Moving to the USA – Conversation with Mike Dye, Immigration Attorney – 18th January 2022

 

VOICE-OVER:

This podcast channel it's about you, successful international entrepreneurs, successful ex-pats, successful investors. Sponsored by HTJ.tax

DERREN JOSEPH:

Wonderful. All right. So thank you for joining us today. As on each year, the tax, every week we do a live stream, usually around taxation in general. Today is a bit nuanced. Where are we going to enjoy the insights from Attorney Michael Dye, as he talks about immigration to the US. So, Michael, thank you for joining us again. For those who okay, I'm just going to let some more people into zoom. Okay. So for those of you who are joining us for the first time, know that we, I may be a tax professional, Michael Dye is obviously an attorney, but we cannot give legal advice.

So we're having a general conversation around general themes and it's use. But if it is that you want advice and consultation that is tailored to your unique situation, then please feel free to reach out to us, to engage us professionally to do so. This is also being recorded. So for those of you who are on zoom, if you do not want your image to be recorded, you just need to keep your cameras switched off, regardless of which platform you're on. There's a chat box down below. I ask that people submit some questions in advance.

If you didn't get a chance to do so, please feel free to just type it below and we'd get to them in the order in which we received them. And without further ado, Michael, let's jump into the first question. Okay. So this is from some of my quite well, some of my existing clients are having this problem and I'm complaining about it. And when I check online, I see this a lot of discussion and speculation going on and here is a situation, right? So apparently there are quite a few us citizens. So this is the opposite from moving to the US. I'm talking about moving away from the US now. So there are quite a few citizens, including some of my clients who are trying to renounce their citizenship, but the embassy's haven't fully reopened in certain cases.How is this being handled? Do you have any insight into that?

MICHEAL DYE:

Well, first of all, thank you for having me on again. And it's great to talk to you and to other people all around the world who might have US immigration or migration type of question. So it's nice to be here today to answer your question. This is a very interesting phenomenon that is actually happening right now, that it was not really the way it's supposed to be working because legally speaking, if an individual, a US citizen wants to renounce his or her US citizenship, they make an appointment at a US embassy or a consulate abroad in the foreign country.

And there's a process to go through and it involves generally two or three different steps. And in most places, two appearances at the embassy, the first time you make your appearance and you let the consular officer know that you want to renounce, they will then give you some time to think about it because it's actually, of course, a very important decision and one that you generally cannot retract. So once it's set into motion and you decide, you take the oath of renunciation, it's, it's a done deal. And so generally that's why you appear twice. And so generally speaking, this is a process.

It's a streamlined process that occurs, but what's happened. And it actually started during the former administration of President Trump. He kind of put the brakes on the whole renunciation process because I think the perception from that administration is that there's a loss of tax revenue. So if someone's going to renounce, well, why make it so easy for them to do so, maybe they're doing this for tax reasons. Maybe they're doing this for reasons that don't benefit the US government. So we don't necessarily need to help them, fast-track it. And so everything kind of slowed down and then the pandemic hit, and it was a good excuse for embassies and consulates under the former administration to basically put all of those requests at the bottom.

And so they could say, well, we only have limited resources, consulates and embassies are only open, limited capacity. We can only review the certain number of cases a week. These are going at the bottom of the pile. And so that happened for quite a while, but during the last year, things started to get back on track. Renunciation appointments were opening up at various posts around the world. I know from just my personal experience, dealing with cases in Europe, in several posts had opened south America, same as well. Canada had just started to reopen so all around the world, there were openings happening, but in certain countries, no, I'm still getting a word from some of my clients and other partners that some embassies absolutely have a solid stop.

They're not doing them at all right now. And so, you know, to answer your question, it's kind of a long-winded answer, but, but yeah, I think what can you do about it? If you're trying to renounce, you can generally start the process the normal way. And if you start getting pushback, you know, speak to, you know, to Derren and he can reach out to us or speak to us and we can try to help you because we can, in certain cases, talk to the embassy and the consulate and see if there's a reason behind the scenes what's happening. Why is this going on? And if there's an urgent need for you to renounce, for example, you know, some individuals may have to renounce to take a job with a foreign government in a certain country.

