US Visa/GreenCard: 5 Goals for Foreign Nationals


Are you a foreign national thing of buying
a property here in the US to live in? In this video we’re going to share with you
different goals that you can have. Coming up. Hi, this is Kai with the Kai Wong team helping
you better understand everything you need to know about New York city real estate. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you
to Steve Maggi from the SMA Law Firm, an immigration attorney here in New York City. How are you doing today, Steve? I’m doing great, Kai. Thanks for having me. Thank you for being here. So share a little bit about yourself with
us. I’m an immigrant, I came from Argentina when
I was five, just like you. And I decided to dedicate my professional
life to helping other immigrants navigate this really complex immigration system. So we have a full service immigration law
firm. And my chief focus and passion is working
with foreign entrepreneurs and foreign companies that want to launch here in the United States. Well, thank you so much for taking the time
to be here today. Thanks. So share with us, we have a lot of international
clients that are buying and moving into the US. So what are some goals that they may have
that you’ve seen? Well, if they want to actually reside in the
properties that they invest in, it’s important that they have a short-term and long-term
plan for being here. And that means maintaining their status and
if they want green cards, charting that process all the way through to the end. We have, for example, students, they’re the
youngest of our clients, they come here on what’s called an F-1 visa, which allows them
to study here in the US at universities. A lot of them then plan to become professionals,
but they need to get sponsorship for that. So you’re looking at a process that can take
anywhere from four to seven years depending on whether they get what’s called optional
practical training after they finish. And also if they have a STEM degree, science,
technology, engineering or mathematics, they’re eligible for three years of work authorization. And while that happens, they’re remaining
in status and they can be planning their next steps towards permanent residence if that’s
what they want. From the student’s perspective, when should
they start applying for the extension? They can apply right before they graduate,
all they have to do is let the school know, the international division of their school,
that they need an extension on their I-20 that has OPT, that has the optional practical
training. And then they’re required to find a job in
the first 90 days of that status. Once they’ve done that, they can maintain
that status throughout. And then if they get sponsored for a work
visa, they can apply at any time and transition, or what’s called do a change of status, to
a work visa status. That’s great information. I don’t think a lot of students have that
foresight to preplan because especially towards the end where you’re graduating, that’s all
you’re focusing on. You’re not thinking about your immigration
status or what you need to do afterwards. You’d be surprised to know how many students
actually come here with the specific goal of getting sponsorship and remaining in the
US, there’s no room for improvisation here. Especially because under this administration
it’s getting so difficult to get visa petitions approved, they really need to know, the foreign
students need to know, what are their options. So the students come here with the intent,
many times, of getting sponsored, but it’s very difficult to find sponsors now and the
visas, especially the H-1B visa, are very hard to get approved. What other goals are there? If you’re a student and you want to be in
the US, what you have to think about is whether you’re going to be an employee or an entrepreneur. And there are visas available for entrepreneurs,
depending on what their country of origin and what passports they hold, to start their
own US companies with either funding that they provide or funding from venture capital
firms or individuals that will allow them to get a visa to run their own companies,
which then create jobs for Americans. So what I’m hearing from you is depending
on which country you’re originating from, it’s important to speak with an immigration
attorney to find out specifically what options are available for you as an entrepreneur. Correct. I wanted to say there are also visas available
for people from specific countries, but in most cases you would have to apply under what’s
called the E-2 visa, which is applicable to people from 80 different countries or people
who hold those passports. So it’s important for if you’re speaking with
an immigration attorney to talk about your options from the beginning. So even while you’re here in school, before
you’re eligible, before you graduate and you’re eligible for sponsorship, to see if there
are specific visas that apply to you to be sponsored that are not H-1B, which is so difficult
to get approved, or if you’re eligible to start your own business and become an entrepreneur. I haven’t heard that before in terms of going
about the entrepreneur route on getting your visa as well. What’s another goal? Well, let’s say you’re a foreign professional. If you’re working for a foreign company and
that company has a US subsidiary or branch, or they want to launch operations here, and
you’ve worked overseas for that company for at least one year, you can do what’s called
an L-1 transfer visa, which allows you to come here for up to seven years. And it also is a bridge to the what’s called
EB-1 multinational manager or executive green card. And if you’re planning that, essentially you
want to make sure that the US operation is set up, you have all the financials in place
for the foreign company, and you can clearly show that the individual has been working
for the foreign company for at least a year. So that’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurial-type
people or for longterm employees overseas that are professionals to come to the US,
run or work for US operations, and then eventually get their green cards. Their spouses can also qualify for work authorization
and their children under 21 can come with them. And it’s for positions in the managerial and
