Immigration & Business Investors
Usher Law Firm assists Business Immigration Investors as well people with their Individual or Family-related immigration needs:
Immigration & Business Investors
Usher Law Firm assists Business Immigration Investors as well people with their Individual or Family-related immigration needs:
E2 or EB5 Investment Visa
Marriage Visa (K-1, K-3 or marriage to a US citizen)
Conditional Green Card – Removal of conditions
Family-sponsored Green Card applications & renewals
Student visas – F visa & M visa
Adjustment of status – Getting a green card based on a change from non-immigrant to immigrant category
Change Your Immigration Status
If you want to change the purpose of your visit while in the United States, you (or in some cases your employer) must file a request with USCIS on the appropriate form before your authorized stay expires.
For instance, if you arrived here as a tourist but want to become a student, you must submit an application to change your status. We recommend that you apply as soon as you determine that you need to change to a different non-immigrant category.
Equine (Horse) Immigration-Related Help
Given the significance of the equine / horse industry in the Ocala, Florida, area, Usher Law Firm is particularly attuned to the immigration needs of people who work with horses.
A non-U.S. citizen needs a visa to visit, work or live here. Usher Law Firm can help employers with qualified riders, trainers and skilled grooms of high-level competition horses receive “O” or “P” visas. Veterinarians and other professionals with college degrees may qualify for H-1B visas.
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National Family Visa Attorney Who Understands
Attorney John N. Usher is the grandson of a man who, as a 6-year-old boy, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1901 with his family so they could start a new life in America. His father worked in the stockyards of Chicago. The boy learned English, worked and studied hard and became the Honorable Judge John Pavlik, a respected probate judge.
John Usher is sensitive to the fact that our country is what it is today — remarkable and unique — because of our historical willingness to allow the legal immigration of people from all over the world. He is also sensitive to the fact that families need to be together. Often a person will become either a legal permanent resident, or a citizen of this country. They then want to bring loved ones to the U.S. to complete their dreams.
As a Florida immigration lawyer, John Usher is pleased to help the residents of Marion County and the surrounding areas reunite their families.
Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Help
Visas are generally divided into non-immigrant and immigrant categories. The categories are based on the length of time an individual intends to reside in the United States. Usher Law Firm offers counsel for immigrant and non-immigrant visas and can help qualified applicants adjust status from a non-immigrant classification to immigrant classification by getting a green card.
Because security measures have intensified, green card renewals have recently become more of an issue. In particular, driver’s license renewals can present a problem. Legal permanent residents need to take timely action with renewing a green card since it can take up to six months to renew a green card.
Naturalization is the process undertaken by qualified green card holders to become a U.S. citizen. Attorney John N. Usher urges legal permanent residents to thoughtfully consider taking this step.
Green cards, even those previously described as permanent green cards, must be renewed every 10 years. Usher Law Firm can renew a green card.
If U.S. citizenship is unavailable to you by means of a birth right, qualifying green card holders can become U.S. citizens via a process called naturalization.
Citizenship, no matter how acquired, grants full rights, benefits and privileges including the right to vote. As a citizen, the U.S. government can never ask or demand you leave the country.
With citizenship you can acquire a U.S. passport. Citizenship also provides more opportunities to help other family members come to America.
Usher Law Firm is glad to help you with the process of becoming a citizen.
If your intent is to reside in the U.S. long term, you need a GREEN CARD which evidences your status as a legal permanent resident. Green cards are primarily available through either a family relationship or a job/investment .
Benefits of a Green Card:
Usher Law Firm can help you assess your options related to obtaining a green card. It is increasingly important that green cards are promptly replaced if lost and most importantly, they are renewed in a timely fashion.
Many green card holders find themselves having to scramble because of an immigration irregularity that pops up in conjunction with getting or renewing a driver’s license.
Attorney John N. Usher’s immigration practice concentrates on the “business and investment” side of immigration law.
Combining his operational and business experience as a successful franchisee (McDonald’s, 20 years), with his franchise and immigration legal knowledge, he is well qualified to assist non-U.S. citizens prudently invest in America. An emphasis is placed on working with E-2 and EB-5 visa applicants.
