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Will New Law Allow Green Cards for E-2 Visa Holders?

Posted: February 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, National News | No Comments »

Congresman Adam Putnam of Florida has introduced a new bill in the
House of Representatives which would allow issuance of green cards for
up to 3,000 E-2 visa holders per year.

Keep in mind that this is just proposed legislation and it faces steep odds of getting passed into law.

The bill, which is called the "E-2 Nonimmigrant Investor Adjustment Act
of 2009," carves out 3,000 green cards from the 10,000 green cards that
are available each year in the EB-5 category.

To qualify, the E-2 investor must be present in the U.S. for at least
five years, must have invested at least $200,000, and must create full
time employment for at least two individuals.

The unique thing about the proposed legislation is that the investor
would be able to apply for adjustment of status. Usually this is a
secondary step after an immigrant visa petition has been adjudicated.
By filing right away for adjustment of status, the investor and his or
her family would be eligible for temporary work cards and advance
parole travel permits. Children under 21 might be protected from aging

If you support this visa, please contact your Congressman Putnam (his
Washington office number is 202-225-1252) AND contact your local

Jaensch Immigration Proposes Legislation for New Temporary Visa for Retirees Who Purchase Foreclosed Homes

Posted: February 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | No Comments »

Posted in Local Immigration News February 25th, 2009 by P. Christopher JaenschToday, Chris Jaensch presented a proposal to Congressman Vern Buchanan’s office for a new temporary visa for retirees who purchase foreclosed properties. Here are the contents of the proposal:

Dear Congressman Buchanan:

I am an immigration attorney in Sarasota, Florida, and currently serve as the Regional Vice Chair for the Tampa Region of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. I am providing this letter in the hope that you will consider a legislative proposal that I have devised that I think would significantly help our local and national economy. In short, the idea is to create a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa for foreign retirees who purchase and retain a preset amount of foreclosed homes.

A large part of my law practice is based on assisting retired foreigners (primarily Europeans with a smaller number from South America) who want to spend more than six months in the U.S.

Under current immigration law, these foreigners can come to the U.S. as visitors on B-2 Visitor Visas or, in some cases, as visitors under the visa waiver program. Generally, they can spend no more than six months per year in the U.S. These clients have been asking me for years why the U.S. government does not have a visa for self-sufficient foreign retirees, but there has never been enough support in Congress for such a visa.

So, I typically have to find some alternative way for them to stay longer in the U.S. Many of my clients invest in businesses and apply for an E-2 investor visa. This visa requires active participation in a business that creates employment for U.S. workers. A few apply for an EB-5 green card based on an investment of $500,000 in a Regional Center. This green card allows a more passive investment, but the investment tends to be more risky and there are no approved Regional Centers on the west coast of Florida. I have many clients who have ample funds to invest, but are not satisfied with these two options.

Therefore, I would like to propose a new temporary visa that would be valid for five years for foreign retirees. To qualify for this visa, the foreign retiree would have to show the following:

1. He or she is over 50 years old
2. He or she has a source of income, would be self-sufficient in the U.S. and would not need to work here.
3. He or she has purchased in full (no mortgage) four foreclosed homes, paid all outstanding taxes on the homes and is actively seeking to rent the homes to others.
4. He or she owns a personal residence in the U.S., maintains a residence outside the U.S., and does not have the intention of staying in the U.S. permanently.
5. He or she is otherwise admissible into the U.S.

In my view, this new visa could easily be incorporated into the existing regulatory framework.

The benefits of this visa are many and include:

1. It would create a demand for foreclosed homes, which might ultimately increase prices.
2. It would bring new money into the U.S. and would not require bank financing for the homes.
3. It would help ensure that the foreclosed homes are contributing to local and state governments in the forms of property taxes, are being maintained, and are being offered for rent to the public.
4. It would enable self-sufficient retirees to live in the U.S. year round, increasing the time that they would spend their money here, which would help our retail and service businesses.
5. It would increase the desirability of the U.S. as a retirement destination, which would increase demand for housing.

The general principals of this proposal could actually be implemented without new legislation under the current E-2 investor visa rules. It would simply require the Department of State to determine that renting four foreclosed properties is a “real and active” business enterprise and that the taking the homes off the market and renting them out satisfies the marginality requirement because it makes a “significant economic contribution.” It would easily meet the other E-2 requirements (e.g. substantial investment).

BLOG READERS: If you support the creation of a new retiree visa or the expansion of the E-2 rules to include investments in foreclosed properties, please contact Congressman Buchanan’s office at (941) 951-6643

Legislative Developments

Posted: February 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: National News | No Comments »
Posted in National Immigration News February 20th, 2009 by P. Christopher Jaensch

While truly useful legislation benefitting large numbers of immigrants is nowhere to be seen yet, there have been some smaller pieces of legislation proposed in Congress this session which would benefit some groups of immigrants. This includes the following:

THE NURSING RELIEF ACT OF 2009, which creates 50,000 temporary visas (W Visas) for RNs. The visa would involve rules that are very similar to H-1B work visas including a validity period of three years with the possibility of renewals, a prevailing wage requirement, and the permission of dual intent.

THE OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF FISCAL YEAR 2009, which may extend certain expiring immigration programs such as the EB-5 Regional Center investment Pilor Program and the non-minister religious worker program.