So there are reasons why this has to test to move faster. And so if that's the case, we can try to intervene. But yeah, unfortunately, some of the posts are just very slow and they're trickling to a stop. Actually, Singapore is very slow.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Yeah. I'm very slow from what one of my clients told me. They're being told that it's not possible, but you're saying that if that someone was to reach out to you, perhaps you can assist,

MICHEAL DYE:

Perhaps we can, we'd have to look at the case and the background and the timing, but yeah, you're correct. Actually, the official policy, the latest that I've seen from, from embassy Singapore is that it has stopped. They're not taking these cases right now, but there's actually no legal justification to do that. And so I guess the, my point of view is if you really want to push this, I think that you can push it. It's just, most people, you know, they say, well, we'll just wait and come back six months later because there isn't urgency. But if there is, yeah, definitely it's worth it to look at it,

DERREN JOSEPH:

Right. Because my clients in Southeast Asia, especially if they're on track to get another citizenship. And as you know, most Asian countries only allow one. So they lead to give up the US one. So it's just like delaying that, that part of their life. I've also heard some of them discussing some of the, you know, people in my network did discuss getting in touch with embassies in other countries that appeared to be open, particularly in Europe, which appears to be a bit more open as opposed to the Asian embassies. But at the same time, they're being tooled by those embassies in, I guess, certain European countries that, yeah, we'd like to help you, but we can only help you if you're a legal resident of the jurisdiction in which we, you know, an so I know one person who is actually taking that extra step, they still want to get rid of their US citizenship that they're pursuing a residency in a given. I don't want to say which one it is and given a European country with a view, as soon as they get it, the first day, they're heading down to the embassy to renounce the US passport. Is that overkill.

MICHEAL DYE:

You know, you're absolutely right with that assessment too, because the whole concept of looking somewhere else, it's called forum shopping. And so you look for a different consulate or embassy to take your case. And so most of the time with any type of visa, if, for example, if you get denied on a tourist visa in Singapore, some people will say, well, I'm going to try it in Malaysia, or I'm going to try it in Indonesia. And so the consulates and the embassies, they know because they have all of the records. And so whenever they see someone hopping around to try to get a better decision, generally it doesn't doesn't work. Sometimes you might get a more lenient ear that listens to you and it works out.

But, but yeah, this whole concept of forum shopping, it applies to renunciations as well. It's the same thing, unless you're a resident in that consular district, you're generally going to have a difficult time getting them to accept you. The one-way workaround with this type of situation is if, for example, if you travel in the summertime, you might rent a place for two months, three months, and plan to spend the summer. There will then now you have a valid reason for being there for an extended period of time. And most embassies would be able to accept that argument.

DERRE JOSEPH:

Okay, that's great to know. Now you mentioned, you kind of hinted that it's it's of course normally an irrevocable decision. So you, sometimes I know some embassies give you a cooling off period, so come back or some of them, I remember London would, they would do it immediately. So in one appointment. So I guess it depends on the consular official depends on the embassy. Depends on your situation, but are you aware of circumstances where someone's, I guess, efforts to renounce have been denied? And if so, generally speaking, what steps can one take to avoid any problems to the embassy?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah. You know, personally speaking, I mean, we've been doing this for a while and I've had many renunciations and, and also the abandonment of a green card and a minute permanent resident status, which is similar for green card holders. But yeah, w I've seen a lot of different scenarios. I've rarely ever seen someone denied the, the actual ability to go through the process. I've had individuals have a tough time when they set out the process in the wrong way, because you know what, we can't get into too much detail here because this is really complicated on the tax side, as you know, and, and it deals with civil and criminal issues that come up if you renounce for certain reasons and certain boxes aren't checked properly, but we've had individuals who have gotten off on the wrong foot with the consular officer and said a couple of the wrong things.