For more information about the business immigration services at Usher Law Firm, P.C., contact us to schedule a free consultation with our Florida business immigration lawyer.
E-2 visas may be issued for investments in franchise businesses in the U.S. provided certain terms are properly structured between the franchisor and the franchisee.
Critical provisos involve:
The E-2 Visa allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business either as a start-up business or purchasing an existing business.
What is a substantial amount of capital in an E2 Visa investment?
A substantial amount of capital is:
Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one
Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise
Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.
The E2 Investment must be in a Bona Fide Enterprise:
A bona fide enterprise refers to a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. It can refer to a start-up business that when running would meet the same criteria as an active operation. The business must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.
The U.S. Congress created the EB-5 visa category for alien entrepreneurs who invest in job creating commercial enterprises in America. In exchange for his or her investment, a foreign investor (and his or her family) can, aside from potentially getting a return on his investment, earn legal permanent resident status by way of a green card. Eventually, such an investor may elect to pursue U.S. citizenship. In return, the U.S. benefits from the injection of capital into the economy and real job are created and/or preserved.
The United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) estimates that more than 90% of EB-5 investments are based on Regional Centers. A Regional Center is a private corporation or government agency designated by the U.S. government to allow foreign investors to invest capital in specifically defined local economies. A Regional Center assists foreign investors by professionally managing their investment in a designated business.
Regional Center investments have become an increasingly popular source of financing for U.S. developers and entrepreneurs. Since 2003, Regional Centers have invested over $3.1 billion of foreign capital in the U.S. economy resulting in the creation of some 65,000 jobs.
There is an annual allotment of 10,000 EB-5 green cards available each year. In 2007, 793 EB-5 visas were issued. In 2008, 1,443 were approved and 4,191 program-related visas were granted in 2009. Applications for approval to operate as a Regional Center have escalated in a similar manner.
Foreign investors, typically highly educated, successful business people with a global perspective, are motivated to invest in an EB-5 Regional Center for many reasons including:
The investment for foreign investors is $1,000,000 (US dollars) however, as an incentive to invest in rural areas and areas of high unemployment, an investment of $500,000 (US dollars) is permissible in properly designated geographical areas. The majority of Regional Centers are designed to incorporate such areas thereby allowing for an investment of $500,000 (US dollars).
The funds invested by each investor must create or save at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers. An advantage of investing in a Regional Center is the regulations allow for the counting of indirect jobs. Direct jobs reflect employees on the new enterprise’s payroll while indirect and induced jobs are positions traceable to the project’s investment.
For more information about EB-5 business immigration services at Usher Law Firm, P.A., contact us at 352-509-5678 to schedule a free consultation with our EB5 visa lawyer.
Usher Law Firm assists developers achieve regional center designation from the USCIS. The process necessary to achieve regional center approval is complex, time consuming and requires expert guidance.
Attorney John Usher can provide regional center project oversight and coordinate the operational efforts necessary with economists, escrow agents, securities lawyers and business plan writers. He can recommend specific professionals well versed in the nuances of developing a regional center.
Developing a regional center starts by defining the vision. Changes to the structure of a regional center after submission to USCIS can lead to extensive, expensive delays and may also negatively impact the foreign investor’s quest to receive a green card.
Key Components to an EB-5 Regional Center
Type of Regional Center
Regional Centers have been described as having either a loan structure or an equity structure. It’s important to understand the difference because of the requirements surrounding the tracking of investor funds and specific jobs creation.
The designation of a specific, contiguous geographic area is a requirement. Additionally, to take advantage of the opportunity to invest $500,000 (as opposed to $1,000,000), thought has to be given to being in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
The importance of economics cannot be understated as the regional center designation is being pursued. It is necessary to skillfully define the economic activity (or activities) the regional center undertakes since later changes can derail the entire application.
Complete detailed business plans related to the investment(s) need to be developed.
Regional Center Entity
The Regional Center itself has to create a legal structure and be properly capitalized.