up positions. Correct. There’s another category called specialized
knowledge, but this administration is trying to crack down on that position saying that
those positions could be filled by Americans who are properly trained. And so we try to slate people into managerial
or executive positions and their duties should correspond to that so they qualify. Okay. And then should they be applying while they’re
still working for the operation in their home country? They should be applying. There is a rule though, it says you have to
have worked at least one year continuously in the past three years. So hypothetically you could be with a different
employer and be sponsored by one that you were employed with in the past three years
that wants to send you to the US as well. It’s a great option for people who are already
professionals working in multinational companies because there are no limits on visas and there
are no limits in terms of nationality. Okay, so there is a higher likelihood that
they’ll be able to be approved for the visa. Yeah, the stronger the company profile is
and the potential for job creation, if it exists in the US and you can justify why they
should come and how that will lead to job creation, there’s a very high probability
of success, which can lead to green cards as well. Any other goals there as well? Well, let’s say you’re a somebody that’s passed
professional and you’re at the top of your field, what I call the rock star green card,
it’s called EB-1 Extraordinary Ability green card. And essentially anyone who is at the top of
their field, has recognition in the media, from their peers, has won awards, can self-sponsor
to work in the United States no matter what their profession is. There’s no limits on profession. There’s no visa limits. It doesn’t matter what country you’re from,
you can qualify. So if you have a high profile, you’re well-recognized
in your field and you want to be here permanently, buy your property to live in, then the EB-1
Extraordinary Ability green card is the best one. Okay, that’s interesting because I actually
just had a YouTube star come in. If it’s a YouTube star for other countries
like Brazil or Japan or wherever it is, would that qualify under that category and how would
it be justified if they have celebrity status or if they’re a rock star? Well, it all depends how you classify them. You have to pigeonhole them into business,
science, mathematics, whatever their profession is, you have to find where they fit. And then essentially show based on all the
categories that in three of 10 categories, minimum, they qualify in terms of their recognition
and the respect and recognition they get from their peers, the media, their standing, awards,
et cetera. There’s very clear criteria for that category,
so we can essentially go through the checklist with someone and in half an hour assess whether
they would be eligible or not. And then essentially you’ve got a premium
processing kind of process where they can know within two weeks. We had a case for a German singer that was
approved in two days. And then you have to go through the actual
visa process, [crosstalk 00:08:29] visa process, which can take about a year. But then you can be here permanently and become
a citizen do everything you want want. So that’s a great option that many people
don’t think of and it’s wonderful because you don’t depend on a sponsor, you’re self-sponsoring. You just need to be a rock star. Correct. In whatever you do. In whatever you do. Right. Got it. Okay. Are there any other goals that we haven’t
covered yet? Yeah, there’s one more. Let’s say you are an investor. There’s a myth out there that if you invest
in property you can get what’s called an EB-5 green card. That’s not true. You have to actually invest in an investment
vehicle or a project that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. But you could be not a student, not a professional,
not an entrepreneur, not a business owner, none of the four categories we talked about,
and still qualify as long as you have half a million dollars to invest into an EB-5 project,
which eventually could get you a conditional green card. Once you remove the conditions by showing
the jobs that have been created, then you can get a permanent green card. With the EB-5 program, is there a length of
time that the funds have to be utilized for? Is it for a certain amount of years or a timeframe? Great question. Two things I always say about EB-5, number
one, don’t think of it as an investment. Essentially the investment is in your future
and getting green cards for not only you, but for your spouse if you have one and your
children under 21, which doesn’t have a price. And the second thing is to make sure that
you sign agreements that specify when that investment will be returned. So it depends on the specific investment vehicle,
but you can calculate minimum five years that those funds cannot be touched. So just to recap, the five categories are
students. Yes, you have people on the F-1 visa, hundreds
of thousands of students here studying in universities, hoping to get sponsored for
jobs. Okay. Number two were employees. Correct. So a lot of them will be candidates that are
here in the US getting their degrees, but a lot of them will also be employees of foreign
multinational companies that are being transferred. Okay. Number three were entrepreneurs. There are 80 countries that qualify for the
E-2 visa, which allows people to set up their own operations here and self sponsor through
those companies and thus create jobs. Number four were rock stars in their fields. So rock stars are essentially are the people
who are at the top of their field and have the recognition to prove that they can qualify
for self-sponsored green cards. And number five was EB-5. EB-5 is an investment platform that allows
you to passively invest, at this time, half a million dollars in a project that will create
10 full-time jobs and get permanent green cards for you and your family. Thank you so much for being here. Thanks Kai, it was a pleasure. And thank you for watching. If you’re new here, consider subscribing. On this channel we share with you market updates,
neighborhood guides, and buying-selling steps. I’ll see you in the next video. Bye. Bye.

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