And so that leads you down a different road. And so you might find an embassy, less willing to take the case on without doing what's called administrative processing or further background review and checks. So they may take your name. I mean, they're going to take anything you give them, and they're going to say, okay, well, let us do a little bit of research because based on what you've said, I think we need to figure out if everything's working properly and we can do this, and then they'll go back and do their own security checks. And so that may delay it for quite some time. So it is helpful to just always do this the right way.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Understood. Understood. Okay. So, that's helpful to know. So I guess that's, that's another point to suggest that, hey, if it is, you're going to make this use decision, it's good to get legal advice

MICHEAL DYE:

And tax advice too, for sure.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Yeah. So we've spoken about renouncing citizenships, but then of course, as you began to touch on renouncing your permanent residence or your green card now with the embassies closed, I've heard some clients say that they're able to, because I do probably three renunciations each month passports or green cards. And I've heard some say that, yeah, maybe the embassy can help, but otherwise they're being told to just mail everything to DC. What is, what are you hearing what's the right way to do it?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah, that's another good question. It used to be the case that the easiest way to do this was to just visit the consulate or the embassy. You can handle the whole process in one meeting. And then oftentimes what people would do is the same day. They would have an appointment set up to get a tourist visa or the next day, you know, so they could actually just, they could give up the residence status, but then make sure that they can just travel back and forth as a tourist. That was the old way. And so the new way is that you actually have to mail it in that's, you know, 99% of the cases are advised to mail it in.

There are some exceptions, but yeah, it goes into a US address. You do all the forms, you know, remit your green card with that and send it in. And they're actually pretty good about getting back to at least the cases that I handle are pretty, pretty fast. Usually within about two weeks, if you put your email on there, you'll get an email confirmation from the unit that they've received your case, and then you'll eventually get a copy of the executed. It's called the I407, which is abandoned.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, fantastic. Thank you for that. And the next question is this is actually my personal question. So as you know, this happened to someone close to me, and I think it's not that uncommon. So I think it's worth asking. So other people can benefit from that advice. If you are outside of the west and you permanent resident and you happen to lose your green card, what should you do? Let's say if the embassy is closed, it's available, what's the right way?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah, well, yeah, this has happened. It's happened to actually a fair number of my clients too. It's always a frightening situation to when you lose that document that you need to get back back to the US you know, there's a variety of different things you can do. It's always good to have a copy of it. So when you travel, make a copy of the front and back of the card, I would always recommend to do that. And then, you know, it depends on, on what your schedule is and what you need to do with your personal travel situation. So if you need emergency help, what individuals can do is they can go to the airport.

If they're boarding a flight, you know, it's a direct flight back to Los Angeles, Chicago, wherever you just need to tell the, the officer that you are a permanent resident, here's a copy of my green card. And they, the actual airline has a direct telephone number to us, customs and border protection. And so they can get advanced permission for you to get on that flight and not have a problem. And then when you get off, you tell the officer what happened, and then you of course can file for an actual, a new card, which you, you just submit an application for.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Oh, wow. Okay. So, that's good to know. And of course, I guess it depends to some extent and who you get at the airport check-in counter, right? Because some people are more helpful than others.

MICHEAL DYE:

So, and it depends on what country you're traveling from as well, because if you're coming from a place that's not used to seeing that many permanent residents from the U S might be in it too. And that's where you just have to utilize your good talking skills and, and, and set the story straight, just, just to make sure that you're not, you know, you let them know, you're not trying to do something that you shouldn't be doing.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. That's wonderful. And for those, who've just joined, feel free if you have questions, just type them in the box below. So I have a question. Someone says, I would like to ask as you're covering your topics, that you also fit in mentioning things about if the move is temporary and you consider returning to your Homeland in three, five or 10 years, also, if you can quickly touch and how the US or the IRS view is the person in.

Question, blah, blah, blah. Okay. So someone is asking about if the moving to the US for just a few years, three, five or ten years. So I guess maybe it's work-related or something like that. That seems to be a bit vague, but I guess you, you want to comment on what they options are from an immigration perspective for temporary. I'll take a guess. I think what, what this individual is asking is what happens if you're outside the US for a long period of time, maybe on a work assignment or an academic assignment, and you don't want to give up your residency, but you're not going to be going back and forth very much, basically.