After learning about the proposed plans of an entrepreneur considering the creation of a regional center, Usher Law Firm can provide a fee quote.
Usher Law Firm can guide immigrants through the EB-5 process. While earning the benefits of a green card for themselves and their family is certainly the primary motivation for many, it doesn’t matter what language a person speaks, nobody likes to lose money.
USCIS At Risk Rule
The USCIS requires that investor’s money be “at risk.” Essentially, a regional center can’t guarantee financial results. Because of this requirement and the fact that the types and numbers of EB-5 are becoming so large, it’s more critical than ever that an immigrant critically evaluate his investment options.
Usher Law Firm can recommend business analysis experts and can assist you with due diligence efforts.
Once an EB-5 partner has been selected, funds are assembled and documentation is collected to meet the obligation of proving to the USCIS that the money has been legally accumulated.
You Selected the EB-5 Regional Center. What is Next?
After the investment is made, typically through an escrow account, the green card acquisition process is initiated by the filing of a petition with USCIS (I-526).
After petition approval, the investor will either
1. adjust to conditional resident status if they are here in the U.S. at that time or
2. if they are outside the U.S. they will attend a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in their home country.
Temporary Green Card with an EB-5 Regional Center
Once given conditional resident status (a temporary green card), the investor can enter the U.S. and enjoy all the benefits associated with a green card including travel in and out of the U.S. Just prior to two years expires from the time after the conditional green card was issued, the immigrant applies for removal of conditions by filing with the USCIS an I-829. With the conditions removed, the holder receives a full green card good for indefinite permanent resident status. After having the unconditional green card for five years, the immigrant may apply for U.S. citizenship.
Usher Law Firm can help foreign investors with all aspects of participating in the EB-5 visa program.
L-1 visas are available to employees of an international company with offices in both the U.S. and a country abroad. The U.S. employer and the foreign employer must have certain formal legal relationships acceptable to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If properly structured, an employee of the foreign business may be eligible for an l-1 visa. It is possible to obtain an l-1 classification for qualifying individuals if the foreign company intends to open an affiliated office in the U.S.
There are 2 types of L-1 Visas
L-1A are for executives and managers
L-1B visas are reserved for workers with specialized knowledge.
For a “regular” L-1 visa, the company files a petition with USCIS and each petition is evaluated on its own merits.
With a “blanket” L-1 visa, USCIS has already determined a company qualifies for it’s employees to be eligible for a visa thereby simplifying the process.
Transferred employees may be accompanied their spouse and unmarried children who are under the age of 21.
Spouses can be legally employed in the U.S. after they obtain Employment Authorization approval from USCIS.
USCIS announced Saturday, January 13th 2018, that they will accept DACA renewals until “further notice”. This is an opportunity that any eligible person should seize. Although additional reform is possible as Congress and the White House continue to discuss a comprehensive overhaul to immigration policies, any DACA recipient who can apply for renewal would be well advised to do so.
You may request DACA if you:
Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Anyone requesting DACA must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
You must demonstrate that on June 15, 2012 you:
Were under the age of 31 years
Were physically present in the United States
Had no lawful status
As of the date you file your request you:
Have resided continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
Had come to the United States before your 16th birthday
Were physically present in the United States; and
Are in school, have graduated from high school in the United States, or have a GED; or
Are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
You must also be at least 15 years or older to request DACA, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order, as summarized below:
Your Situation #1:
I have never been in removal proceedings, or my proceedings have been terminated before making my request.
Your Age: At least 15 years old at the time of submitting your request and under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
Your Situation #2:
I am in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and I am not in immigration detention.
Your Age: Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, but you may be younger than 15 years old at the time you submit your request.
La Oficina de Usher Law puede ayudarle a presentar para la Acción Diferida ( DACA ) . El abogado John Usher tiene un excelente historial de éxito con todos los clientes DACA. Tambien el que cobra un precio justo. Florida Immigration Attorney John Usher, si se puede!
El 15 de junio de 2012, la Secretaria de Seguridad Nacional anunció que ciertas personas que llegaron a Estados Unidos cuando eran niños y que cumplen con una serie de criterios podrán pedir la consideración de acción diferida durante un período de dos años, sujeto a renovación.
