tennis schools (the more prestigious the schools is the better) that are willing to say he has extraordinary ability as a tennis coach. Maybe one or two famous politicians or famous celebrities to write that he does private lessons for their son or daughter (that is only if he runs out of schools because schools are the most important. We would want variation of letters, some from school outside of United States and some schools in United States. We would help prepare the letters, but we would obviously need information from the school.
For example, we would want information such as the school teaches 500 students year, they are prodigious tennis school, some of their students have gone on to play professional tennis, and provide the school’s website. (We understand schools will be able to say that but we would need as much information as possible for us to school to write a detailed draft of a recommendation letter)
Obviously, we want to provide all the documentation of his success as a tennis player. All awards, pictures of trophies, articles about him in English, and any other language which would need to be translated. We would also need some basic information about the school that is sponsoring this person.
With the aforementioned you would have a strong chance of obtaining an O-1 visa.
*** New York Immigration Lawyer Andrew P. Johnson was a former prosecutor and has exclusively practiced immigration law of over 15 years. The Law Offices of Andrew P. Johnson is located at 65 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10006, phone 212 693 3355, email info@lawapj.com.

How to prepare a B-1 letter for the Embassy

Many of our Business Clients want us to provide them with an example for B-1/B-2 visa support letter to the Embassy. We provide these separate examples for the Foreign Company to choose from:

 

August 4, 2015
United States Embassy
Consular Section
Nonimmigrant Visa Unit
LOCATION

________________________________________
Re: Application for B-1, Visitor for Business Visa
For: Mr. John Doe
________________________________________

Dear US Consular Officer,

We issue this letter in support of Mr. John Doe’s application for B-1 Nonimmigrant Visa so that he may travel to the United States on business in order to consult with the U.S. managers/personnel, as well as U.S. based accountants and business specialists.

Our company in the United States is a subsidiary of XYZ International based in Switzerland. Our international company engages in wholesale and retail of fashion and high end luxury merchandise. Some of our world-wide locations include stores in: New York, Miami, Paris (France), Vienna (Austria), Milan (Italy), Doha (Qatar), Ibiza (Spain), Dusseldorf (Germany), Knokke (Belgium), Hong Kong, Wuhan (China), Casablanca (Morocco), Seoul (South Korea), Dubai (UAE), St. Tropez (France) and others. Our company’s web-site is located at www.xyz.com

Mr. Doe is currently employed by our company as Store Operations Manager. In this capacity he reviews and plan operations for our showrooms, as well as supervises and coordinates of sales and marketing departments and personnel.

For the period of approximately next 5-6 months, Mr. Doe is required to travel to and out of the United States on business in order to meet with our U.S. based store managers business consultations pertaining to operations of our current U.S. based stores.

During the period of next 5-6 months Mr. Doe is expected to hold business consultations/meetings with:

 Manager at Beverly Hills, CA location, Mr. Edward Smith;
 Manager at our New York, NY location Ms. Ann Powell;
 Legal representative, Mr. Frank Atkins Esq. of Atkins and Atkins;
 Ms. Eva Ziber with the firm of Brown and Co, New York, NY;
 Staff involved with our planned store openings in San Diego, CA and Dallas, TX.

Mr. Joe’s business related expenses will be covered by our company in Europe and, as shown above, his temporary and brief visits will be aimed to further international business of our global companies.

Please feel free to contact me should you require any additional information.

Sincerely,
FOREIGN COMPANY’S REP
TITLE

 

August 4, 2015
United States Embassy
Consular Section
Nonimmigrant Visa Unit
LOCATION

________________________________________
Re: Application for B-1, Visitor for Business Visa
For: Mr. John Doe
________________________________________

Dear US Consular Officer,

We issue this letter in support of Mr. Doe’s application for B-1 Nonimmigrant Visa so that he may travel to the United States on business in order to consult with the U.S. managers/personnel, as well as U.S. based accountants and business specialists.

