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Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Attorney At Law
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 105164
Experience:  Over 12+ years of experience in various areas of U.S. Law and 15+ years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law..
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We are considering options to live in the USA few years

Customer Question

We are considering options to live in the USA for a few years (possibly longer). We have a number of options - see also below:
- E2 (outright investor)
- L1A (either using USA LLC or new affiliate to run and operate the commercial property)
- EB5 (as the investment in the commercial premises will exceed $1,000,000 and will generate more than 10 jobs).
Our situation is as follows:
Property and business holdings of myself and husband 50:50
1. UK LLC - which owns:
a) a public house/restaurant, owned for 5 years, operated by lessee for 3 years and operated for 2 years ourselves, sold in December 2015;
b) a cottage, currently trading as holiday rental, but on the market to be sold;
c) USA LLC, which owns a commercial property (never traded)
2. Vacation rental property (generating income of around £60K pa), owned and managed by us since 2008 - as of April 2016 this could be considered to be managed by UK LLC
3. Current residence is a commercial/residential property, which we intend to rent as a vacation rental property on our departure to the USA (generating income of around £90k), as above could be managed by the UK LLP.
4. Holiday property in USA, which we intend to live in.
Other factors:
- We are currently in the UK.
- We all hold B1/B2 visas.
- We would like to return to USA at the end of June 2016 to get the children enrolled in school.
- I have already prepared the application papers, files of evidence and business plans which could be adjusted to suit any application
- Our daughter is 18, and I am concerned about her having to leave the USA when she turns 21 if we decide to stay and do not have green cards in place.
So, I see our options as follows, and am seeking advice as to which would be the most suitable/viable option with the highest chance of success and least chance of rejection/further problems down the line - or alternatives I haven't considered:
1. E2 consular processing, followed by EB5 change of status in USA.
2. E2 change of status application COS, followed by EB5
3. EB5 application in USA, accompanied by E2 application COS whilst application is pending
4. L1A premium processing petition, consular for visa stamping, followed by possible change of status to EB5 or EB1C (I am not clear whether as I am the owner if this would be a valid option?) in the USA.
I would also like help in reviewing the cover letter of support for either the L1A or E2 visa to demonstrate compliance with all requirements.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: US Law
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 5 months ago.
Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 13 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help. To be clear, what specific business will you continue to own and operate or at least oversea operations in the UK? How many employees in the UK will remain as employees while you are in the U.S.? What specific business will you own and operate in the U.S.? And how many U.S. jobs will you create for this business in the U.S.?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
We will continue to own and operate two vacation rental businesses with a joint income of around $180,000. The businesses employ three contract workers (not act richly employees).
The USA business will be several divisions - a bar and restaurant, a fully serviced and catered chalet concept accommodation provision, outside catering to vacation rentals and full chalet maid services for other vacation rentals. The division of these is flexible and can be done according to the visa we apply for. We plan to stage the businesses, commencing with the bar and restaurant. My business plan starts with 8 employees, extending to 13+ within 2-3 years. We could easily employ 10 within 2 years.
In the UK we previously ran a bar and restaurant. My education is to masters level in marketing, tourism and hospitality, in addition to law and business administration. We have prior experience of property development, and I was a university professor for 10 years.
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 5 months ago.
Ok. Because there has been a good deal of blowback with the EB-5 green cards due to a big fraud issue that happened recently, I think that's going to cause a big delay with those types of cases. Ideally, an EB-5 directly would be the way to go, but it could still take 2 or 3 years or more to get the non-conditional green card. The benefit, of course, is that you lock your daughter in so that she doesn't age out. The other option would be doing an L-1A and getting that provisionally for a year, then getting that extension of the L-1A and as soon as it is approved, then immediately file for the EB-1C green card. You can probably lock her in around the L-1A has Premium Processing available, but the EB-1C does not, at least not yet. No telling when that will be available. But because the Visa Bulletin is current for all countries in EB-1, you can file the I-140 and I-485 together which would lock in her age under 21. And yes, you would also do E-2 and as long as you keep the company outside of the U.S. running, you could do E-2 to EB-1C. Under current generally feeling in the immigration field, I think the EB-5 would be difficult, the L-1A to EB-1C is a good option, but perhaps the E-2 to EB-1C would be the best option. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, please at least leave a THANK YOU for me so I can let the administrators know. Your question thread does NOT close, so you can ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you.
So. Just to clarify.
Eb5 direct could take 2-3 years to get the conditional green card? When I checked the latest update as of 29feb16 they were dealing with aug2015 applications. Is that not correct?
E2 I think would be easiest to get first approval, but my concern was with COS as owner and not employee for eb1c and also change of intent from non immigrant. At least L1A is dual intent so less ambiguity?
Please clarify why you think E2 then EB1C rather than L1A?
Also, in your opinion, should I apply now whilst in the UK or wait and enter on b1/b2 and apply for COS? We have friends booked to see us this summer and I am anxious in case the application is delayed or unsuccessful. On the face of things do you consider us to have a reasonable chance re e2?
I would really like to have someone review my application form and also the covering letter for the visa application. What rate would you charge for that?
Many thanks.
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 5 months ago.