MICHEAL DYE:

I think that's what they're asking. So if that happens, if you are a us permanent resident and you know, you're going to be gone for a long period of time, there is something that you can do. And before you leave for that long trip, you apply for what's called a re-entry permit. And this is a permit that you have to file when you're physically present in the US but you just need to file that permit while your feet are on the ground in the US before you leave. And it constitutes asking for advanced permission to be gone from the US for a period of up to two years.

And so once that's filed generally with the first time nobody has any issues. I've had individuals on re-entry permits four and five times a work for companies abroad. And every two years, they just keep getting another reentry permit. So as long as you have a valid reason for doing so, and you don't have the intent to give up your residency, it's generally something that can be worked out.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. And there's a rule of thumb that you should at least try to enter every six months. Is that correct? Or is it just a rumor? Is that right?

MICHEAL DYE:

You know this? Yes, I would say, I always advise, my clients always enter the US at least once every six months, and don't be outside the US for longer than one year, because if you're outside of the US for longer than a year, you're going to have been deemed abandoning your permanent residency. And then you've got a fight with the government to try to get it back. But, there's no, to answer your question, there's no hard and fast rule at the six month mark. It's just the point that if you come in, once every six months, that's at least a couple of trips a year, you know, keep your driver's license, keep your address and whatever else that you do, to be a normal resident, keep all of that active, your bank accounts, things like that.

And generally speaking, there isn't much of an issue. Of course, I would say, come as, as much as you can, quarterlies better than twice a year, every month is better than that. But, but yeah, generally it's okay for most of my clients, if they're in and out at least once every six months.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, I got you. And, but, you know, I've heard in my network of people who have been out for just a month or two, and they were challenged at the airport on trying to re-enter and some have been detained while, you know, so is there an, a situation like that where you being challenged by the customs and border protection officer, like is, you know, you said, you make sure you have your driver's license. So any other documents, like, should he keep a tax return? Like, you know, utility bill? Like what can you use to, you know, make it as easy a process as possible?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah. So I think the whole premise of this discussion is how do you con or not convinced, but how do you show a customs and border protection officer that you don't have any intent to give up your residency for whatever reason, the last trip that you were on was longer maybe than you thought it would be, or it was longer than he thinks it should have been. And so, so then you have to explain, no, I'm, you know, I am a resident here, here's my license. Here's a copy of my last bank statement here is where our, a copy of, if you have kids for maybe evidence that you have kids and they live in the United States, you know, if you have a home that you're renting, leasing or own, maybe just bring a document or two with that address on it, you know, a telephone bill. I mean, things like that. It's good to carry with you some things. And of course, tax return information. If you, if you can have evidence of that, then that's, that's a very good indication that you don't intend to give up your residency.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. Gotcha. And of course, if they have, if they get any further challenges, it be good. If they can reach out to a qualified professional like yourself who may be able to assist in a situation like that.

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah, absolutely. So if you do get into the point where you're not going to win that argument on that day, what normally happens is the officer will take the actual physical card and they will then issue you, what's called a notice to appear, and then you're being placed in immigration court proceedings. And so you have to basically convince the judge that you didn't intend to give up your green card, but that's actually, it, it kind of shows that the system is, is good for defending people who are residents, because it's not like you're out of the US the government can just take the card and that's it. You actually have a right to appear before an immigration judge to argue your side of the case. And, you know, I used to work at immigration court many, many years ago in, in San Diego. And so we saw a lot of these types of cases, and you are given a chance to explain what happened. And I, you know, I think if you do end up in that scenario, it's a good thing that you, that you can argue your way, but definitely get some counsel for that as well.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. Gotcha. An returning to the same lady that asked the question, I'm just going to finish reading the end of it. So there's an extra sentence. Well, see if you can quickly touch on how the IRS views that person coming in, going, I guess, and continuing to own property and keep bank accounts back in their home land. Well, from, from a us tax perspective, you, once you become a us person and for tax purposes, you'd be subject to taxes and your worldwide income, and you'd also be required to disclose your investments wherever it may be anywhere in the world. So if it is that you have rental properties, then that income needs to be declared in your tax return. If it's just sitting empty and there's nothing going on, then it won't need to be declared ordinarily unless you hold it in some sort of structure at some, like in some jurisdiction, people tend to hold properties using a holding company structure. So then that needs to be potentially disclosed on a form meeting 938 in terms of the bank accounts, then yes, there's something called a foreign bank account report, otherwise known as FinCEN 114, and there's, it's pretty old. It dates back to the bank. Secrecy act, 1970s is a pretty old form, but within recent times, within the last couple of decades, it's become, you know, a hot topic. And so the penalties for noncompliance are pretty aggressive.

