Ohio Business Investors Offer Help to Immigrants who Create Jobs

news_may_08_005_10272011.jpgAn investment group based in Columbus, Ohio has started a fund offering immigration assistance to international investors who intend to create jobs in Ohio. The fund offers help in obtaining legal permanent resident status, commonly known as a “green card,” to individuals who meet the criteria under U.S. immigration law for investment immigration. This process can be complex and cumbersome, and requires the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney with knowledge of the investor system.

Central Ohio’s government and business leaders have sought to bring international companies to the area as a way of stimulating the local economy, bringing in capital, and creating new jobs. A delegation of officials from local governments and the business community traveled to India last year on a trade mission to promote the region to foreign businesses.

Federal law allows a certain number of entrepreneurs and investors to immigrate to the United States, provided they meet certain criteria for eligibility. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency that handles immigration petitions and applications, may issue up to 10,000 visas, known as EB-5 visas, for investment-based immigrants per fiscal year. To qualify, a prospective investor must make an investment of $1 million, or at least $500,000 if the investment goes to a “targeted employment area,” areas designated by the government in rural communities or in communities with high unemployment. Columbus, Ohio is currently designated as a “targeted employment area.”

The investment must go to a “new commercial enterprise,” currently defined as one created after November 29, 1990 or significantly restructured or reorganized by the investment. The investor must also be able to demonstrate both the intent and the ability to create at least ten permanent, full-time jobs for employees authorized to work in the United States. The investor must show admissibility as an immigrant, meaning that the investor is not subject to exclusion for any reason under the immigration statutes, which might include criminal history or health issues.

Investors outside of the United States can apply through a U.S. consulate and immigrate when a visa becomes available. Investors who are present in the country with a valid visa or some other legal documentation can apply for “adjustment of status,” changing their immigration status to that of a legal permanent resident. Spouses and children under the age of 21 may also be included in a petition for investor immigration.

Another program for investors and entrepreneurs is the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. The program has operated since 1992 and is authorized until September 30, 2012. It is very similar to the EB-5 program, except that it applies to investments made through “Regional Centers” designated by USCIS. Regional Centers are economic entities promoting growth, productivity, and capital investment in a defined geographical area. The fund described above has received a Regional Center designation.

Ohio immigration visa lawyer Gus Shihab guides people and businesses through the complicated system of immigration laws and regulations in order to help employees and investors obtain legal immigration status. Contact him through his website or at 877-479-4USA (4872) to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Web Resources:

Green Card Through Investment, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
EB-5 Immigrant Investor, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
EB-5 Regional Center, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
More Blog Posts:

The New Treaty Investor (E-2) Visa Application Procedures at U.S. Consulate, Toronto, Immigration Visa Lawyer Blog, February 15, 2011
New Procedures for the Treaty Investor (E-2) at the Toronto Consulate, Immigration Visa Lawyer Blog, February 10, 2011
Columbus Ohio Immigration Lawyer on The Immigrant Investor Regional Pilot Program – A Fast Track Green Card Process, Immigration Visa Lawyer Blog, August 9, 2010