US Immigration Policy and the New President: What to Expect?

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Despite the fact that the official and final announcement of the new US president has not yet happened, almost all Americans, including the media and leaders of other countries, have already recognized Joe Biden’s victory. For those who view the United States as a place to do business or to move, the question of what changes to expect in immigration policy in the near future is urgent.

Importantly, according to an analysis by the National Endowment for American Policy (NFAP) , Donald Trump will cut legal immigration by 49% by 2021 since he was elected president. The decline in legal immigration hurts most of all refugees, employers and Americans who want to live with their spouses, parents or children, but it also affects the country’s future workforce and economic growth. Therefore, there is reason to believe that the removal of this policy could be a very important part of Biden’s immigration program.

What changes can be expected in the near future?

  1. Trump has been active in reducing the number of migrants based on ethnicity, so it is likely that Biden will lift the ban on issuing visas for citizens of Muslim countries.
  2. In June 2020, due to the pandemic, Trump extended until the end of the year restrictions on a large number of foreign citizens who do not have an immigrant visa and are outside the United States, including those who applied for visas EB2, EB3, EB1c, etc. . (job offer, ownership of an American company, outstanding ability, etc.). The court recognized this restriction as unlawful, but the Trump administration appealed, and if the restriction is lifted by the new president, a revision of the court decision will not be required.
  3. In October 2020, Trump significantly limited the possibilities of entering the United States under the H1B (work visa) category, which has become practically inaccessible to foreign citizens, but it is likely that this ban will also become one of the most important for the new president to review.

By the way, despite all the restrictions and immigration policies of Trump, the EB-5 program has always been an exception and remained available. However, the requirements and amount of participation in the program changed at the end of 2019 .

The eyes of the whole world now riveted on the future policy of the new president. Biden expected to set a course for rebuilding U.S. immigration policy, as well as considering new programs such as startup visas, but such a bill is time-consuming. That is why we recommend that you first familiarize yourself with the already existing investment immigration programs.

EB-5 Visa (Investments from 900 Thousand Dollars)

Suitable for investors who want to take a passive part in the activities of the invested business. For these purposes, there are projects of the US Regional Centers . Often, this method solves many problems of the investor and his family members. For example, an EB-5 visa is issued for a child who plans or is already receiving education in the United States and wants to stay there.

Also, the visa is suitable for investors who plan to open a medium or large business in the United States.

Basic Conditions for Participation in the EB-5 Program:

1. Investments:

  • from 900 thousand dollars to a new commercial enterprise in the United States, which is in the target area of ​​employment;
  • from $ 1.8 million.

2. Creation of at least 10 jobs for US citizens at the expense of the invested funds.

Conditions for obtaining an EB-5 visa do not include restrictions on the applicant’s age, citizenship, education, and language skills.

Under the terms of the EB-5 program, you can invest in a Regional Center project (link), which is a commercial organization operating in the United States, or in your own business. According to statistics, more than 95% of the program participants choose to invest through the Regional Centers, since in this case the Regional Center takes over all the work to open a company, create jobs and prepare all the documents required for the implementation of the project.

The Advantages of this Program Include:

  • renew 2 year green card received by the investor, spouse and unmarried children under 21;
  • A student or child can act as an individual investor and receive a Green Card through the EB-5 program;
  • Opportunity to further obtain US citizenship;
  • Freedom to choose the place of residence and work of the investor;
  • When investing in a Regional Center project, there is no need to run a business.

The disadvantages of the EB-5 Program include the length of the process: from the moment of investment until the receipt of documents giving the right to live in the United States, it can take from 1.5 to 3 years. But at the same time, the investor immediately receives a Green Card allowing employment and residence in the United States.

E-2 Visa (Investment from ≈ 80 Thousand Dollars)

The E-2 visa is suitable for foreign investors who want to start a business in the United States with a relatively low investment threshold and do not plan to obtain a residence permit and US citizenship. The restriction on this category of visa is a mandatory requirement for the citizenship of the country with which the United States has a cooperation agreement that applies to the E2 visa. This visa is available to citizens of Kazakhstan, Armenia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, but not available to citizens of Russia. Russian citizens can consider this category of visa through the intermediate citizenship of countries such as Grenada, Turkey, Montenegro.

Basic Conditions for Obtaining an E-2 Visa:

1. The minimum investment threshold not set and is formed based on the chosen business and the required investments in the company’s maintenance. The approximate minimum threshold can determined at 80 thousand dollars.

2. All capital must spent on business needs. Also, the investor must provide a plan and calculations that show the company’s ability to generate significant profits in the future.

The Advantages of this Visa Include:

  • Lack of strict requirements for the size of investments and job creation;
  • Fast visa processing (from 1 month) for the applicant, his spouse (s), and children under 21 years old.

Extension of a visa can be carried out provided that the business is functioning and making a profit. The E-2 visa is not an immigration visa and therefore does not involve obtaining a green card.