So it's just something to pay attention. So you would want to on entering the US and becoming a us person, get advice as to the right way of being compliant with the various rules, which may be unusual given whatever jurisdiction you would have previously resided and hope that answers your question. If not, please, you can type in the box below if you, if you have any more questions. Another question that I get asked as recently as yesterday, actually for moving to the US some people live in jurisdictions and they have a passport that isn't is unable to benefit from the treatment and so easier access to the US. So one of the popular ways of, from like a citizenship and residency planning perspective is the Grenada passport. It's a Caribbean island for those who are unfamiliar. So the Caribbean island of Grenada, and apparently you get the opportunity to, to access the US can you tell us a bit more about that?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah, absolutely. So this is a strategy that it's gotten actually pretty popular over the last couple of years, and then the pandemic, I think actually pushed a lot of people to explore other residencies, you know, for a million different reasons. So yeah, this strategy, it's exactly what you mentioned. So there is a special visa in the United States. It's called an E2 Treaty investor visa, and it's a visa that's based on a treaty of trade and commerce between the United States and another country. And there's about 80 countries that can utilize these E2 visas.For example, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand. Now as a new country, Israel's a newer country. So all around the world, there's about 80 of them, but actually kind of intriguingly enough. Some of the big countries don't have access to this like Brazil, Russia, China, India. So these countries, and then many others in Asia and elsewhere in the middle east, it's, it's been very popular in Vietnam to do this. And other countries, what they do is they get residency or they get a passport from another country that does have easy to access. And the easiest way to do this is the country that you actually just mentioned there in Grenada. There are other countries where you can do this. Some people choose Turkey, others have selected other countries, but Grenada actually offers the best strategy. And so what the individual would do is that they would go through the Grenada citizenship program, become a Greneda citizen, get that Grenada passport, and then use the Grenada passport to apply for an E2 visa. And the E two visa is a five-year multiple entry visa that allows you to invest in your own business or company in the United States.

It can be any type of business. The investment just has to be substantial. And so the government doesn't say what that means. They don't give a minimum number. I would recommend that you, you would always invest at least a hundred thousand on up. We have investors who have invested less than that, but most of the investments are around one 50 to 52, something like that. And again, in any type of business at all, we have investments in retail outlets, consulting businesses, you name it. Restaurants is very popular for easy to small hotels, motels, things like that.

And it's great because, as I mentioned, it's five-year multiple entry and you can continue to renew that visa indefinitely, as long as your business keeps going. So it basically can act, it acts a lot like a green card in, in many ways. And, and you can come into the U S as much as you like, or as little as you like. So if you only want to spend three months a year in the US it's perfectly fine. If you want to spend all 12, it's perfectly fine too. So it's very flexible visa, and it actually does allow for the spouse to get their own work authorization, to work anywhere.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Wow. Okay. And what's the processing time for that visa.

MICHEAL DYE:

So, another good point about the E2 is that the whole process is handled at the US embassy or the consulate. So you don't need to file forms inside the United States with the various us government agencies everything's handled at the consulate. Generally speaking, I would say, you need to plan for at least one to two months to get everything together, your investment documents, all of that, get it to the embassy. The embassies are getting faster. Now with reviewing cases, the pandemic did slow things down a bit, but we're able to get cases in, in various posts around the world, get them all through within three to five months. So yeah, it can happen pretty quickly and you can also request for an expedite.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Wow. Okay. So you mentioned like at least a hundred K, but then you mentioned in terms of the industries consulting. So I would imagine that consulting doesn't really have like a lot of investment. So if it is, you have a consulting business already, let's say in Singapore, and you want to migrate that business, and it may be mobile depending on what you do. Maybe it's on zoom. I don't know. And you want to migrate that to the US can that work in a situation like that?