If you read my answer again, I said non-conditional green card. As far as the E-2 to EB-1C, the E-2 is not a dual intent visa, but they are not strict with it. So it is possible to go from E-2 to EB-1C or EB-5 if you like. I think the E-2 would be easier to get than the L-1A. Lately they want to see lots of U.S. jobs created by an L-1A investment, but you have a good amount of U.S. jobs that should be created, so L-1A isn't a bad option either. And yes, apply from the UK. Generally faster and easier from over there. However, if you don't have the investment up and running in the U.S., you may need to come on a B1/B2 to do that and then at that point it may be easier to change status than to leave and get new status. On the face, I consider you to have a good chance at either E-2 or L-1A, just that E-2 may be easier is all. As to your last question, we would have to speak about that in private. I will send a Premium Service offer so that if you accept, the website would allow me to send you my contact information. If not, that's ok too, just let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget that positive rating. Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you. Sorry - I did read the green card incorrectly - how long for the EB5 application to get a conditional green card? Once the petition is approved would one receive the conditional card at that stage?
I will definitely reply to the $20 offer and we can move forward from there.
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 5 months ago.
Because of the recent BIG fraud in EB-5s, I would not hazard to guess how long it will take. You can look at the processing times here but I would not go by those anymore as they will probably change:;jsessionid=abcBYTBE0yBTAhUwRWIsv Yes, once the petition is approved, you would receive the green card. Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget to rate me positively. You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see the stars or smiley faces, please at least leave a THANK YOU for me so I can let the administrators know. Also, we do NOT finish just because it says "Rate to Finish" or something like that. Your question does NOT close and you can continue to ask questions without additional charge on the same question thread even after you leave a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding!
Guillermo Senmartin, Attorney At Law
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 105164
Experience: Over 12+ years of experience in various areas of U.S. Law and 15+ years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law..
Guillermo Senmartin and 2 other US Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have now completed the online ds160 but there are a couple of sections I am not 100% clear on. Should I submit a new question and upload the papers?
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 5 months ago.
I don't mind answering a few follow-ups here. Just post here as a reply.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
FAMILY INFO: Mother's name - maiden name or married name?
PRESENT WORK: I am self employed with a 50% share in a non-registered partnership and a 50% shareholder in a business (both with my husband). I have noted "self employed" as I am not strictly employed by the business - as partnership (LLP) it is flow through, and all income is accounted for on our personal tax returns. Is that correct?
PREVIOUS WORK - WERE YOU PREVIOUSLY EMPLOYED? I have answered no - as I have been self employed for the past 14 years. Prior to that I was a University Professor. Is that correct, as it specifically says the past 5 years? We did, however, run a pub and restaurant we owned for 2 years (2013-2015 before selling it - should I include this as 'previously employed' as it is relevant to the current business plan, even though, again, I didn't receive a salary.
INVESTMENT: I have attached the actual pages - we have spent almost 500,000 on purchasing the premises and undertaking work on them. We were advised by a local accountant that all expenses would be capitalised once we are up and running, and we did not need to submit accounts until that point. I have all relevant receipts and invoices and proof of payment. I included all the figures for actual payments made in 2015, and all other total expenses. I was not sure if the FINANCIAL STATEMENT FOR MOST RECENT YEAR is just the same figure for historical cost as I included in TOTAL INVESTMENT FROM ABROAD FOR MOST RECENT YEAR?
TOTAL START UP COSTS: I have indicated a total anticipated expenditure of $1,000,000 - this includes monies already spent - is that correct?
SOURCE OF INVESTMENT CAPITAL: I assume this means all monies, already spent and yet to be spent?
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 5 months ago.
Yes, self-employed should be fine. If you also ran a pub and restaurant over the last 5 years, you can include that as previous employment. If you have the deed as well for the ownership of the property, that would be good as well. As to the financial statement, that should be the financial statement from the company from the most recent year. If the total investment abroad was in the one company, that should be fine. And yes, that should be fine to list anticipated expenditure as long as it can be reasonably justified but they will focus on funds already invested and at risk.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you - that has given me peace of mind.
I have one final question - we set up ownership of the USA business which owns the property under our UK business, as our initial intention was to apply for the Lvisa, and also we wanted to try to provide some protection from estate tax should something happen to one/both of us whilst we are non-resident (Vermont still has estate taxes, and our non-resident allowance would only be 60,000). However, I am considering changing the member of the Vermont LLC so it is held only in our own names. This would considerably simplify tax and accounting for us. Would you recommend doing this immediately (i.e. now) so that there is no confusion at renewal? The ultimate ownership will obviously not change, just that there won't be a parent company. I have discussed this with the lawyer who dealt with the conveyancing, and she said it is a simple matter to change the members and can be done online.
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 5 months ago.
Yes, I would change that before applying for the visa.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Sorry - one more tiny question - my husband may or may not end up working/assisting in the business - am I better to include him for a primary e2 visa at the same time as my application, rather than him applying for work authorisation to work in the business? Or, alternatively, should I just note that there will be 2 non-US nationals working in the business, and he can work on a EAD? We do have a second business idea which we hope to work on simultaneously - and I know I would be restricted on the E visa, so maybe better to free him up by him coming over as a dependent? I worry that the consulate may ask why he is not involved in this business when we are effectively equal partners?
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 5 months ago.
Ok. After this one, I would ask that you post a new question thread and write FOR GUILLERMO. If you add him as an E-2 principal, then he would have to have at least 50% ownership, he would have to have his own individual investment in the company, prove source of funds, etc. It's basically doing a second E-2. It's up to you. If he does it as a derivative, yes, he could get an EAD.

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