A group of immigrants are suing the U.S. government over delays in processing their citizenship applications. The 13 plaintiffs filed a suit against the federal government on Wednesday for what they call unreasonable delays after submitting their naturalization applications in spring 2020.
The suit, filed by the American Immigration Council on behalf of the immigrants, names U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as well as the National Archives and Records Administration, which operates underground storage facilities housing immigration paperwork. These mile-long caves beneath Kansas City largely shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The closures meant that thousands of U.S. immigration applications were left languishing underground. Without those papers detailing an applicant’s immigration history, USCIS is unable to approve citizenship applications, leaving scores of immigrants stuck in limbo.
In March, the National Archives fully reopened its underground storage facilities, according to the Wall Street Journal, and there are now 87,500 pending requests for immigration papers, down from 350,000 in January.
Yet USCIS still isn’t prioritizing citizenship applications over other immigration requests, which could mean thousands of would-be citizens won’t be able to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
“We’re concerned that if they’re not proactive and don’t focus on naturalization applications, they have a risk of harm that no one else does,” Leslie Dellon, staff attorney at the American Immigration Council, told the Wall Street Journal.
On April 29, USCIS hosted a listening session to inform EB-5 Stakeholders of changes to the regional center program and address their issues and concerns related to the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act. Crucially USCIS clarified at this session that regional centers which existed prior to the program’s lapse of authorization in June 2021 are no longer approved and designated as regional centers. Per the language on USCIS’ website “Entities seeking to be designated as a regional center are required to file Form I-956, Application for Regional Center Designation. The USCIS will be publishing this new form, including the form instructions, with additional information regarding the filing process by May 14, 2022.”
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT REGIONAL CENTERS AND INVESTORS ?
USCIS’s announcement of this policy comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the text of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act does not mention a requirement for existing regional centers to re-designate under the new law. Rather, the policy is based on USCIS’ interpretation of the bill. First and foremost, the policy places existing regional centers in a state of limbo, as they are no longer legally considered regional centers under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act. These “entities” as USCIS refers to them, will need to have an approved I-956 to be re-designated as regional centers and continue sponsoring new I-526 petitions in the future.
This obviously raises issues for investors with an approved I-526 who have yet to receive their EB-5 visa, as their petition is no longer associated with a designated regional center. However, USCIS has announced that investors may still be able to establish eligibility, “by demonstrating compliance with other applicable requirements (primarily investment and job creation, including indirect job creation as provided under the former statute).”
Most concerning about this policy is how it will affect regional centers who do not apply for re-designation. As per the USCIS announcement, regional centers only need to file I-956 if they wish to support new investor petitions in the future. Additionally, the agency will no longer accept Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center, from existing regional centers who are not filing for re-designation. This may lead to a situation where USCIS will have little oversight over existing regional centers (with active projects and investors) that choose not to apply for re-designation.
It seems, USCIS’ decision to deauthorize all existing regional centers and require them to file Form I-956 might have unintended consequences. Rather than allowing the EB-5 Regional Center program to start up again smoothly, the agency has created hurdles for the EB-5 industry after it has already spent nearly a year in limbo waiting for Congress to reauthorize the program. It is noteworthy that the agency’s decision to relinquish its oversight over existing regional centers who do not apply for re-designation runs counter the EB-5 Reform and Integrity act’s goal of ensuring integrity and accountability in the program. Litigation challenging the re-designation policy has already been filed by Behring Regional Center, but it will remain to be seen if USCIS is willing to budge.
In recent years, the EB-5 visa has seen a rise in popularity amongst Indian nationals who wish to emigrate to America. Indian Nationals received 17% of all EB-5 visas issued in fiscal year 2020 and that number is likely to increase in the coming years especially after the pandemic and the USA EB-5 Reauthorization of March 2022. So what is the explanation for India’s recent EB-5 boom?
1. Increasing restrictions on other visa categories
One of the unique aspects of the EB-5 program is its lack of restrictions. Immigrant investors need not worry about employment or education requirements; the EB-5 program only requires that participants invest in an American new commercial enterprise with legally sourced funds, and that their investment create full-time American jobs. When compared to the restrictions on other employment based visas it’s clear that the EB-5 program is significantly less restrictive.
2. The EB-5 program offers a faster path to Immigration
Other visa categories have a much longer timeline before an applicant can obtain a visa, such as the EB-2 Program which can take upwards of 10 years. Compare that to the EB-5 program, which currently has no backlog of Indian applicants, meaning that Indian investors can apply to receive an EB-5 visa as soon as their I-526 petition is approved.
Although the EB-5 program requires a minimum investment of $800,000 (provided that the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area), it includes green cards for the principal investor, their spouse and all their unmarried children under the age of twenty one. Whether an investor has one child or four or more they could all potentially qualify for a green card under the principal applicant’s petition, which makes the EB-5 visa the most efficient option to obtain green cards for your family.
4. The EB-5 visa also offers more freedom once the investor is in the U.S.
The EB-5 investor is not required to live near their investment. They can purchase a home and live anywhere in the U.S. After living in the U.S., EB-5 investors and their family even qualify for in-state tuition fees.
5. Regional Centers Minimize Risk
The vast majority of immigrant investors utilize regional centers to minimize risk. Rather than creating a new commercial enterprise on their own, EB-5 investors invest in regional centers. This has several benefits, regional centers projects’ are typically located in TEAs to ensure investors only need to invest the minimum $800,000 to receive their EB-5 visa, they also have easier job creation requirements. These benefits reduce the risk involved in investing in the EB-5 Program, and trusted regional centers often boast a near perfect record of their investors receiving visas.
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The capital for an EB-5 investment can be obtained through a loan from a financial institute with the investor’s assets as collateral. The collateral, however, cannot be the very EB-5 assets the EB-5 applicant invest in. An investor will also need to prove to USCIS the legal source of funds used to purchase or obtain the assets used as the collaterals for the loan.
Can I apply for EB-5 while on H1b?
An H1-b visa holder can apply for an EB-5 visa while working in the United States and remain in valid status. If the I-526 petition is approved and a visa number is available when the H-1b visa holder is legally working in the U.S., an I-485 petition can be filed to adjust the applicant’s status to become a conditional permanent resident.
Borrowed money can be used as part of the EB-5 investment as long as it is secured by collateral from the applicant. Gifted money could also be authenticated for the purpose of EB-5 when the donor can provide clear documentation on the source of the gifted funds.
Can I work with EB-5 visa?
An EB-5 investor is eligible to work for any U.S. employees after becoming a conditional permanent resident or obtaining work authorizations. Investors do not need to work for the regional center through which they make the investment. If investors or dependents want to work for the very EB-5 business they invest in, they should be aware that their positions may not be used to fulfill the job creation criteria.
If applicants live in the United States as undocumented immigrants, they are generally not eligible for the benefits of the EB-5 program. This is because even if their I-526s are approved, they are not able to legally adjust their status in the U.S. since they don’t have legal status in the first place. If leaving the country and proceeding with consular processing, they will first be faced with immigration bars that might prevent them from entering the country for an extended period.
Do EB-5 investors get their money back?
