By a vote of 266-150 on Jan. 22  (three days after  the previous extension deadline of midnight on Jan. 19), the House passed the Senate amendment, extending Continuing Appropriations for government services and programs to Feb. 8.

The bill now goes to the president who is expected to sign it into law.


Continue Reading Congress Passes Another Continuing Resolution After 3 Day Shutdown – EB-5 Extended to Feb. 8

hermanskyThe Legal Intelligencer’s editorial staff selected the top 25 attorneys across Pennsylvania for the 2016 Top Women in Law recognition. This year, Greenberg Traurig attorney Jennifer Hermansky was recognized and
Continue Reading Greenberg Traurig’s Jennifer Hermansky Selected as one of The Legal Intelligencer’s 2016 ‘Top Women in Law’

Greenberg Traurig attorney, Laura Reiff, recently presented at the Wailian 2016 Overseas Investment Seminars in  Qingdao and Guangzhou, China. Among the hundreds of attendees and distinguished presenters was former Ambassador
Continue Reading Greenberg Traurig Attends The Wailian 2016 Overseas Investment Seminars for Chinese Investors in Qingdao and Guangzhou China

I recently returned from a month in Vietnam meeting with clients and potential immigrants to the United States.  Over the course of the past five years and in my travels to Vietnam, I have watched the EB-5 program grow in popularity as a tool for Vietnamese nationals to self-sponsor for a U.S. green card.  In fact, Vietnam now ranks second in EB-5 visa usage worldwide.

The growing interest in immigration to the U.S. has also spurned in Vietnam a new trend, with some immigration agents promoting the EB-3 visa program, to target clients that cannot afford the EB-5 program or wish to spend less money to immigrate to the U.S.  This development is alarming, as in many cases, the way the EB-3 program is being described and offered to the Vietnamese public is inconsistent with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and U.S. Department of Labor Regulations (DOL) laws and regulations.  In the most egregious cases, these EB-3 for sale programs intentionally circumvent the legal requirements and are fraudulent.

By way of background, EB-3 stands for Employment-Based Third preference category – a concept long existent in U.S. immigration law and a valid means to a green card when properly used.  Employment-based sponsorship in U.S. immigration is divided into several preference categories, with the Employment-Based Third category being reserved for sponsorship for positions requiring:

  • Less than two years’ training or experience (unskilled workers).  This is predominately the focus of the Vietnamese EB-3 for sale programs; or
  • At least two years of experience in the field of expertise (skilled workers); or
  • A Bachelor’s degree.

The process of employment-based sponsorship in the EB-3 category entails a three step process:

1.  A PERM application is processed and filed by the employer with the DOL.  The process involves the U.S. employer engaging in various methods of recruitment to find U.S. workers for the position.  This is because the DOL’s main purpose is to ensure that U.S. workers get preference for jobs.  The DOL determines the prevailing wage rate for the position that the employer is required to pay. Only after recruitment is completed, and if the employer can show that it was not able to find minimally qualified, able, or willing U.S. workers for the position, would the DOL certify and approve a PERM application.  If the sponsoring organization receives applications from interested individuals in the U.S. in response to the ads but does not review and interview the applicants or disclose receiving the applications to the DOL, the sponsoring company and all persons involved in the process can be subject to enforcement action.


Continue Reading Permanent Residency Through the EB-3 Program: What’s Lawful and What’s Not

On July 29, Representative Zoe Lofgren, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and Representative Luis Gutiérrez introduced H.R.3370, the Entrepreneurial Business Creating Jobs Act of 2015 to permanently reauthorize and reform the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Representative Lofgren’s sectional summary can be found here.

The legislation provides visas for foreign entrepreneurs who obtain venture capital or seed financing and wish to start businesses in the United States. And it provides visas for foreign entrepreneurs who are in the United States in non-immigrant status operating an existing business and can show that the business is growing.

The legislation also permanently reauthorizes the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program, and authorizes for five years the E-Verify Program and the Special Immigrant Nonminister Religious Worker Program. Below are the major components of the legislation:

Provisions for “Venture Capital-Backed Start-Up Entrepreneurs”

  • Visas are made available to foreign entrepreneurs on a conditional basis who are sponsored by, as defined by the legislation, a “qualified venture capital fund,” one or more “angel investors,” a “qualified business,” or who obtain funding through a “qualified seed accelerator.”
  • In order to have conditions removed, the entrepreneur must show that within a two-year period, the business created full-time jobs for five or more U.S. workers; raised an additional $2 million in capital investment; earned $1 million in revenue; or created full-time jobs for three U.S. workers with salaries of $100,000.


Continue Reading Representative Zoe Lofgren and Representative Luis Gutiérrez Introduce EB-5 Regional Center Reauthorization Legislation

The EB-5 program is currently at risk of expiring Sept. 30, 2015.  Congress needs to act immediately to reauthorize this program which has a proven record for stimulating the economy and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. On March 23, 2015, Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) released a statement explaining the merits of the EB-5 program and the reasons why this program should not be further delayed in partisan debate.

On Jan. 28, 2015, Congressmen Jared Polis and Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced The American Entrepreneurship & Investment Act of 2015 [HR 616] in a push to permanently authorize the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program.   The bill has received strong support from the real estate, business, and tourism industries, also evidenced by the EB-5 Coalition’s final letter supporting HR 616 released earlier this month.  The legislation makes the following proposals:
Continue Reading Bipartisan Legislation Needed Now to Make the EB-5 Program Permanent