MICHEAL DYE:

It can, it can, and we have actually ongoing consulting companies, you know, all the time. And in fact, in fact from Singapore. So normally if you do have a consulting company, you raise a really good issue in that. There's not a lot of quote investment, because if you're a small business, small consulting business, you're probably not going to have a lot of equipment. You're not going to have any, any goods and service or goods and merchandise that you're, you're going to ship, maybe. So you don't have a lot of hard expenses or hard investment. And so in this type of situation, your best bet is to actually put your investment into your commercial property that you're going to use for your business.

So if you are of the means and in a good financial position to do that, perhaps buying the, the commercial property that you're going to put your office in or executing a long lease, like a two or three-year lease, which in the United States for commercial property, it's very common to have, for example, five-year leases or three-year leases, at least. And so what you can do in this context is, and we would recommend, you know, or you should get your legal counsel to help you with is that when you're executing this lease, say you do a three-year lease for your business property. You want to have a clause in that contract that says this lease will be executed officially.

And it is contingent upon issuance of the E2 visa, because you don't want to be stuck in a situation where you're leasing a property for three years. And for whatever reason, you don't get your visa. And so you got to have those protection mechanisms in there, but the embassy will accept that as being something that you're committing your funds to. And so you would put your funds in escrow, maybe two to three years worth of, of the payment of that premises. And then upon issuance of the two funds are released and, and everything satisfies for the two purpose. But those are just a couple of thoughts you can play around with this too.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. Excellent. Thank you for that. We have a question from Stacy. So she's asking how do we apply for an E2 visa?

MICHEAL DYE:

Okay. So for each to that, I'll just clarify these two, because oftentimes it's very confusing because there's an E2 visa and there's an EB2, right? So for E2, that's called the treaty investor visa. It's a non-immigrant visa that I was just talking about. You make an investment in your business. Five-year generally multiple entry. You can renew it as long as you keep that investment active that's E2. For EB2, that stands for employment-based second preference category. This is a green card, right? So this is for permanent residents. And it's generally based on individuals who have a master's degree or higher, and they have a job offer from a us employer. There is one way to do to where you don't have a job offer. And that's by applying through what's called the national interest waiver exception. It's the NIW. And so if you work in a field that's in the national interests of the United States, you can then petition yourself without a job offer. And generally we know we do a lot of EB for physicians in the medical profession, a lot of engineers, for example, a lot of individuals who just been very successful in business or their own skill. And they've developed patents for say, for sanitation or for the environment in a certain way, any, any type of industry where you can argue that it's going to be in the national interests would give you a shot to get this type of visa.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. Okay. That is quite interesting. So the company that has made the job offer, do they have to be at a certain size or do they have to fulfill certain criteria, or if you get any job offer you, you can potentially apply for that EB2?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah. So, so then depending on what, what type of position it is, what type of salary it is, the type of employer, and as you mentioned, the size of the employer where they're operating, we would look at all of those things because this individual mentioned E2, but there's also EB3 and EB3, it's a green card. And it's based on generally having a bachelor's level education or the equivalent. And so it all depends on the person and the employer, because when you go through EB3 or EB2 through an employer, you have to go through, what's called the labor certification process. And so that's filing a labor certification or a request with the government. And we're basically asking them to, to verify that we're not taking a job away from another us worker. And so all through that process, you have to pay the prevailing wage and show that you're going to pay the standard, at least the minimum standard for this type of position, and that you're not going to undercut the wage in any way and things like that. So there's a whole process to get through this, but yeah, it does depend the government, I think, is more inclined to approve these cases if the employer is large.

So for EB2/EB3 cases, for example, we see a lot of these cases through Google, Amazon, huge employers that, that can utilize this process and they need 10 to 20 engineers, for example, or maybe 40 different type of specialists in this field. And they bring them in under the . So, yeah, the size does matter if you're a small business under 10 people, I think it's got to have to be very well-organized. And, and if you have any type of ownership interest in the company itself, that's going to petition for you.