EB-5 investors may get the full or part of their invested money back when their immigration and investment cycles are completed. Many regional centers would include the terms and conditions of this exit procedures in the investment agreement or other documents. USCIS also requires that EB-5 investors maintain their investment “at risk” during the two years of conditional permanent residency.
Does EB-5 really work?
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program was created in 1990 by Congress to incentivize foreign investment and stimulate the American job market. The program not only benefits the U.S. with inflows of foreign capitals to underdeveloped regions or areas with high unemployment rates, but also offers foreign investors access to world-class jobs, education and healthcare opportunities. For instance, 7,889 foreign investors and their family members received immigrant visas through EB-5 in FY 2019, according to the U.S. Department of State.
Participating in the EB-5 program is a demanding process that requires planning and careful execution for both investors and their legal/financial representatives. The first step is to locate an EB-5 project, either through a regional center or via a direct investment opportunity. Once a project is selected, the investment is made and the required documents are prepared, an investor can file an I-526 petition to USCIS. If approval is issued and when the investor’s priority date becomes current, he or she can apply for an EB-5 visa at the U.S. consulate or file an adjustment of status petition if located in the U.S.
How does EB-5 investment work?
The amount of required investments for each EB-5 applicant varies depending on the location of the business an investor selects. If investing in a Targeted Employment Area, the investment threshold is $800,000. Project developers can use EB-5 investments as a powerful source of funds for their development projects. Existing businesses can also attract foreign investors with direct investment opportunities to scale up and create more jobs with the EB-5 capital.
How do I get my EB-5 money?
Regional centers usually have detailed terms and conditions on the return of investors’ EB-5 capital in the investment agreement or other documents. Investors need to review these documents with their EB-5 attorneys carefully to understand the exit strategies before any investment is made. Investors also need to understand that USCIS requires the EB-5 capital to be kept “at risk” during the conditional permanent residency, which means that investors can not get their EB-5 money back during this period if they want to keep their immigration benefits.
Can I get a loan for an EB-5 visa?
Generally speaking, prospective investors can take bank loans to participate in the EB-5 program. However, the loan must be secured by assets, and the collateral cannot be the very EB-5 business one invests in. Investors also need to submit to USCIS the thorough documentation on the terms and conditions of the loan.
How long does it take for EB-5 to work?
EB-5 processing times are case-specific. USCIS’ website publishes the estimated processing times of various EB-5 forms at different service centers. For an investor from a country without visa backlogs, once the I-526 is approved, he or she can either file a DS-260 and obtain an EB-5 visa to enter the U.S., or proceed with an I-485 application to adjust status while in the U.S. Upon approval, the investor can live and work without restrictions and start to enjoy the benefits of EB-5.
How long does the EB-5 process take?
The EB-5 process, which includes the processing of Forms I-526, I-485 and I-829, varies based on the workload of different USCIS service centers across the U.S. and other case-specific factors. USCIS updates its website on the estimated case processing times for each form, which can be used by investors as a general guideline. Investors coming from backlogged countries may experience longer waits.
How many EB-5 visas are issued each year?
About 10,000 visas are reserved every fiscal year for the EB-5 visa category. These visas are issued to EB-5 investors, their spouses and dependent children under 21. Each country can take up to 7.1% of the annual visa quota. Unused visas are allocated to investors from countries with high demands.
How much does an EB-5 visa cost?
In addition to the amount of investment and filing fees required by USCIS for the EB-5 program, investors may also need to pay for the legal, administrative and due diligence services associated with an EB-5 application. The required EB-5 investment is $900,000 for a project located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and from $1,000,000 to $1,050,000 for a project in a non-TEA. Investors must also pay the filing fees for the EB-5 forms – I-526, I-485 or DS-260, and I-829. Many investors retain an immigration attorney to help them handle the processing and filing of their applications, and some might hire taxation experts for pre-immigration tax planning and due diligence teams to conduct research on project candidates, which might incur extra costs.
How much should I invest in EB-5?
The investment criteria of the EB-5 investment vary depending on the location of the project a foreign investor selects. If a project is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the minimum investment is $800,000. For projects in non-TEAs from $1,000,000 to $1,050,000. In March 2022, there were several significant changes to TEA designations. EB-5 investors should check the TEA-eligibility of a project before initiating any EB-5 applications.
Is EB-5 Worth it?
Since its inception in 1990, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has helped thousands of foreign investors and their families realize their American dreams. With world-class education, healthcare and social welfare, the U.S. has a lot to offer to foreign individuals who can help develop the country. Unlike other visa routes that have strict requirements on the applicants’ age, education or business background, the EB-5 program is accessible for almost every foreign investor, as long as the required investment can be proven to come from legal sources.
Is EB-5 Expired?
Established by the U.S. Congress in 1990 in an effort to stimulate foreign investment, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a permanent visa program that has run successfully for over 30 years. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, created in 1993, allowed investors to participate in the program through a regional center. Although it is not a permanent program, it has been consistently reauthorized. During the past years, there have also been strong incentives in the EB-5 legislation to make the pilot program permanent.
Is EB-5 Safe?
It is crucial for potential investors to understand that participating in the EB-5 program, by its nature, is to engage in an investment activity where gains and losses can occur. There is no guarantee for the safety of one’s capital in an EB-5 project. It is also required by USCIS that EB-5 investors need to maintain their investments “at risk” during the two-year conditional permanent residency. However, with thorough planning and due diligence, an investor can minimize their investment risks and increase the possibility of getting their investment capital back.
What happens to the money invested in EB-5?
The EB-5 capital from a foreign investor is used by a U.S. business to complete the selected project and create American jobs. It is also a common practice for regional centers to first deposit an investor’s money in an escrow account until the investor’s I-526 petition is approved by USCIS, in order to reduce the risks an EB-5 investor bears. For a direct EB-5 project, the EB-5 funds could be used to invest in inventory, equipment or other tangible properties.
What is golden visa USA?
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is the American equivalence of the so-called “Golden Visa” program, which is used in many EU countries to attract foreign investment in exchange for the benefit of residency or citizenship rights. With an investment, a foreign investor, the spouse and their children under 21 years old can get U.S. green cards and potentially become U.S. citizens if other requirements are met.
What is the fastest way to get U.S. citizenship?
Although the United States provides several paths for foreign nationals to obtain citizenship, including family-based and employment-based immigration, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is an efficient way towards U.S. permanent residency and potentially citizenship, while making a significant contribution to under-served communities and creating American jobs. The processing time of EB-5 varies on a case-by-case basis.
Who is eligible for EB-5?
To be eligible for the EB-5 program, investors need to be able to make the required investment in a U.S. business and create jobs. Potential investors must also be able to prove the legal source of funds for their investment to qualify. Unlike investment immigration programs from some other countries that have strict criteria on the applicants’ net worth, the EB-5 program does not impose such requirements on applicants. Investors also don’t need to show that they are accredited investors, as demanded by SEC for other types of securities offerings.
What is a “targeted employment area”?
