公司快讯

【支招】律师解读:EB-5美国投资移民排期的应对方案

发布时间:2015-04-14
2015年4月13日,在华盛顿举行的IIUSA会议上,美国国务院签证办公室主任Charles Oppenheim宣布,自2015年5月1日开始,中国的EB-5申请人将面临排期。Oppenheim实际上在2014年10月的时候就已经暗示这一天会到来。2015年5月的签证公告进一步证实了这点。因此,这将意味着中国的EB-5移民签证类别会面临2年的排期,截止日期为2013年5月1日。截止日期将决定EB-5移民签证的发放顺序。截止日是由I-526申请提交的日期决定的。每个I-526申请的批准通知中的优先日一栏中都会列出一个日期。因此,根据2015年5月的签证公告,截止日划定在2013年5月1日,意味着在2015年5月,只有优先日早于2013年5月1日或者优先日是2013年5月1日的中国EB-5申请人(及其受益申请人)才能申请EB-5移民签证。签证公告中的日期或者向前推进,或者倒退,或者保持不变,这些变化每个月都回定期公布。因此,对于申请人来说,通过每个月查询国务院的签证公告来判断自己的优先日是否有效,至关重要。
Oppenheim还透露2015年4月批准的EB-5 申请的签证费通知单(国家签证中心在处理领馆程序中的签证收费收据)会很快寄出。此外,国务部和移民局很快会提供I-824申请 (基于已被批准的申请而提出的申请)的指导意见。
签证排期是根据出生国而非公民身份国作出的,意识到这点至关重要。因此,只有在中国大陆出生的投资人会受到影响。出生在香港,台湾,或澳门的申请人并不受影响。此外,如果EB-5申请人的配偶并非出生在中国大陆,那么投资人可以被视作其配偶出生地的申请人来进行申请,而避开中国排期的影响。
我们想提醒读者和此消息相关的另外一条消息,即奥巴马总统在2014年11月的关于移民政策改革的一些提议,这些改革可能会积极地影响EB-5项目。这些提议包括维持现有法规、变更现有法规、以及关于签证与时俱进的总统备忘录。
对于通过《行政程序法案》而宣布的法规变更,在两方面可能会使EB-5投资人收益。首先,如果投资人是研究人员、发明人、或者企业创立人,那么他们可以被保释进入美国。其次,“提前身份调整”会使一些优先日尚未生效的身份调整申请人提交身份调整申请,并且获得工作许可和旅行许可。
关于签证与时俱进的总统备忘录,有两点可能会积极的影响EB-5申请人。首先,EB-5投资人有可能会基于国会分配的剩余未用签证名额而重新获得永久居留权签证,即剩余的签证名额会分配给下一年使用。如果总统允许国务部追溯至过去五年或更久,将那些年EB-5类别中的剩余未用签证名额重新分配给现在的EB-5申请人使用,这对于EB-5 将有重大的影响。其次,有可能不计算受益申请人(配偶及子女)的签证名额。目前,当EB-5主申请人的EB-5申请提交并获得批准时,他们的家庭成员也计算在1万个EB-5移民签证的限额中。
(翻译自GT律师事务所)
【英文原文】
Department of State Announces EB-5 Retrogression for Chinese Nationals Effective May 1, 2015
On April 13, 2015, at the Invest In the USA (IIUSA) Conference in Washington D.C., Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State Charles Oppenheim reported that the EB-5 China immigrant visa category will retrogress beginning May 2015. Oppenheim has indicated since October 2014 that this day would come. This was further confirmed upon the release of the May 2015 visa bulletin. Accordingly, this means that retrogression of the EB-5 China immigrant visa category will retrogress two years and have a cut-off date of May 1, 2013. The cut-off date has the effect of establishing a systematic line for the issuance of EB-5 immigrant visas. The cut-off date is determined based on the date an I-526 Petition was filed and is the date included on each I-526 Petition approval notice in the Priority Date box. Therefore, with the cut-off date set at May 1, 2013, based on the May 2015 visa bulletin, it means that during the month of May 2015, only those EB-5 investors (and their derivative beneficiaries) with a Priority Date of May 1, 2013, or earlier may apply for an EB-5 immigrant visa. The dates in the visa bulletin will either move forward, backward, or remain stagnant, and such changes will be reported monthly. Therefore, it is important that an applicant check the visa bulletin each month on the DOS website to see if their Priority Date has become current (i.e. if their Priority Date is earlier than the date listed on the visa bulletin).
Oppenheim also stated that fee bills (the invoice provided by the National Visa Center for approved petitions in order to proceed with filing a consular processing application) will be sent out for EB-5 petitions approved in April 2015. Further, the State Department and USCIS will provide clearer guidance shortly, including the processes of filing an I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition.
It is important to note that retrogression of visa numbers is based on country of “chargeability” (or country of birth) rather than country of citizenship. Therefore, those individuals who were born in mainland China are the only individuals impacted by this news. Individuals born in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macau are not affected. Further, if the EB-5 investor’s spouse was born in a country other than mainland China, the investor and their family may be “cross-chargeable” to the spouse’s country of birth, thereby escaping the Chinese quota retrogression.
With this news, we would like to bring attention to President Obama’s November 2014 outline of proposed changes that could potentially and positively impact the EB-5 program that would take place without regulatory change, with regulatory change, and his Presidential Memorandum on Visa Modernization.
With respect to the announced regulatory changes through the Administration Procedure Act, there are two key points that could provide a benefit to the EB-5 investor. First, is to enable entrepreneurs to be paroled into the United States and work if they are researchers, inventors, or founders of businesses. Second, is “early adjustment” that would enable individuals who are eligible to apply for adjustment of status, but for a non-current priority date, to file for adjustment and receive work authorization and travel permission.
With respect to the Presidential Memorandum on Visa Modernization there are two additional points that could positively impact EB-5 investors. First, a possibility of recapturing permanent resident visa numbers based on visa numbers allocated by Congress but left unused, meaning, additional visas would be carried over to the next year’s available visa numbers. This would have a large impact on EB-5 especially if the President allowed the State Department to go back five years or more and recapture the thousands of unused immigrant visas in the EB-5 classification during those years. Second, is the possibility of not counting derivative spouses and children toward the EB-5 visa quota. Currently, when an EB-5 investor files for and has an approved I-526 petition, their family members count against the 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visa cap.

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