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Guest Editorial: America is Losing the Global Competition for Talent

Posted: October 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas, Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Recent articles in “The Economist” point out the fact that America is losing its competitive advantage when it comes to attracting global talent.  Countries such as Canada, Australia, and Singapore are making it easier for foreign nationals to enter and set up a business.  In America, the immigration process is rife with inconvenience and uncertainty.  The number of visas available for skilled workers, or H1-Bs, has decreased from 100,000/year in 1999 to 65,000/year.  Green Card processing time has increased from as little as 18 months in the 1980s to up to 10 years.  Unlike other countries who have special visa categories for entrepreneurs, America has no such entrepreneurial visa.

Even Chile is doing more to attract global talent.   The small Latin-American nation has a new program, called Start-up Chile, that selects young firms and gives their founders the equivalent of $40,000 and a visa for one year.  The idea is to raise Chile’s profile as a hub for entrepreneurs and to foster entrepreneurialism among Chileans.  The program aims to bankroll 1,000 new companies by the end of next year.  Does anything like this exist in the United States?  No.

There are some options but they are circuitous and difficult, and there is never a guarantee of success.  One is the H1-B visa.  This visa is for skilled workers who are hired by U.S. companies.  But it is temporary and it’s validity is tied to the applicant’s original job.  If an H1-B immigrant wishes to apply for permanent residency they must keep their original job while they wait for their Green Card to be issued, which can take up to 10 years.  If the immigrant finds a better opportunity or wishes to start a new business they lose their H1-B status.

Another option for enterprising foreigners is the E2 Investor Visa.  To qualify, a prospective immigrant must invest a “significant” amount of money in an existing business or start a new business that promises to support the immigrant and employ Americans.  This is a good option for entrepreneurs but not every immigrant with a good idea has enough capital to start a new business upon arrival in the U.S.  In contrast, Start-up Chile is lending capital to promising companies upon arrival.

In today’s global economy, powered by the internet, businesses can serve their customers from anywhere.  Entrepreneurs are searching globally for attractive locations for their start-ups.  Basic infrastructure, peace, and a relatively wealthy and educated population are all elements for prosperity that make the United States attractive to foreign investors and entrepreneurs.  But our complicated immigration system is turning into a disadvantage, especially as other nations with the same basic elements for prosperity are making it easier to immigrate there and start a business.  The United States should do more to enable foreign entrepreneurs to see their dreams come true here.

Senate Passed Extension of EB-5 Program

Posted: August 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

08/03/2012: Senate Passed Three-Year Extension of Four Sunsetting Immigration Programs

  • Yesterday, the Senated passed S.3245 [S. 3245.ES} as amended by unanious consent. This bill proposes to extend by 3 years the authorization of (1) the EB-5 Regional Center Program, (2) the E-Verify Program, (3) the Special Immigrant Nonminister Religious Worker Program, and (4) the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program for foregin medical graduates. Wonderful!
  • This bill initially proposed to make these programs “permanent,” but the amendment was passed just to extend for three years until September 30, 2012. This bill was introduced by Senator Leahy of Vermont and co-sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, but the amended version was co-sponsored by three Senators, Sen. Grassley, Sen. Hatch, and Sen. Rand. This bill now moves to the House. The House is expect to pass it, but should the House fail to pass it, it will certainly be passed as part of stop-gap funding bill before October 1, 2012.

Chinese and Looking to Invest? These Sarasota Professionals Can Help

Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

A growing number of Chinese are investing in or looking for ways to qualify for visas and move to the United States.  China’s large and growing middle class is well aware of America’s relative openness to foreign people and foreign investment.

78% of EB-5 Applicants are Chinese.

Here are some statistics from USA Today:

In the year ended Sept. 30, Chinese applicants accounted for 78% of the 3,805 EB-5 applications in the U.S., up from 35% four years before, according to government data. In that program, foreign investors can get permanent resident status, or “green cards,” in exchange for investing $500,000 or $1 million, depending on the part of the country, in ventures that create or sustain at least 10 jobs within two years of the immigrant investor’s admission to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident.

Jaensch Immigration Law Firm has witnessed first hand this increase in the number of Chinese citizens visiting the Sarasota-Bradenton area.  We welcome this trend at a time when the US economy is struggling and as a sign of Chinese people taking on a larger role in the world.  We are ready to help more Chinese nationals find a proper strategy to qualify for a visa.  We also recognize the difficulties presented Chinese nationals when attempting to do so, especially the language barrier.  It can be hard to find people who speak both English and Mandarin, much less Cantonese.