A targeted employment area (TEA) is a rural area or a location with a high rate of unemployment. EB-5 investors who make their investment in a TEA can enjoy the reduced investment threshold. However, not all rural areas or regions of high unemployment qualify as a targeted employment area in the EB-5 field. The designation of a TEA is adjudicated as part of an investor’s I-526 petition. An investor must, in his or her petition, demonstrate that the location of the project meets the requirements of TEA.
What is included in calculating the investment amount?
In addition to the required investment amount in an EB-5 project, investors are also responsible to pay the filing fees of Form I-526, Form I-485 or DS-160, and Form I-829. Many investors also choose to retain services from legal, taxation and other professional teams during this process. For investors investing through a regional center, administration fees may also occur.
Must the entire amount of investment be made at the time of applying for the EB-5 Visa?
It is highly advisable that investors make the entire amount of investment required by the EB-5 program and keep full documentation on the source of funds at the time of filing an I-526 application. Insufficient investment or incomplete documentation may cause RFEs or denials from USCIS, which could be detrimental to an investor’s case.
Are there restrictions on the types of businesses in which the investment must be made?
Any lawful for-profit businesses, no matter which industry it is in or how it is structured, can be an EB-5 project. Some of the popular types of businesses include real estate, restaurants, medical facilities and infrastructure. The EB-5 business can be structured as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a holding company, a joint venture, a corporation, an LLC or other types of entities. Nonprofit organizations don’t qualify for EB-5.
What are the job creation and investment requirements, and do I need to create them myself for the EB-5 Visa Program? How do jobs qualify for projects that are already under construction?
The EB-5 program requires investors to create 10 full-time positions for permanent residents and citizens of the U.S. For regional center projects, both direct and indirect jobs can be used to fulfill the requirements on job creation, and investors working with a regional center are usually less involved in the job creation process, as the regional center would take the majority of such responsibilities. For investors in a direct EB-5 investment who are actively engaged in the daily operation of the EB-5 business, the fulfillment of the job creation criteria can be a challenge. Investors who participate in a project already under construction must pay special attention in demonstrating to USCIS the connection of their investment with the jobs created. This can sometimes be questionable as different projects allocate the jobs created to investors in different orders. Investors should consult with a qualified immigration attorney before any investment is made.
Can I invest in a troubled or failing business where the investment results in saving the business?
It is possible to invest in a troubled or failing business for the purpose of EB-5, saving the business, keeping the existing jobs and creating new jobs. Investors who are interested in this route of investment needs to first identify an investment target that meets USCIS’ definition of “troubled businesses.” Investors also need to be able to provide adequate documents and financial information of the business to USCIS. Also, due to its “troubled” nature, investors in such investments may be exposed to higher financial risks that might endanger their investment benefits.
May two or more investors qualify for immigration based on a pooled investment in a single business?
It is possible for two or more investors to participate in the EB-5 program and enjoy immigration benefits based on a pooled investment. This requires careful planning and proper structuring of the job-creating enterprise. Each participant in the money pool needs to meet the investment threshold, and the allocation of jobs created by the enterprise needs to be strategically planned to ensure that each participant can meet the job-creating requirements. It is highly advisable that investors interested in this investment route discuss with immigration, corporate and securities attorneys before any investment is made.
Are the investors free to travel after obtaining conditional permanent resident status?
Conditional permanent residents, like all other permanent residents, are free to travel in and out of the United States. However, to keep one’s status, an EB-5 investor needs to pay attention to the physical presence requirements imposed on all green card holders. If an investor needs to be out of the U.S. for an extended period of time, it is of great importance that he or she applies for the necessary travel documents in advance to avoid any issues when trying to enter the country again as a permanent resident.
Is the immigration status granted to the investor valid indefinitely?
Once investors’ I-526 applications are approved, they obtain the status of “conditional” permanent resident, which is valid for two years. If all other requirements are met, they can then file I-829 applications at the end of their conditional permanent residency to remove the conditions. Upon approval, investors are granted 10-year green cards that can be renewed indefinitely as long as other requirements imposed on permanent residents are met.
What documents must be filed with the petition?
Although every case is unique and various supporting documents can be submitted to validify the case, generally speaking, an I-526 petition package must include the proof that the required amount of investment has been made by the investor in an EB-5 eligible project and the project has received or will receive the investment. USCIS is also looking for documents with a detailed description of how the investment funds were obtained by the investor through legal means. Investors also need to include a business plan in the application packages, explaining how the required jobs will be created by the money they invested.
What documentation must be presented to prove that the investor’s funds came from a lawful source?
Documents that can be used to prove the legal source of funds for an EB-5 application include tax return documents, pay stubs, bank statements, trading/bonds/stocks and other securities statements. If the principal petitioner obtains the investment funds as a gift from parents or other relatives, a legal declaration and documents to demonstrate the legal source of funds from the donors are also needed.
What is the procedure for an investor to qualify as an immigrant based on the investment?
To obtain U.S. permanent residency through the EB-5 program, an investor needs to first locate a qualified EB-5 project and retain legal, tax and other necessary professionals. After due diligence is completed, the investor can start working on transferring the required amount of funds to the selected EB-5 project, while his or her immigration attorneys prepare and files an I-526 petition on the investor’s behalf. Upon I-526 approval, the investor becomes a conditional permanent resident of the U.S., either by filing an I-485 application to USCIS or a DS-260 to the U.S. consulate abroad. If the job-creating requirements are fulfilled, the investor can file an I-829 petition to USCIS at the end of his or her two-year conditional permanent residency. If approved, the investor becomes a permanent resident.
How many eb-5 visas are available every year?
Every fiscal year, about 10,000 visas are reserved for the EB-5 visa category, which are granted to EB-5 investors, their spouses and dependent children. Each country is allocated approximately 700 visas every year, while unused visas are distributed to investors from countries with high demands.
Is there an eb-5 visa waiting list?
About 10,000 visas are reserved every fiscal year for the EB-5 visa category and each country can take up to 7.1% of the annual visa quota. Because of this country limit, investors from countries where EB-5 visas are oversubscribed may encounter extended waiting time before visa numbers are available for them. Currently, only investors from mainland China and Vietnam are experiencing such visa backlogs.
Should I hire an immigration attorney to help me with EB-5?
Investors need to understand that EB-5 is a complex process that requires professional knowledge and expertise in U.S. immigration, securities, investment, taxation, among others. Any unadvised decisions may damage one’s immigration benefits. An immigration attorney not only helps the investor navigate the complexity of EB-5, but can also provide significant advice on other aspects of U.S. immigration, including travel, study and employment, to avoid accidental violation of U.S. immigration regulations that might endanger one’s EB-5 application.
Am I required to speak English to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program?
Unlike some investment immigration programs offered by other countries that impose strict criteria on the applicants’ language skills, business background and education, the EB-5 program does not require investors to speak English. However, investors need to make sure that they understand all the documents related to their EB-5 investment. This can be done by hiring a qualified translator. When attending the EB-5 visa interview at the U.S. consulate, investors may bring an interpreter to answer the questions from the consulate officers.
Am I required to be in good health to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program?