Our company in the United States is a subsidiary of XYZ International based in Switzerland. Our international company engages in wholesale and retail of fashion and high end luxury merchandise. Some of our world-wide locations include stores in: New York, Miami, Paris (France), Vienna (Austria), Milan (Italy), Doha (Qatar), Ibiza (Spain), Dusseldorf (Germany), Knokke (Belgium), Hong Kong, Wuhan (China), Casablanca (Morocco), Seoul (South Korea), Dubai (UAE), St. Tropez (France) and others. Our company’s web-site is located at www.xyz.com

Mr. Doe is currently employed by our company as Store Operations Manager. In this capacity he reviews and helps to plan operations for our showrooms, as well as supervises and coordinates of sales and marketing departments and personnel.

For the period of approximately next 5-6 months, Mr. Doe is required to travel to and out of the United States on business in order to meet with our U.S. based store managers for business consultations pertaining to operations of our current U.S. based stores.

Mr. Doe business related expenses will be covered by our company in Europe and, as shown above.

Please feel free to contact me should you require any additional information.

Sincerely,
FOREIGN COMPANY’S REP
TITLE

 

August 4, 2015
United States Embassy
Consular Section
Nonimmigrant Visa Unit
LOCATION

________________________________________
Re: Application for B-1, Visitor for Business Visa
For: Mr. John Doe
________________________________________

Dear US Consular Officer,

We issue this letter in support of Mr. John Doe’s application for B-1 Nonimmigrant Visa so that he may travel to the United States on business in order to consult with the U.S. managers/personnel.

Our company in the United States is a subsidiary of XYZ- International based in Switzerland. Our international company engages in wholesale and retail of fashion and high end luxury merchandise. Some of our world-wide locations include stores in: New York, Miami, Paris (France), Vienna (Austria), Milan (Italy), Doha (Qatar), Ibiza (Spain), Dusseldorf (Germany), Knokke (Belgium), Hong Kong, Wuhan (China), Casablanca (Morocco), Seoul (South Korea), Dubai (UAE), St. Tropez (France) and others. Our company’s web-site is located at www.xyz.com

Mr. Doe is currently employed by our company as Store Operations Manager.

For the period of approximately next 5-6 months, Mr. Doe is required to travel to the United States on business in order to meet with our U.S. based store managers for business consultations pertaining to operations of our current U.S. based stores.

Mr. Doe’s business related expenses will be covered by our company in Europe.
Please feel free to contact me should you require any additional information.

Sincerely,
FOREIGN COMPANY’S REP
TITLE

 

A: Eventually your friend needs to wire the money from his personal account to your personal account.

For any money that your friend plans on using from any of his business accounts, we need to see a contract of some type where a transaction occurred showing how he earned that money that is in his bank account. If possible, we would like to see the contract and if there are any customs or duties tax payments on the contract. As much documentation as possible showing a contract in which he earned the money.

For example, we want to submit each transaction separately. We will give you a hypothetical of what we would want to submit to US CIS to show how the EB – 5 gift transfer was earned legally. Contract between shipping company A and shipping company B for the amount of $150,000. Upon the purchase of four large containers, by shipping company B, which will then wire $150,000 to shipping Company A’s Business account.

The $150,000 earned in this contract was then wired to Mr. X’s Personal bank account.

As you can see in the above example, the EB 5 source of funding needs to be tracked from a legal transaction. Gifted funds from a friend does not legalize the source of funding. We need to prove to US CIS how the friend was able to obtain the EB 5 funds through a legal source.

***Andrew P. Johnson, a New York Immigration Lawyer, practices immigration law and has litigated immigration cases throughout the country. His office handles all immigration issues and problems. The Law Offices of Andrew P. Johnson has submitted proposed regulations for Congress in order to help streamline the USCIS. In addition, Andrew P. Johnson, has been invited to speak in front of United States ambassadors and United Nations ambassadors regarding all aspects of immigration law. The law office can reach for comments regarding Immigration Reform at 212.693.3355 or info@lawapj.com.

Q: Can I receive an O-1 visa as a hairstylist?

A: We have done numerous O-1 visas, and USCIS is often much more flexible on this visa than they are with other work visas. However it comes down to the quality of the recommendation letters. In addition, secondary evidence such as articles about you, any type of awards or prestigious invitations within your industry, pictures of prestigious salons using your hair styles as advertisements. (These are just ideas and not mandatory)

So what we would like on our side is for you to write a resume, and list the secondary evidence that you can eventually produce. In addition, the possible recommendation letters you can get, we just need their name their job title, and a couple of sentences which demonstrate that they have some expertise or some influence in the field.

