In this episode, we discuss the ins and outs of bringing business, investments and people to the United States. We cover: * The L1 visa and how it can lead to the EB1-3 Permanent Residency Visa. * EB5 investment projects and changes. * How to get an EB-3 and navigate the PERM or Labor Certification Process.
David Kelso: Hi there, and welcome to another edition of the OnlineVisas.com: The Immigration Show. We have a special edition today. We're speaking to the Golden Global Law Conference in California, and here with me as usual, CEO of OnlineVisas.com, Mr. Jon Velie. Jon, how are you?
Jon Velie: I'm doing great, Dave. How are you? Hello to all of our attendees at the Golden Global Law Conference.
David Kelso: Hello. Well, we have a lot to talk about today. I understand that attendees at the conference are people who want to bring businesses, bring investments, bring themselves to the United States, and we need to talk about sort of how you bring your American dream here and how we move the world like they do it OnlineVisas.com. Let's start with businesses and investors.
Jon Velie: Okay.
David Kelso: If I am a business owner, say in Southeast Asia and I want to come live in the United States, what are my options? Where do I start?
Jon Velie: Okay. So we have a couple of them, and that's what I think a lot of the attendees, many are from Vietnam and maybe other surrounding countries that have come to United States to see what opportunity is here, and my job is to talk about, how can they do that, so excellent question. So you're from Vietnam and you have a company, you can do a couple things. One option is to obtain a permanent residence through the L1 non-immigrant visa, that's a temporary visa that leads into the EB1-3 permanent residency visa. So remember the EB-1 and the L1.
Jon Velie: What that is for is for international companies that can send their executives, managers and specialized employees from their Vietnamese company to their United States company.
David Kelso: And what's a specialized employee? Excuse me for interrupting, but I know what a manager is, I know what an owner is, but specialized?
Jon Velie: Well, not owner, executive. I mean an owner can be an executive, but a specialized employee is somebody that knows the secret sauce, right? Or somebody that has an understanding of the way the company does what it does and they really need them to come over.
David Kelso: Can't do it without this guy.
Jon Velie: Right. They even understand how the machines work or the software works or whatever the company does that they need those types of people to do it. So the L-1A are for the executives and managers. Now, we talked about owners, right?
David Kelso: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jon Velie: So the owner can be an executive, but not all owners are. So you can't be just a quiet, silent partner, you have to have executive duties, and executive duties are creating plans and overseeing them and having meetings and having your managers undertake that tech plans. Managers are those who execute the plans. They answer to the executives and then they direct the workers, so they have to be supervising people under one type of managerial role.
Jon Velie: Another type of managerial role is the functional manager. That's somebody that may be autonomous, may be by themselves within the company, such as research and development or something like that, but they often have a budget, they're responsible. They deal directly with other managerial type of people, maybe with the sales and production, things like that.
Jon Velie: So those are L-1As. Those are good up to seven years, and you must have worked for the company for one year outside of the United States. So say the Vietnamese company has offices in Hong Kong or Saipan or wherever they may be, they can work in another country, just not in the United States. And then they can come over and work at the United States operation. We can even set the United States operation up. So if the folks today in California are looking at us they're saying, "Hey, I'd like to open a company in the United States, how do I do that?" Well, we can help.
Jon Velie: We can incorporate them. We can get them a federal ID number. We will help them write their business plan, which is the anchor of the L1 and the EB-1, and then they can set up their company. Now, they need to hire three tiers of employees, so they need to have executives, managers, and workers. They need to partner up with people or hire people to do that. They need to rent a location, an actual facility and start doing that work. They can come in on visitor visas and they can stay to do all of that stuff. They actually have to create the company and create work to do that, so that's an interesting way to get about that.
Jon Velie: After that company has existed for a year, they're eligible for the EB-1 visa.
David Kelso: The green card visa. That's the one where you can stay.
Jon Velie: Well, stay as long as you want. Permanent residency, your spouse, your children get permanent residency. They can go to US colleges cheaper if they're permanent residents, and that sort of thing. That track record is fairly quick. You can get premium processing to get EB-1s a little bit faster, but then there's priority date issues. So you're looking at about between a year and a half, two years start to finish with the priority dates to become an EB-1 green card holder.
David Kelso: So it's a process that takes a little bit of time.
Jon Velie: It does. Now, another issue is the EB-5, and I understand there's going to be some other great presentations made on the EB-5 for some of the investors there, but the EB-5 is where you invest half a million dollars or $1 million in somebody else's company, right?
David Kelso: Sure.
Jon Velie: Now, you can do your own company as well. The half a million dollars or a million is based on where it is. So it's in a target employment area which is either rural or high unemployment rate, it's the lower bound and $1 million is a higher amount. Now, I say all of this, on November 1st those numbers go up. It goes to 900,000 for the target employment area and 1.8 million for the regular one.
David Kelso: So if you want to pursue the EB-5 thing, now would be a great time to jump on it.
Jon Velie: Yeah, and I bet there's going to be a lot of discussion about that. There's a number of projects out there that are regional center projects, we're probably going to hear a lot about them when they're here. So find a good one, but then you have an immigration attorney that knows their way around that, they can do that. So doing it before November 1st is important, because even after November 1st the amount of the ones that are at the lower are going to decrease. So less of those will be-
David Kelso: Of the smaller investment opportunities will be available.
Jon Velie: Right. More of them are going to be the higher level after that because they're going to take away the state's designation of what's a target employment area and make it an immigration determination and they're going to make less of those available. Right, so that's important. But you can still do it that way, you can do it with your own company, you can do it in a regional center. The difference is a regional center are these predesignated areas, right?