Certain health-related grounds could impact one’s admissibility in entering the United States. All non immigrants and immigrants, including EB-5 visa holders, are subject to these inadmissibility grounds. Prospective investors can find detailed descriptions of medical conditions that impact admissibility on USCIS’ website. EB-5 investors are also required to provide medical exam reports when applying for EB-5 visas at U.S. consulates abroad.
Are my family members eligible to qualify for an EB-5 visa?
Certain family members are eligible to enjoy the immigration benefits of EB-5 as the principal applicant’s dependent. Qualified family members include the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old. Parents, grand parents and siblings of the investor cannot be included in the EB-5 application.
Can my adopted children qualify for an EB-5 visa?
The eligibility of adopted children as an EB-5 beneficiary depends on the age of the children when the application is filed, the age of the children when the adoption takes legal effect, the country of origin of the adopted children, among other factors. Investors with adopted children need to consult with a qualified attorney before starting the EB-5 process.
Can I apply for an EB-5 visa if I have been rejected or terminated in the past by USCIS for an L1, E2, B or other visas?
The EB-5 eligibility of a prospective investor with a history of other types of visa denials depends on the reasons and grounds for the visa rejection. Generally speaking, a criminal history, past violation of U.S. immigration, fraudulent statements and grounds of inadmissibility could negatively impact the application success of all types of U.S. visas. It is advisable that investors fully disclose their previous visa denials to their immigration attorneys to determine the eligibility for EB-5.
What are the cost benefits of attending a U.S. university and is my child eligible for lower tuition rates under the EB-5 visa program?
To many foreign investors, attending a U.S. university means access to a world-class education, a strong employment market and a bright future for their children. Generally speaking, once an EB-5 investor and their families obtain conditional green cards, they are considered permanent residents of the U.S. and can enjoy benefits correspondingly. Rules for resident and nonresident tuition and fees vary depending on the states where investors reside and the types of universities of the investors’ choice.
What is a regional center?
An EB-5 regional center is an USCIS-designated organization, sponsoring capital investment from foreign investors to projects that fall under the USCIS-approved locations and industries. Participating in the EB-5 program through a regional center lightens the burden of job creation, in that both direct and indirect jobs can be counted to meet the job-creating requirement of EB-5. Regional centers can also help investors attend to the day-to-day operation of the new commercial enterprise and still ensure that investors have sufficient involvement in the EB-5 business to qualify for the program.
How can I find information on approved regional centers?
Investors can refer to USCIS’ website, where a list of designated regional centers in each state in the United States is published and updated regularly. The majority of regional centers would provide information on their completed projects, current offerings and track record on their own website.
How are EB-5 investments affiliated with regional centers structured?
There are different ways that EB-5 investments can be positioned in the capital stack of a project affiliated with a regional center. And there are no rules on the ratio of EB-5 capital versus other types of financing. In the most desirable situation for investors, EB-5 loans are placed at the top of the capital stack with an appropriate portion comparing with funds from other financing.
Are EB-5 regional center financing options cheaper for companies than other sources of capital?
Since the top priority for the majority of EB-5 investors is to obtain immigration benefits and preserve the invested capital, there is usually no high expectations on the return of investment for EB-5 loans. In many cases, using EB-5 funding as a source to sponsor a project is cheaper than traditional financing and other alternatives, where high interest rates are imposed and high returns are expected.
What risks do investors face in EB-5 regional center investments?
Participating in the EB-5 program is engaging in an investment activity, where gains and losses can occur. There is no guarantee for the safety of one’s capital in an EB-5 project. It is also required by USCIS that EB-5 investors need to maintain their investments “at risk” during the two-year conditional permanent residency. However, with meticulous planning and thorough due diligence, an investor can minimize their investment risks and increase the possibility of getting their investment capital back.
What risk do companies have in accepting EB-5 investments?
Companies accepting EB-5 investments must follow rules and requirements of EB-5 to protect the immigration benefits of their foreign investors. For instance, the money taken from investors must be used to create enough jobs; the type of positions created must fulfill USCIS’ requirements; the jobs need to be maintained during the conditional permanent residency of EB-5 investors. Business owners should consult with qualified immigration and securities attorneys before accepting any EB-5 financing.
What kind of background information is USCIS concerned with?
USCIS may look into investors’ criminal records and health-related grounds for inadmissibility. Investors will also be checked against the national security databases and databases related to money laundering or financial crimes.
When do I choose an EB-5 project and sign documents?
There are many factors to consider when it comes to selecting an EB-5 projects, and thorough due diligence on the track history, reputation and credibility of the regional center and other project sponsors is essential before any investment is made. When investors feel confident that they have put their money and the future of their families in good hands, investors should review all the documents with the help of their immigration attorneys to make sure there is no confusion or omission on the details of some significant aspects, including the EB-5 timeline and exiting strategies.
When do I prepare the I-526 petition / conditional green card application?
The preparation of the I-526 petition is usually done with the help of an immigration attorney and the sponsors of an EB-5 project. Investors need to submit documents on their personal information, as well as proof of the legal source of funds used for the investment. It is recommended that the preparation starts as early as possible to allow enough time for collecting necessary documents. Once an I-526 petition is approved and if the investor’s priority date is current, he or she can either file an I-485 application to USCIS and adjust the status, or file an DS-260 petition to apply for a visa at U.S. consulates overseas.
When do I receive my conditional green card after applying for EB-5?
Upon the approval of an I-526 petition, and if a visa number is available, the investor can either file an I-485 application to USCIS and adjust his or her status, or file and DS-260 petition to apply for a visa at U.S. consulates overseas. Investors will then become conditional permanent residents and receive their two-year green cards. Investors coming from backlogged countries may experience longer waits after the approval of I-526s.
When do I receive my permanent green card after applying for EB-5?
Ninety days before the second anniversary of one’s conditional permanent residency, an investor can start filing an I-829 application to USCIS to remove the condition on his or her green card. The submitted documents must prove that the job creation requirements have been fulfilled. Upon approval, the investor will be granted a permanent green card that is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely if other requirements are met.
Can my permanent green card be taken away? How do I keep my permanent green card after I receive it?
Just like permanent residents of the United State who receive their status through other means, EB-5 investors, after becoming a green card holder, are subject to the physical presence requirements. If an investors needs to be out of the U.S. for an extended period of time, it is of great importance that he or she applies for the necessary travel documents in advance to avoid any issues when trying to enter the country again as a permanent resident.
How much time must I spend in the U.S. each year to keep my permanent residency?
The physical presence requirements on green card holders depend on many factors. Generally, a permanent resident should not be absent from the United States for more than six months per year. Otherwise, his or her status might be deemed abandoned. It is also advisable for an investor to keep genuine ties with the United States, including having a valid driver’s license, keeping a U.S. mailing address, etc. If an investor with a green card needs to be out of the U.S. for an extended period of time, it is of great importance that he or she applies for the necessary travel documents (re-entry permit) in advance to avoid any issues when trying to enter the country again as a permanent resident.
What is the difference between permanent residency and citizenship?
An EB-5 investor becomes a permanent resident of the United States when the I-829 petition is approved by USCIS. Then he or she is eligible to travel, live, study and work freely in the U.S. Although permanent residents can enjoy many benefits as U.S. citizens, they do not hold U.S. passports. Their rights are also limited when it comes to voting, running for public offices, and applying for federal employment. EB-5 investors become eligible to apply for naturalization after obtaining and successfully keeping their green cards for five years.
