Residence permit and US citizenship for foreign investors.
BRIEFLY ABOUT THE MAIN.
The United States of America is one of the most sought-after areas for foreign citizens seeking to invest safely and prosperously. A developed economy, a high standard of living, excellent opportunities for getting education and doing business & ndash; that's what attracts applicants to the residence permit and citizenship from all over the world.
America has always been an emigrant country & ndash; and the number of foreign diasporas firmly settled here, perhaps, is absolutely not subject to calculation. Today, the US has a new president who is pursuing a new policy on immigration & ndash; and how much she will change the overall picture, only time will show. Donald Trump has been actively supporting the reduction of immigration to the US since the beginning of his campaign. On August 3, 2017, he approved the proposed Senate bill Raise Act on reducing legal immigration by 50% over the next 10 years. The proposal must be considered by Congress.
The bill offers different options for reducing the number of immigrants, and one of its items is the cancellation of the popular green card lottery. According to official statistics, in 2016 1327 citizens of Russia, 1,762 citizens of Ukraine, 560 citizens of the Republic of Belarus, and 236 citizens of Kazakhstan received a green card thanks to the lottery.
Recently, the US Census Bureau reported that since 2000, the proportion of immigrants in the country's total population has increased to 13.5%, a record figure for the last 106 years. Most immigrants in the last six years & ndash; citizens of India, China, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Cuba. During this time 397 200 Russians came to the USA.
As for the popular investor visa EB-5, which allows you to get a green card through an investment of $ 500,000, in recent years there has been an active discussion of its reform. Some officials suggest closing the program, some & ndash; double the amount of required investment. However, with the arrival of Trump, the conditions of the program did not change. At the moment the program is valid until December 8, 2017, but with a high probability it will be extended.
After last year's elections in the United States, America's increased interest in the immigration programs of alternative citizenship and residency was documented. So, the immigration website of Canada on November 9, 2016, when the name of the new president of the United States became known, could not cope with the influx of visitors and for some time remained inaccessible.
INVESTMENT VISION / CITIZENSHIP.
The United States remains one of the most sought-after immigration destinations for investors from around the world. For wealthy citizens, there are several options for living and working in the country. Most Popular & ndash; investment visas EB-5 and E2, each of which has its advantages.
The most popular is the US immigration program EB-5, which gives potential immigrants the opportunity to obtain a permanent residence (green card), investing in new business. The program was approved and launched by the US Congress in 1992. The purpose of the program & ndash; attracting foreign direct investment for economic development and job creation. 95% of all EB-5 participants invest through the Regional Centers. Regional Centers & ndash; these are specialized, state-licensed companies created to promote the growth of the US economy through the program for immigrant investors EB-5.
The amount of investments under the EB-5 program through the Regional Centers in regions with a low level of employment is $ 500,000. The funds are invested in the development of own business or development projects (hotels, shopping centers, city blocks, etc.). At the investor's money, at least 10 full-time jobs must be created and maintained for two years. The level of wages in the established places can not be less than the average level in the industry. The main requirement is to provide complete, documented information about the source of investment. The EB-5 program requires that the funds are completely legal (earned through business activities, received under a gift agreement, etc.). Investments through the Regional Center should be risky, which means that projects with a guarantee of return of capital are not accepted for participation in the program. However, only those Regional Centers and projects that are accredited by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service are eligible to participate in the EB-5 program.
It is expected that Congress will raise the minimum investment amount to $ 800,000 in 2018. The amount of investments under the EB-5 program in regions with a normal or high level of employment is $ 1 million.
Advantages of the EB-5 program.
The right to live, work, open and develop business anywhere in the US; The investor and members of his family (spouse and children under 21 years of age, unmarried) are entitled to permanent residence in the United States; The possibility of obtaining US citizenship in five to six years of participation in the program; There are no requirements to the applicant, except for the availability and legality of the means for investment; Access to education and high-quality medical care; Possibility of passive investments that do not require independent business management; Investments are fully returned after the end of the investment period.
According to statistics, foreigners receive an average of 10,000 EB-5 visas per year. The overwhelming number falls on the citizens of China. Since 2008, the program participants have invested about $ 17 billion in the US economy.
To participate in the immigration program E2, the applicant must be a citizen of the country with which the United States has concluded bilateral trade agreements. Citizens of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus and Uzbekistan can not qualify for an American E-2 investor visa, but this is possible with the second citizenship of Grenada, since Grenada is included in the list of countries with which the US entered into a bilateral agreement. The applicant must invest in business in the United States. There are no specific requirements for the size of the investment, but the amount should be at least $ 100,000. This money can be invested in an existing business or create your own company.
Advantages of the E2 program.
The E2 visa is much cheaper than the EB-5 investor visa. The investor also does not need to create 10 jobs; The process of obtaining a visa takes only two to three weeks; The visa is renewed every two years unlimited number of times (however it does not allow in the future to apply for a green card and citizenship); Allows you to live in the US, but do not pay taxes on global income.
It is important to note that when a green card is received, a foreigner becomes a US tax resident, therefore, experts recommend to receive a pre-immigration tax advice, since there are legal ways to optimize taxes. Each applicant must have his own immigration lawyer who will represent the interests of the investor before the US Immigration Service. At the same time, only a licensed US immigration lawyer has the right to provide legal advice. The lawyer participates in the formation of the case and the preparation of a package of documents, advises and accompanies the investor at all stages from filing documents to receiving a green card. The lawyer is responsible for preparing the investor's personal documents and checking the documents for the Regional Center project. The investor can choose a lawyer independently, or on the recommendation of the Regional Center.
As for the purchase of real estate by foreigners in the US, it does not give advantages in obtaining a green card of the United States. At the same time, America's real estate is very popular among foreign investors. The cost of housing depends on the state, California & ndash; one of the most expensive. The most popular states for buying property among foreigners & ndash; Florida, California, New York and Texas.
There are several grounds for obtaining US citizenship: birth in the US or territories belonging to the US, parents & ndash; citizens of the United States, as well as naturalization.
For naturalization it is necessary to live in the status of a permanent resident (with a green card) for five years, without violating the law and without leaving the country for a long time. During these five years, you need to physically stay in the US for at least 30 months (more than 180 days a year). Also, the applicant for citizenship must pass a test of knowledge of the English language and US history.
Members of the EB-5 program can apply for US citizenship after five years of residence in the country.
SEVERAL ADVICE OF EXPERTS TO PEOPLE WHO IS INVESTED ABOUT INVESTMENTS IN THE ECONOMY OF THE USA.
1. It is better to hurry with the investments, since the size of the minimum investment for program participants is likely to be increased with a high probability.
2. Think carefully about your taxation, because the presence of not only American citizenship, but also a green card automatically makes you a tax resident in the United States.
3. Please note that in order to obtain citizenship, you must spend more than 180 days a year in the United States.
4. Keep in mind that waiting for a residence permit can take several years, because the program is very popular.
5. Be sure to consult with experts on choosing an investment project to make sure that it will become successful and be able to create 10 jobs.
6. Carefully select developers and centers with projects already implemented in the portfolio and experience in repaying funds to investors under the EB-5 program, in view of the large number of regional centers.
Residence permit and US citizenship for foreign investors.