Jon Velie: So some of them have been around longer than others. Most of them will have a fee, a regional center fee in addition to the legal fees, and those are different. And so if you want to talk to somebody that's not affiliated with any of them, I can tell you how it is and we can talk about that. So those are the two ways investors can do it. Certain countries, Vietnam is not one of them, have a treaty to do a lower level investment, but we'll save that for another day.
David Kelso: Before we get on to workers, we talked about the owners and executives and we talked about investors, before we get on, let me say hello again and reset the Golden Global Law Conference here. Jon Velie from OnlineVisas.com, if I wanted to reach out to you to some of the things that business owners or investors wanted to talk to you, let's throw that in real quick one, how do I get ahold of you?
Jon Velie: Well, you can go to our website OnlineVisas.com. We have between 1,000 and 2,000 people a day coming to our site. We give free strategy sessions. You can sign up for one there. You can call us, the phone number is on there, but it's (405) 310-4333. You can do information at velielaw.com, that's V as in Victor, E-L-I-E-L-A-W.com or me personally, Jon J-O-N@velielaw.com, again, V as in Victor, E-L-I-E-L-A-W.com or call the number or go to the website and do it all through there.
David Kelso: Or it's all right down here on the bottom of the screen.
Jon Velie: Right. So going on, you want to talk about-
David Kelso: Workers.
Jon Velie: Workers, okay.
David Kelso: Employees.
Jon Velie: So if you want to be an employee of the United States company under the EB-3 visa, and the EB-3 uses the PERM or Labor Certification Process. EB2 is similar too, so the EB2 is for advanced degree professionals, people with more than five years experience. The EB-3 can be for just skilled workers or just a bachelor's degree, right? So how the process works is that you need an American company to offer the job, and the American company has to be in charge of this recruitment.
Jon Velie: So what they're going to do is they're going to run advertisements for the job in five different ways, right? They're going to advertise in the largest newspaper in the metropolitan statistical area, like the LA times and the New York times, Chicago Tribune, whatever the big one is. They're going to put it for 30 days in the state workforce agency. They're going to have to post it at their location. They're going to then have three other optional ways out of a number of more than that.
Jon Velie: It could be a Monster.com, it can be on the company website, it can be at a job fair, it can be a radio ad, it can be-
David Kelso: We have to diligently advertise for the job in the local community before we go outside a lot.
Jon Velie: And no American can be willing or able to do the job. So the key is that the job requirements have to have specific requirements. So instead of just being inexperienced in something or two years experience in a type of skill or a particular type of education, a degree in journalism or whatever, right? And so the company has to do that. The company has to then look at the resumes, have the interviews if anybody comes forward and then make legitimate determinations.
Jon Velie: They can only turn down the Americans that don't meet the qualifications. Now, they don't have to hire the Americans, but if an American comes through with those minimum requirements and they can't hire the foreign national under that labor certification process, they'd have to do the process again, wait some time and they have to pay for the advertising and they have to pay for the legal fees of that part of it.
Jon Velie: After that, the labor certification comes back from the Department of Labor saying it's all good, then you can file for immigration, USCIS and an I-140. And after that you can either adjust your status if you're on certain types of visas or file consular processing if you're not. That process can be ... Certain of it is going pretty quickly right now. We can talk details if you want on strategy sessions there, but again, you have to have an employer.
Jon Velie: Some of the people there today may have employers that are ready to do this or companies that want to bring in people, but they have to have the right requirements and those sorts of things. But that's it in a nutshell. That's a way to get permanent residence in the United States, either through the EB-3 or EB2 permanent residency requirement. Remember the recruitment, remember the company has to offer the job or set up your own company under the L1 and then take it to the EB1 green card or invest in either your own company or another company-
David Kelso: With the EB-5.
Jon Velie: ... or regional center with the EB-5.
David Kelso: Right.
Jon Velie: So there it is. We rattled through it pretty quick. There's a lot of nuance to this. There's a lot of details. Hope that overview helps. We have a lot more information on our website at OnlineVisas.com, O-N-L-I-N-E-V-I-S-A-S.com. And if you go and check out visas, we have breakdowns of every different type of visa we talked about. We have videos on all of them, and Dave and I have been doing this podcast and videos for quite some time, so a lot of those we've touched on before.
Jon Velie: We invite you to go check that out, subscribe to our podcast videos.
David Kelso: Please. Find us on YouTube. You can find us on YouTube. We're on Facebook and LinkedIn as well. Now, I want to ask you just one last question.
Jon Velie: Right.
David Kelso: I would imagine with all of the steps that you talked about, the L1 to the EB and this to this, and this has to be exactly so and the advertising just has to be right, there's a level of strategizing, there's a level of tactics to this that experience really plays in. What have you learned about being successful in these applications in your quarter century of doing this?
Jon Velie: Well, we've got about a 95% approval rating. There's a lot of ways to do it wrong, a lot of ways to do it wrong. We do have some partners. A lot of partners and other people we work with who are Vietnamese, so if you're worried about a language barrier we can partner up with you and some of our members to talk about that. But yeah, the details are everything. It's really important. But we give free strategies, so you can always contact us and we'll talk about it.
Jon Velie: I've also written a book.
David Kelso: Bestselling book.
Jon Velie: A bestseller on Amazon about the H-1B visa. We didn't talk about that, but it's a little bit on how we think about immigration and we'll give you one of those for free if you want. We look forward to talking to you if you want to chat more. Sorry I couldn't get out to California this weekend, but I hope you guys are having a great time and enjoying your trip.
David Kelso: Southern California. Please bring your American dream to us. I'm Dave Kelso. This is CEO of OnlineVisas.com Jon Velie, thanks to the Golden Law Global Conference for having us out this weekend. See you next time.
Jon Velie: Take care.