Am I entitled to keep my citizenship from my country of origin?
The U.S. doesn’t require its citizens to renounce other citizenship when applying for citizenship. An EB-5 investor is eligible to apply for naturalization after obtaining and maintaining permanent residency for five years, without having to abandon the citizenship of his or her country of origin. However, some countries don’t allow dual citizenship for their citizens. Investors need to check the relevant regulations of their countries of origin before applying for citizenship of the U.S.
What is meant by the requirement that the investors’ assets must be “lawfully gained”?
The investors’ funds used for their EB-5 applications could come from a large variety of sources, including employment earnings and bonuses, sales of business assets, inheritance, gifts, stocks, home equity loans, loans from financial institutions secured by investors’ assets. Funds from the above-mentioned sources could all be deemed “lawfully gained” as long as investors can provide adequate and convincing documentation. The demonstration of the legal source of funds is a challenging task and needs strategic planning. Investors should consult with their immigration attorneys to work out a suitable strategy.
Can money gifted by a parent or other relative be used for an EB-5 investment?
Gifted money from parents or other relatives could be authenticated for the purpose of EB-5. Investors must provide a legal statement to declare the donor relationship. The donor will also need to provide clear documentation on the source of the gifted funds.
Would my global income and assets be taxable in both my country of origin and in the United States?
The United States requires its residents to report taxes on their global earnings. EB-5 investors usually become liable to U.S. taxes after receiving their conditional green cards, and thus will be taxed for incomes earned domestically and abroad. There are tax treaties between the U.S. and other countries that, if used appropriately, could help investors avoid dual taxation or reduce tax liabilities. It is important for EB-5 investors to consult with tax professionals and conduct effective pre-immigration tax planning.
We work to promote the importance of acquiring a new citizenship and today we highlight the value of the USA Citizenship to all investors considering the USA EB5 Visa by Investment program alongside their families.
Right to Vote: U.S. citizens have the civic duty and privilege to participate in democratic elections and vote for their candidate of choice in local, state and federal elections.
Sponsor Family Members: As a U.S. citizen you can sponsor family members, including parents, children, spouses and siblings, living abroad for their green card.
Citizenship for Children: In most cases, children under the age of 18 born outside the country can derive U.S. citizenship from their U.S. Citizen parents.
Federal and state employment: U.S. citizens can seek federal and state employment across a wide range of government departments. Many Federal jobs and benefits are only granted to U.S. citizens.
Financial Aid: If you are a U.S. citizen and a college student in need of financial support, there are financial grants and college scholarships available for you.
Apply for U.S. passport: U.S. passports are granted only to U.S. citizens ensuring assistance by U.S. Embassies or Consulates when traveling abroad. This passport also comes with Visa access to over 180 countries.
Become an elected official: U.S citizens can choose to run and hold positions in public office.
Keep Citizenship of Another Country: A naturalized citizen can maintain dual citizenship.
Participate in a Federal jury: U.S. citizens are chosen at random to participate in a federal jury to help determine the guilt or innocence of an accused.
Seek government benefits: Only U.S. citizens may qualify for certain government benefits.
For foreign nationals with the necessary capital, the EB-5 program can be an excellent way to obtain permanent resident status in the United States. Unlike other immigrant visa options, the EB-5 visa requires no U.S. employer to act as a sponsor, nor does it require any specialized knowledge, skills, or experience. Further, the EB-5 program is not limited to foreign nationals from specific treaty nations.
Upon making a qualifying investment and receiving approval from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an EB-5 investor, his or her spouse, and any unmarried children under age 21 will be granted conditional permanent residence. Two years later, if the investment has proven to meet the program’s requirements, the investor and his or her family will have the conditions removed from their residency status. Five years after first receiving conditional permanent resident status, they can become naturalized citizens.
Recently, news have been making rounds about the Golden Visa programs getting cancelled and EU countries stopping their Immigration by Investment programs. While this is true for Latvia, it is false for Portugal and other countries like Greece.
The only suspension in the Portugal Golden Visa is in regards the ability to apply to the program by purchasing residential property located in urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. Also most investment options have become more expensive.
Portugal Golden Visa new rules don’t affect other investment options. You can still apply for a Golden Visa via all other investment routes such as the Portugal investment fund for example.
The Portugal Golden Visa changes in 2022 regard real estate and capital transfer investment options. Since January 2022, applicants are be blocked from buying residential property in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve as well as in coastal areas like Setubal and the Silver Coast. Capital transfer amount requirement have increased from €1 million to €1,5 million. Requirements for Investment Fund, investment in Research and investment into an existing Portugal-registered business have increased from €350,000 to €500,000.
Investors aren’t able to invest in residential property in popular urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.
Applicants can only buy residential real estate in designated interior areas of Portugal worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the residential property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
Investors can purchase commercial real estate anywhere in the country worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a commercial rehabilitation project. If the commercial property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
Investors can buy residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project.
Capital transfers changes
Capital transfer amount requirement has increased from €1 million to €1,5 million.
Investment Fund minimum subscription requirement has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
Investment in scientific research has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
Investment into an existing Portugal-registered business has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
Arts donation of €250,000 stays the same.
It’s important to note the difference between interior areas and low-density areas. Check out the map below explaining the differences.
What Should Investors Expect From Portugal Golden Visa Changes 2022
While stakeholders have vocalized opposition against the changes, they’re not necessarily seen as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Rather, the Portugal Golden Visa changes are designed to drive investment in Portugal’s interior areas, relieving pressure from metropolitan locations and encouraging foreign investment into other areas of the country.
Since 1 January 2022, investors can no longer buy residential properties in popular urban areas of the country like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as in coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.
Some experts predict that alternative investment routes to Portuguese residency will become more popular, namely the investment fund option.
What Has Not Changed?
The following Golden Visa investment options have not changed:
To kickstart a company in Portugal and employ at least ten new local employees
€250,000 contribution in arts
In a nutshell, if you submitted your golden visa application in late 2021, you would have been grandfathered into the current legislation. This includes future renewals of your status.
Property sector to be affected by Portugal Golden Visa new rules
There was hope that the Portugal Golden Visa suspended changes would not go ahead as professionals from the property sector have expressed concerns that the changes could harm the property market. However, the Golden Visa new rules are going to help boost low-density areas and balance out the property market.
Fantastic Portugal Golden Visa low-density areas with high growth potential such as the Douro Valley, Aljezur, and Peneda Gerês provide excellent property locations for investors and their families. For only €280K, individuals can invest in low-density areas renovation projects and become eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa Program.
Will the Portugal Golden Visa changes impact existing investment in Porto and Lisbon?
If you are in the process of purchasing a property in a thriving urban area you will not be impacted by the Portugal Golden Visa updates. However, if you are interested in purchasing a property in Lisbon, Porto, or parts of the Algarve, you can only only buy commercial property, not residential.