Estas personas también tienen derecho a la autorización de empleo. La acción diferida es un uso de la discreción procesal para diferir la acción de remoción contra un individuo por un determinado período de tiempo. La acción diferida no proporciona estatus legal.
Usted puede presentar una petición de DACA si:
Era menor de 31 años de edad al 15 de junio del 2012
Llegó a los Estados Unidos antes de cumplir 16 años de edad
Ha residido continuamente en Estados Unidos desde el 15 de junio de 2007, hasta el presente
Estaba físicamente presente en Estados Unidos el 15 de junio de 2012, y al momento de presentar la petición de Consideración de Acción Diferida ante USCIS
No tenía estatus legal el 15 de junio
Se encuentra actualmente en la escuela, se ha graduado u obtenido un certificado de finalización de la escuela secundaria, ha obtenido un Certificado de Desarrollo de Educación General (GED), o es un veterano con licenciamiento honorable de la Guardia Costera o las Fuerzas Armadas de los Estados Unidos, y
No ha sido condenado por un delito grave, delito menor significativo, o tres o más delitos menores, y de ninguna otra manera constituye una amenaza para la seguridad nacional o la seguridad pública.
Cualquier persona que solicita DACA debe haber sido menor de 31 años de edad al 15 de junio de 2012. Además, debe tener al menos 15 años de edad para solicitar DACA, a menos que usted esté actualmente en proceso de deportación o tenga un final de expulsión o una orden de salida voluntaria, como se resume en la siguiente tabla:
Su Situacion #1:
Nunca he estado en procesos de deportación, o mis procesos fueron interrumpidos antes de hacer mi petición. Y
Su Edad: Por lo menos 15 años al momento de presentar su petición y menor de 31 años de edad al 15 de junio de 2012.
Su Situacion #2:
Estoy en proceso de deportación, tengo una orden final de expulsión, o una orden de salida voluntaria, y no estoy en detención de inmigración. Y
Su Edad: Menor de 31 años de edad al 15 de junio del 2012, pero puede ser menor de 15 años al momento de presentar su petición.
Criterios de tiempo para cumplir con los requisitos
Usted debe demostrar que al 15 de junio de 2012 usted:
Era menor de 31 años
Estaba físicamente presente en EE.UU.
No tenía un estatus legal de inmigración
A la fecha en que presenta su petición usted:
Ha residido continuamente en EE.UU. desde el 15 de junio de 2007
Vino a EE.UU. antes de cumplir 16 años
Estaba físicamente presente en Estados Unidos
Está en la escuela, se ha graduado de la escuela secundaria en los Estados Unidos, o tiene un GED o
Es un veterano con licenciamiento honorable de la Guardia Costera o las Fuerzas Armadas de los Estados Unidos
Not all violations are waiver-eligible. There are though, waivers available for both visitor’s visas and immigrant visas as well. Some waivers are available to people currently in the U.S. while others may apply to people outside America who want permission to enter.
Usually the need to seek a waiver comes up because a person was (1) overstayed in the U.S. past your visa expiration, (2) you were removed from the U.S., or (3) charged or convicted in a criminal matter.
The most common waivers are:
I-601 Waivers: they seek to waive removal for spouses, fiancés and children of U.S. citizens or green card holders. “Extreme hardship” evidence must be presented.
I-601A Waivers: they seek to allow certain relative of U.S. citizens and green card holders to apply, in advance for a waiver of inadmissibility. If granted it allows the applicant to leave the U.S. and return to their home country to appear at a U.S. Embassy for an immigrant visa interview. The program’s advantage is it allows the applicant the chance to return home with some reasonable assurance of getting a waiver and the time out of the country can be just a matter of days. Again, the key element is a showing of extreme hardship to your family.
I-212 Waivers: they seek to allow non-U.S. citizens to apply for early readmission into the U.S. if they were previously removed and they want to return before their statutory exclusionary period expires (they have a desire to return before their 3 or 10-year ban is fulfilled)
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