Mainland China and EB-5s: Rationales and Visa Usage

The plight of mainland Chinese who use the EB-5 investment immigrant visa have been in the news.

Of note are the rationales for those who leave (via the EB-5 or other means) in the Wall Street Journal (paywall):

The other being story is how the allotment of the EB-5 visa for mainland Chinese have been used up for this fiscal year. (The NEW fiscal year starts up on October 1).

It should be noted that this doesn’t affect EB-5 users from other countries.


Start-up Tales via an E-2: “How I hacked my US start-up”

A great narrative concerning Mike Galarza, the CEO of Entryless, a Silicon Valley startup.  

It’s deals with some of the complex issues dealing with attempting a start-up as a foreign national and what Mike did to make it work — despite working under the heavy burdens of consular processing and starting a business. 

The full story on Quartz.


Visas as a Cold War Tool


The title of this Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece says it all : “Weaken Putin With a Russian Brain Drain.”  (Paywall link).

The Op-Ed piece essentially proposes the use of certain visas as a means of taking away Russia’s best and brightest.  Specifically using a combination of O-1 (those with “extraordinary ability”) and the EB-5 investment visas.

The writer, Edward Luttwak, adds a few wrinkles to the two visas in this editorial piece (urging Obama to use his executive powers to modify both visas to make it easier and more attractive to Russian passport holders.).

The use of the two visas as an “anti-sanction” is an interesting thought experiment.  But it will probably stay that way, a thought experiment.


E-2 visa helps many non-U.S. citizens start small firms

E-2 visa helps many non-U.S. citizens start small firms.

Los Angeles Times article revisits an old standby, the E-2 visa, aimed at small business entrepreneurs.

A few things to keep in mind about the article:

1) It discusses a $50,000 minimum investment, but that number was plucked from a now unpublished guidance memo.  The minimum varies from consular office to consular office and the business being proposed, but oftentimes it is much higher than the $50,000.

2)  The E-2 only works if the foreign national’s country has an E-2 treaty in place.  Check this list from the US  State Department to make sure you qualify:

Official List of E-2 Treaty Countries

H1-B numbers: Canary in the Mine?

There used to be a time when there was an actual lottery for the 65,000 H1-B slots.  A few years ago, USCIS would get 120,000 application on the second day of accepting applications (April 2nd) and then shut down accepting any more applications.  A lottery would ensue — giving one a rough 2 to 1 chance to even get _accepted_.

For fiscal year 2011, when applications were accepted on April 1, 2010 to begin work on Oct. 1, 2010 — the cap was not reached until January of 2011.

This year, as of May 15, 2011, only 10,000+ applications have been received.

I would imagine that an increase in H1-B numbers, if it happens, will be a good indicator of a true economic recovery in the US.