Other Golden Visa investment routes will not be impacted by the visa updates and remain available. If you are not particularly interested in investing in real estate, the Portugal investment fund golden visa is a very attractive investment route. For a minimum investment of €500,000, you can become a Portuguese resident with the fund investment Portugal.
Portugal digitalizes Golden Visa applications
All documents are to be submitted digitally, including the issuance of the Portuguese Individual Tax Number. The change will help reduce bureaucracy and create a faster application process.
Portugal Golden Visa timeline graph
Portugal Golden Visa brief history
Launched in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa program is one of the most popular residency by investment schemes in Europe. The scheme allows investors and their families to obtain residency permits in exchange for a qualifying investment. Since its launch, the Portugal Golden Visa has been a true success with 9,389 investors and 16050 family members benefiting from the program.
Portugal Golden Visa statistics show that as of 2018, Portugal is positioned 3rd in the world in terms of top residency-by-investment programs — second only to Spain and Quebec. The reasons for the program’s success are multiple. Portugal ranks first as the best country in Europe for expats due to its great quality of life, excellent weather, and freedom.
In addition, the program offers several attractive investment routes suiting various investment goals — such as purchasing real estate, investing in venture capital, research, or an existing business.
As professionals dedicated to assisting you in acquiring the Portugal Golden Visa, My Global Citizenship will continue to closely monitor Portugal Golden Visa changes as they unfold and keep you updated on the matter.
In the meantime, you can always stay updated about Portugal’s immigration latest updates by visiting the Portugal Immigration Agency’s website (SEF).
With a 100% success rate when it comes to Golden Visa applications, we can ensure that you find the right investment for your requirements. Contact us today.
Today we look at some of the frequently asked questions about the Portugal Golden Visa. Before you begin do not forget to register for our upcoming webinar; Portugal Golden Visa – A definite way towards EU citizenship. Register
Which Golden Visa program is the best? Comparison: Portugal vs Spain vs Greece
It depends on the criteria of the investor and there are many variables that go into answering that question. Nevertheless, for those interested in obtaining European citizenship, Portugal Golden Visa stands out in comparison to Spanish and Greek Golden Visas.
It is a residence by investment program offered by the Portuguese government to non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens, willing to make a qualifying investment in Portugal. It is an investment immigration program bringing funds from foreign investors into the Portuguese economy.
What are the advantages of the Golden Visa?
The advantages of the Portugal Golden Visa include visa-free travel across the Schengen states, the right to live and work in Portugal, the ability to include each qualifying family member within the residence program, and the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship once you held your Golden Visa for at least five years.
Which requirements do investors have to comply with?
The main applicant has to be a non-EU, non-EEA, and a non-Swiss citizen of 18 years or older, and make a qualifying investment within Portugal.
What are the specific requirements for each type of qualifying investment?
Real Estate acquisitions: Buying any real estate in Portugal worth at least €500,000 or buying real estate in an urban rehabilitation project worth at least €350,000. Both amounts drop 20 percent further, as long as the investment is in a low-density population area in the country.
Transfer of funds: €1.5 million transfer of capital to a Portuguese bank account or €500,000 subscription in one of the qualifying Portuguese venture capital funds.
Job creation: Creation of at least 10 jobs in Portugal.
Financial contribution: €250,000 contribution to cultural heritage or €500,000 contribution to research carried out by public or private scientific research institutions.
Who in my family benefits from my Golden Visa?
The main applicant’s spouse, minor children, dependent children, and dependent parents also obtain the Golden Visa through family reunification.
How much does the process of obtaining the Portuguese Golden Visa cost?
The cost of the Golden Visa depends on the investment route that is chosen. On top of the deployed amount, there are acquisition costs, legal costs, and Golden Visa fees paid to the Portuguese government.
How long is the wait/processing time for the Golden Visa in Portugal?
The wait time for the Golden Visa application changes constantly and it highly depends on which SEF (Immigration and Borders) office you applied to. Typically SEF offices in major cities like Lisbon have a high wait time, whereas those in rural areas are less. Currently, from the moment you make your investment, it takes approximately six to eight months to receive your Golden Visa residence card.
Should all supporting documents be translated to Portuguese?
Most of the supporting documents to Portugal Golden Visa need to be translated into Portuguese or English.
Can you make the investment through a limited company?
The Golden Visa investment needs to be performed by the main applicant as an individual. The only exception is if the main applicant establishes a company and invests at least €1.5 million as capital into the company. Then the limited company may make investments on behalf of the investor with that capital.
Can I take a mortgage to make my investment?
Portugal requires the minimum investment amount to be brought into the country by the main applicant. That amount cannot be borrowed from a bank in Portugal. It can be taken as a loan from a non-Portuguese bank, outside of Portugal. However, if the investment exceeds the required investment amount, anything above the required amount can technically be borrowed from a Portuguese bank. Learn more about foreigners getting a mortgage in Portugal.
Can I do the Portugal Golden Visa process on my own?
You may. However, you’ll be making a significant investment in order to apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa. So, it’s highly recommended that you use a professional advisor and a legal representative in pursuing the program.
Do I need to get a lawyer for the Golden Visa application?
You’re not required to get a lawyer to apply for the Golden Visa, however, it’s highly advisable that you have a local Portuguese lawyer in assisting you with your application process.
What are the Portugal Golden Visa Tax considerations? Do I have to pay taxes in Portugal?
Having a Golden Visa in Portugal doesn’t automatically make you a tax resident in Portugal. Unless you become a tax resident in Portugal, you don’t need to pay any taxes on your non-Portuguese income. Your income within Portugal, however, needs to be declared in Portugal and you need to pay taxes on that income. Thanks to Double Taxation Treaties, you won’t be taxed multiple times on the same income.
What taxes apply to income generated in Portugal?
Your real estate rental income in Portugal is taxed at a flat rate of 28 percent in Portugal. Real estate investments that are not rented out or generating income do not lead to any income tax.
Does the investor have to pay taxes in Portugal on his/her worldwide income?
No. If the investor doesn’t spend 183 days or more in Portugal within a year, the investor is not a domicile. In that case, the investor doesn’t pay taxes in Portugal on the worldwide income, apart from that in Portugal.
Is the cost of living in Portugal low or high?
Portugal has a low cost of living compared to the rest of Europe.
Do I have to register and pay Social Security contributions in Portugal?
No, you’re not required to register or pay Social Security contributions in Portugal. However, you do need to get private health insurance to cover your healthcare costs in Portugal.
How is the Education System in Portugal?
Portugal has a high standard of public and private schools.
What is a fiscal number?
A fiscal number in Portugal is called a NIF. You’ll need a NIF in order to perform any official transaction in Portugal. This includes opening a Portuguese bank account, purchasing real estate, etc.
What are the taxes and costs for property acquisition and ownership?
There are certain taxes and costs associated with buying a property in Portugal. These include IMT (ranges between five percent to seven percent depending on the type and price) and stamp duty (0.8 percent). Costs include notary fees, which would be around €1,000, and legal fees, which depend on the law firm. If you are part of the residency permit by investment scheme, there are also Golden Visa fees to be paid to the government.
Do I need to reside in Portugal or can I live in other countries?