Which is why we went looking for them!

One is Robert Yan, Vice President, Global Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch here in Sarasota.  He is a portfolio manager and speaks Mandarin.  He can be reached at his direct phone number: 941-364-5630 or his email:

Another is Anthony Homer.  Anthony is an accomplished commercial real estate broker who works for Ian Black Real Estate.  He grew up in Hong Kong and Taiwan and speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin.  Here is some information about him from his company’s website:

Anthony Homer specializes in commercial real estate sales and leasing, covering Sarasota and Manatee Counties. In addition to solid commercial real estate knowledge and experience, his background includes the management of over half a million square feet of office and retail space in Lakewood Ranch and downtown Sarasota. He has served as a tenant representative to several national and global companies and represented a broad range of clientele including start-up retailers and Fortune 500 companies with multi-billion dollar portfolios.

Anthony grew up in Hong Kong, attending Chinese public school where he learned to speak, read and write Cantonese.  He later worked in Taiwan where he also learned to speak Mandarin. Anthony  graduated from Liberty University in 2001 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications & Marketing.  His high degree of community involvement gives him a unique perspective and insight into the local commercial real estate market, enabling him to assist in fulfilling a broad range of commercial real estate requirements.

To that end, he has served and currently serves in the following roles:

•  Mid Florida Commercial Real Estate Exchange – Chairperson

•  Commercial Investment Division – President

•  Sarasota Association of Realtors – Board of Directors

•  Sarasota Young Realtors – Founder / Past-President

•  Sarasota Sister Cities Association – Vice President of Business Development

•  Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

•  2009 Florida Realtors Newcomer Award

He can be reached at the Ian Black Office:

1075 Central Ave

Sarasota, FL 34236

Phone: 941.906.8688

Other Resources on Chinese immigration patterns:

  1. From USA Today: “U.S. home market pulls in more Chinese buyers
  2. Reuters article urging US to remain open to Chinese investment.
  3. From US-China Today: “Chinese Students Pour into the United States”
  4. From USA Today Travel: “Chinese Travelers are Seeing the USA in Record Numbers”
  5. The American-China Real Estate Summit and Convention.

EB-5 Regional Center in Lakewood Ranch

Posted: June 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Business for Sale: Regional Sports-Related EB-5 Project

Qualifying for an EB-5 investor visa is an increasingly popular way to get a Green Card to the United States.  Prospective Green Card holders generally must invest $500,000 (plus fees) in a qualified project in the United States that will result in the creation of 10 jobs.

We are happy to report that there is now a qualified EB-5 investment opportunity in Lakewood Ranch, FL.  EB-5 GoodSports LWR, LLC and GoodSports LWR Sports Campus, LLC are entering into a joint venture to acquire 30 acres of land in Lakewood Ranch in order to build a hotel, sports facility, and waterpark.

Rendition of the GoodSports Fieldhouse

GoodSports LWR Sports Campus, LLC and their related companies are qualified under the EB-5 program, to offer Green Card eligibility to over a hundred qualified immigrant investors, each investing $500,000 plus expenses, with the goal of obtaining Green Card Status for themselves, their spouse and any children up to 21 years of age.

The EB-5 program offers a relatively quick route for immigrants to receive Permanent Residency status in the United States.  Immigrants matched with a qualified project can receive their Green Cards before they immigrate to the U.S.  The investments are required to be equity investments and investors must assume all the same risks as the other owners of the project business, but are not required to manage the day-to-day affairs of their business investment project.

The GoodSports EB-5 project is initially seeking 40 investors for its first phase.  The fund will provide money to an entity that owns and operates a multi-sport complex and adjoining lodging facility.  The project may have appeal to prospective foreign investors already in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, because the community attracts a large number of sports-related visitors each year.   Prospective investors may like the sport-themed nature of the project and the fact that is local.

For more information about the project check out  For more information on EB-5 visas and other investment opportunities check

Readers are advised that this article has been provided for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as investment or immigration advice.  An EB-5 investment is a financial transaction that involves risk and anyone considering such an investment should involve a team of financial and legal advisors.