With that we can do in an evaluation regarding the potential success of your O-1 visa case.

***Andrew P. Johnson, a New York Immigration Lawyer, practices immigration law and has litigated immigration cases throughout the country. His office handles all immigration issues and problems. The Law Offices of Andrew P. Johnson has submitted proposed regulations for Congress in order to help streamline the USCIS. In addition, Andrew P. Johnson, has been invited to speak in front of United States ambassadors and United Nations ambassadors regarding all aspects of immigration law. The law office can reach for comments regarding Immigration Reform at 212.693.3355 or info@lawapj.com.

E2 visa is different because it does not lead to a green card. It is a temporary visa that can be renewed on a two or five year basis, and the requirements for an E2 visa is about $100,000 investment into United States where you have to set up a business and then to see the money spent in the United States. USCIS is getting much stricter with these visas, and is also requiring usually a minimum of two or three people on payroll along with making sure the hundred thousand dollars has been spent on the US business in United States.

What is the new countries added to TPS (temporary protective status)?

The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.

If an individual cannot prove how they obtained their $500,000, they can ask a wealthy friend to give them the $500,000. If the wealthy friend gifts the $500,000 for the EB-5 applicant, the wealthy friend will have to show how his $500,000 gift was legally obtained.

So hypothetically, the wealthy friend has a salary of $200,000 a year and deposited the money into his personal account. Once $500,000 from his salary is deposited into his personal bank account that should be enough proof of the legal source of funding. However if during that time money was taken out of that personal account and different money from different sources was deposited into the applicant’s personal account the legal source of funding has not been approved.

So even if $500,000 of legally earned money is deposited into the wealthy friend’s bank account that may not be enough to prove legal source of funding, if at any time money was taken out of that account and money was re-deposited from each separate source.

As you can see, to prove the EB-5 source of funding to the US government imposes is a higher burden of proof.

But as with every case we would look at the individual’s total financial situation and find the clearest path to prove the legal source of funding for the EB – 5 program.

One option is to file the EB – 5 relatively soon, and simply come to the United States on a B – 2 visa and come and go whenever you would like. You and your family will pick up EB-5 visa at the US embassy. If the children want to stay in the US while waiting for the EB-5, they can apply to private school and you can get a B – 2 extension, which is commonly granted when applied for the first time. (That would allow you and your children and your spouse 12 months stay in United States.

We prefer this option for the reason that there will never be an issue with the embassy as you will always be following the requirements of a B – 2 visa (i.e. your children never took any public funds, you followed your B – 2 visa within the requirements of US CIS regulation, etc.)

You may have negative stories about people getting their permanent residency card at the embassy. However, once an EB – 5 has been approved by the USCIS and been approved at the National Visa Center, there should be no issue at the embassy as every aspect of the case has been approved prior except for security evaluations.

And that will not be an issue in your case since you have already have gone through the security evaluations because you and your family were previously issued B – 2 visas.

What is required of EB-5 investor?

He or she must show the last five years of tax returns, proof that they have any ownership of businesses, a police certificate, last five years of bank statements, document showing any criminal convictions, and identification documents, and most importantly he or she must show how the money was legally earned.

What is source of funding, or origin of fund?

This is the most difficult part of the EB – 5 process, simply because $500,000 invested must originate from a legal source. Most businessmen obtain money through legal source but then transferred it into multiple investments, which needs to be tracked in order to use that money for the EB 5 program.

For example, if someone sold some real estate in the country three years ago and made $700,000, that $700,000 would have probably been allocated into another business ventures and mixed with other from non-traceable sources. At least $500,000 has to be retraced and brought back into a personal bank account in order for the person to claim they have a legal source of funding.

In order to prove the legal source of funding, US CIS not only needs all the real estate sales documents, but also records of all the wire transfers to the various accounts and proof of funds being sent back to the individual’s personal account.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 8

New York Office

65 Broadway Suite 1603
New York, New York 10006

Andrew P. Johnson - Immigration Lawyer