Portugal doesn’t require you to live in the country full time if you have a Golden Visa. You merely need to stay in Portugal for at least seven days per year. Besides that, you may live in your country of origin or any other place you wish to live in.
Can I use cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa?
We are proud to accept all our fees in Bitcoin. However, the Portuguese government does not accept the Portugal Golden Visa investment to be made in any other currency than Euros.
Should I avoid certain firms offering Golden Visa services?
Absolutely. Just as in any business, there are many inexperienced individuals and firms claiming to provide services within the RCBI field as well. Make sure that you go on to vet the firm that will advise you in such a significant commitment.
How do I find good real estate investment opportunities in Portugal?
If you want to find good opportunities for real estate investments in Portugal, you can start by working with an experienced chartered real estate investment professional. You can provide them with your criteria and ask them to come up with a shortlist of regions, cities, neighborhoods, and then particular properties for you, in order. The real estate market in Portugal proved to be a robust one, exhibiting great promise for the future.
What’s the best way to get a Portugal Golden Visa?
The best way is the way that fits your specific criteria. In other words, it completely depends on the investor and the investor’s needs. So far, the overwhelming majority of Portugal Golden Visa investors have opted to move ahead with a real estate acquisition.
What are the investment options for a Golden Visa in Portugal?
The Golden Visa endowment routes include real estate acquisition, transfer of capital, creation of 10 jobs, and financial support in national activities in Portugal.
Which investment funds are available for a Golden Visa?
There are a number of different venture capital funds with different investment strategies and features available in the market, which qualify their subscribers to apply to the Golden Visa in Portugal. For a comprehensive list of funds and their details, feel free to get in touch with us.
How long does it take before I can apply for Portuguese citizenship and passport?
You are eligible to apply for citizenship in Portugal at the end of your fifth year as a Golden Visa holder. Once you are naturalized as a citizen, you can then obtain your passport right away.
How can I get Portuguese citizenship by investment?
You can invest in a qualifying investment to obtain your temporary Portuguese residency permit through Portugal’s Golden Visa. Once you have your Golden Visa, provided that you maintain your investment for a minimum of five years, you have the right to apply for naturalization in Portugal.
Does Portugal allow dual citizenship?
Yes, Portugal allows for dual citizenship.
Does Golden Visa in Portugal lead to citizenship?
Yes, the Golden Visa Portugal leads to citizenship, indirectly. Once a five-year period lapses with the Golden Visa, you can then become eligible for citizenship.
How much does Portuguese citizenship cost?
Assuming that you will apply for citizenship through the Golden Visa Portugal, it depends on which qualifying investment you choose to move ahead with.
Do I need a language test for Golden Visa program Portugal?
No, you do not need to pass a language test in order to qualify for the Golden Visa. You only have to pass a Portuguese test if you decide to become a permanent resident or citizen in Portugal after five (5) years of holding a Golden Visa.
What does “basic knowledge” of Portuguese mean?
In order to prove your basic knowledge of the Portuguese language, you will have to be able to write, read, and speak in Portuguese at a preliminary level. This includes a thorough understanding of common phrases and vocabulary.
Is level A2 the only accepted exam?
Yes, the A2 level Portuguese language test is the only accepted exam in order to satisfy the citizenship requirement in Portugal.
Where can you learn Portuguese and prepare for the test?
There are many resources online that you can prepare for the Portuguese test. Depending on where you are, the Portugal and Brazil embassies also typically have offline courses available. In order to learn more about the resources, feel free to contact us.
When must the test be taken?
The Portuguese test should only be taken if and once you decide to apply for PR or citizenship in Portugal. However, you are free to take the test at any time you wish throughout your golden residence status.
Do I have to learn Portuguese before getting my citizenship?
Yes, you should learn Portuguese, enough to pass an A2-level language exam. That corresponds to a basic knowledge of the language.
Can same-sex couples also apply for the Golden Visa in Portugal?
Yes, Portugal allows Golden Visa applicants to include their same-sex partners within the program through family reunification.
Is Portugal LGBT-friendly?
Yes, Portugal is among the most LGBT-friendly countries in Europe. There is supportive legislation and a high level of societal acceptance for the community.
How long is the Golden Visa valid for?
Your first Golden Visa card is valid for a two-year period; you should satisfy the stay requirement of 14 days in two years. You may then renew your Golden Visa residence card and the next cards will each be valid for three years at a time. Within those three years, you should spend at least twenty-one days in Portugal. As long as you maintain your investment, you may renew your Golden Visa card as many times as you wish.
What countries are included in the Schengen Area?
The 26 Schengen countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
What happens to the investment after five years? Can it be sold, transferred, etc.?
At that point, you have three options as a Golden Visa holder: (1) to continue with the Golden Visa for Portugal, (2) to become a permanent resident, (3) to become a Portuguese citizen. If you choose to become a permanent resident or a Portuguese citizen, you can then sell or liquidate your investment as you wish. You only need to hold on to it if you decide to continue with the Golden Visa temporary residence program instead.
Can the investor sell the investment at any time if he/she no longer needs the Golden Visa?
Does the investor need to live in/use the property he/she is purchasing, or can it be rented out?
The investor is not required to live in or use the real estate. It can be rented out or used as the investor wishes.
How long does it take to get a PR in Portugal?
Five years after you start your Golden Visa scheme, you’re eligible to get permanent residency in Portugal.
To Learn more about the Portugal Golden visa and start your application, Get in touch with My Global Citizenship.
Last week, the immigration by investment world was met with terrible news. Authorities in Latvia have decided to abolish their Golden Visa Program after the latter has often been in the spotlight for being involved in many unlawful affairs.
The decision has been confirmed by the country’s Prime Minister, Krišjānis Kariņš while he stressed that the Ministry of the Interior is drafting necessary legislative amendments.
Through the Golden Visa Program, wealthy internationals were eligible to acquire residency in Latvia if they met specific requirements and made a specific amount of money in this country, such as buying expensive apartments and villas.
Jūris Pūce, chairman of Development for a political group in the Saeima, has emphasized that the ban on the Citizenship by Investment scheme in this way would apply to citizens of Russia and Belarus.
Pūce has said that a legal regulation regarding the issue will be prepared in the following days and put before the relevant Saeima committee, whose members will decide on it on Wednesday. Then, lawmakers will review the matter at a Saeima plenary.
The Citizenship by Investment Program has significantly helped the economy of European countries that run such schemes.
According to a recent analytic tool called the Best Investment Migration Real Estate Index, which Henley and Partners conducted, together with Deep Knowledge Analytics, Spain, Montenegro, Turkey, Portugal as well as Greece have been ranked as the best countries in Europe for real estate investments for residence and also citizenship rights.
However, the Golden Visa Program that is run in several European countries has often been considered as an open door to money laundering and other unlawful affairs.
In addition, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs of the EU Parliament previously urged the Member States to impose stricter conditions under which they issue golden visas to third-country citizens.
“Noting the difference in the severity of the risks posed by ‘residence by investment’ schemes -that give foreigners residence rights in exchange for a financial contribution-, the draft report asks for common EU rules to harmonize standards and strengthen the fight against money laundering, corruption, and tax evasion,” a press release of the EU Parliament revealed.
The sanctions imposed by European countries on Russia, which have been considered among the harshest in recent years, have reinforced the desire to terminate such schemes in European countries.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine other European countries have already suspended the Golden Visa Program for Russian citizens, including here the Czech Republic, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Malta, and Spain.
This is a sad turn of events but do not feel discouraged as there are many more countries with Golden Visa opportunities to choose from such as Portugal and Greece.
Who doesn’t dream of living in Canada ? I certainly have this dream and if you are reading this, I am guessing you do too.
Canada is a blissful country with excellent diversity and inclusion policies, healthcare, education, career opportunities to name a few but as if you do not already know this, I would love to give you detailed reasons of why Canada is a boss country and you should apply for a Canada start up visa today.
There is unlimited opportunity and potential to be found in Canada’s fast growing and industrialized economy. As one of the riches countries, Canada also offers the highest standard of living while decreasing taxes and strengthening their economy with a 2.3% inflation rate.
Canadians also get to keep an increasing amount of their income each year, with the average annual income being around $40,000. The economy continues to improve with the lowest unemployment rate since 1976 (6.8%) and hundreds of thousands of new jobs created annually. Aside from the economic facts and statistics, the currency in Canada is truly awesome. They use colorful paper money, one dollar coins (Loonies) and two dollar coins (Toonies).
Canadians consider health care to be a fundamental right. This is why free healthcare is such an important part of what makes Canada awesome. While the process may be slower, the quality of health care is among the highest in the world, and everyone has access to the medical treatment that they need. The cost of recovery is never a concern, no matter what health challenges you face. The access to social assistance programs and affordable housing also contribute to the overall wellbeing and health of the nation that takes care of its people.
Aside from free health care, there is a social health consciousness that can be seen in traditions like the Wednesday yoga class on the lawn of the nation’s capital. Every Wednesday in the summertime, yoga enthusiasts can join in on this one hour yoga class tradition that has included as many as 2,500 people at one time, and averages 1,000 participants per class.
Canada spends more money on the education of their citizens than any other nation. Primary and secondary education are free along with post-secondary studies. Canadian colleges and universities are known for the superb reputations throughout the world. Canada is also the most educated country in the world with the highest proportion of college graduates at 51% (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Report on Global Education).
Canada is a truly multicultural country with a rich ethnic diversity… and we’re proud of it! Multiculturalism was even adopted in Canada as a national policy. For example, Canada recognized dual citizenship, it supports media such as newspapers, etc. in several languages (Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, Chinese…), it encourages minorities representation in the work force and in education and it offers support and help for newcomers in Canada (translation services, immigration advices etc.).
Canada is a country that is entirely multicultural and even has an official national policy of multiculturalism. Some examples of this policy include having media (like newspapers) in several languages, including Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Arabic, etc. Canada also encourages immigrants and minorities to hold onto their cultures and represent their nationality in education and the work force. They offer services for translation and immigration advices to support newcomers.
Canada is a wonderful example to the world as a leader in cultural diversity, tolerance, peaceful society, and safety. They legalized same-sex marriage in 2005 (4th country to do this), and they keep their citizens safer with the lowest crime rates that continue to decline thanks to a fair justice system, strict gun control laws, and community policing.
Because Canada is such a large country, their population is small in comparison with one of the lowest population densities in the world. There are ten provinces and three territories with motto of Ad Mari Usque Ad Mare (From Sea to Sea). There is a whole lot of space across the mountains and prairies and between British Columbia and the Maritimes with numerous roads, mixed ethnicity neighborhoods, unique language quirks, and intriguing cultural diversity.
Canada is famous for the gorgeous scenery and uninhabited land. The views of the untouched and natural environment are breathtaking and composed of beautiful lakes and rivers. There are three oceans, mountains, plains, and some of the most attractive cities in the world, like Toronto.
Then there is the view of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from sites like Yellowknife where the nights are clear, the landscape is flat, and the Northern Lights are perfectly visible. You can also view the beauty of giant icebergs from shore or on a tour boat. Iceberg Alley is a famous location where ice bergs from western Greenland glaciers float down an amazing path. Then there is one of the most dynamic bays in the world where people can walk or paddle through an area where more than 100 billion tons of water flows in and out each day. Fundy Bay stretches from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick and the powerful tides expose fossils and sometimes rise over 50 feet. There are some places, like Hopewell Rocks, N.B., where one can kayak in an area that will be dry ocean floor by the end of the day.
Canada is filled with famous attractions and awe inspiring scenery that combine to make this country one of the most awesome places to live or visit in the world. There are small towns like Balm Beach, Deep River, Niagara on the Lake and Rapides-des-Joachims. There are large famous cities like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. There are attractions like the Thousand Islands and Niagara Falls. And of course, there are the Northern Lights and Ice, beautiful bays, mountain skylines, and enormous icebergs. When it comes to scenery, Canada is hard to beat.
Wildlife is a major part of the identity of Canada. When a wildlife enthusiast leaves the cities, they will find polar bears, moose, whales, 462 species of birds, and much more. The greatest diversity of birds can be found in Ontario and British Columbia, and the common loon is Canada’s national bird.
When it comes to whales, one of the most popular attractions is the springtime migration of around 20,000 Gray Whales which swim towards the western coast of Vancouver Island to get to the Bering Sea where they feed during the summer. The round trip of the Gray Whales is 16,000 to 22,500 kilometers and they can be seen from shore or from tour boats. There is even an annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival celebrated in the middle of March by Tofino Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Then you have the Orca (Killer Whales) who are fearsome and easily recognizable predators of belugas, seals, and other whales. These animals are fast, moving up to 40 kilometers per hour with their aerodynamic bodies and black and white coloring being instantly recognized by anyone along the Inside Passage to Alaska or Vancouver Island.
If you happen to find yourself in Ontario, visiting Cochrane will give you the chance to get as close as you can to swimming with real polar bears. There is a small wading pool which is right next to the polar bear pool and visitors get their pictures taken with 740 pound polar bears, with a strong and thick plexiglass separating each person from the danger of powerful bear.
Some of our favorite foods come from Canada, like Hawaiian Pizza that, as it turns out, isn’t from Hawaii at all. With pineapple, ham, and even mushrooms sometimes, this pizza was created by Canadian pizzeria owner in Sam Panopoulosof Chatham, Ontario in 1962.
Then, you’ve got Tim Hortons which has expanded into the United States and offers some of the best coffee and Maple Dipped Doughnuts in the world.
The Immigration by Investment programs are offered by My Global Citizenship™. The above timeline is an estimate provided for information purpose only based on experiences with past clients. Processing time and costs will vary depending on a number of factors. My Global Citizenship™ is not responsible for any changes to the estimations above; we can provide specific time and cost estimates on an individual basis.
Please talk to our Consultants for the most up-to-date information.
Fees charged by My Global Citizenship™ is excluding the government and legal entity fees. For residency and citizenship separate fees have to be paid to government at each stage. These fees depend on the number of applicants and the complexity of the process.
For Advisory fees charged by My Global Citizenship™ and exact quote based on your family combination, please contact us.
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