That's a red flag generally, most of the time. Right. So we, yeah. We try to figure out something else, but, but yeah. You know, to answer her question, yes, EB2 is a great option. If you have a job offer or if you don't, if you're working in a field that's in the national interest, you actually don't need a job offer.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. So is it similar to like the E two where it's restricted to certain jurisdictions, like for certain treaty nations? Or is it like anybody, anybody has a fair chance at that EB2?

MICHEAL DYE:

Nope. Anybody has a fair chance.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. And how does it different moods? You mentioned Google. So when I, when I think of Google and those big tech employers, I think about like H1B1's, how is it different from that?

MICHEAL DYE:

Absolutely. That's a good question. So, so I would say the, the most popular visa for all of those gigantic employers to try to get for their employees is called the H1B. And the H1B is the temporary worker visa for the United States. It's, it's the US is bread and butter work visa. The problem with this visa category. And it's just been a ridiculous problem for many, many years, is that there's not enough of them. So in total, just to summarize this very quickly, there's about 85,000 of these visas.

There's various caps and so forth, but I'm clumping everything together. So about 85,000, but every year there's about 220 250,000 applications, sometimes more for those slots. And so it goes into a lottery system. And so not everybody is going to be selected, not everybody's going to be approved. So it's a lot of uncertainty behind it, but it's really the, the one way where you can get someone as a worker for your company, because the US doesn't have a whole lot of easy employment-based routes.

We have this process, the H1B, and then we have other processes for executives and managers, for people of specialized knowledge, that's the L visa. And then we have those green card options like , but that's pretty much it, unless you're going to work for yourself and make an investment and so forth. And so that's why you hear H1B because it's the very popular work visa that all these companies use.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. Gotcha. So we, we just have another question here in zoom. I'll just read it out for those who are not in zoom. Hi there, Adrian says he's been contacted by a bunch of immigration agencies that would ask to pay hefty fees to get into a green card lottery process. Is this trustworthy or is this legitimate basically?

MICHEAL DYE:

I just would be very cautious with pain. Anybody, a lot of money, obviously for anything until you know, what it is that they're going to do. So there are a lot of companies out there that will say we're selling . And so we're going to, we're going to sell you a job. That's going to give you a green card. And so the problem with that is that you're not really permitted, nobody's permitted to sell a job. And a lot of times what's going on in the background is that there's these immigration companies or consulting agencies. This happened really, really deeply in the Southeast Asia space, actually some years ago in Vietnam, in particular.

And then India also had had a huge problem with this. These were consultants or agencies that had found a us partner to draft up fake job offers basically. And so they would arrange this with someone in the United States to issue what's looks like a great job offer. They'll apply to get you through the labor certification based on this fake offer, everything looks good. You go to the embassy or the consulate, and they're looking at it, everything looks okay, but when they get to the United States, there is no job. And what happens is many times the government will audit, these employers in the United States, which they have the right to do at any time.

Because for example, if one of these groups is doing 50 of these cases, and it could be, say a manufacturing plant in Texas, and there they did this 50 times, well, the government might select that company for an internal audit. And so they will visit the premises. And then all of a sudden they see there isn't a premises, there are no jobs. And so this whole thing kind of spiraled out of control some years ago, and it really caused a lot of, you know, hardworking people to lose a lot of money. So I guess the moral of this story is just be super careful of who you're dealing with, make sure they're licensed, you know, make sure there's a lawyer behind that.

And I'm not saying that to boost myself up, but I'm just saying that because you have to have a us lawyer to file these petitions in the US under US law, you must be a US licensed attorney. So as long as you've got that, then you've got someone who's actually held to a professional standard and they're licensed and you can research them. But if it's just a regular consulting group with no professional personnel, I would be really leery of that.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. But the green card lottery process, how does that typically work?

MICHEAL DYE:

Okay, so the lottery process itself, I see. So maybe this individual was asking about DV, the diversity visa lottery program to get a green card. So yeah, this process, no, don't pay anybody to help you with this, unless you want to just pay someone to help you with a small amount of paperwork. And then when you get to the actual visa interview stage, where you've got to prepare all the documents to upload into the system and so forth. Sure. You might want to talk to, to someone like a law firm or an immigration consulting group that deals with this, and they'll help you prepare all of that stuff, organize it the right way. But no, this is a free process. So you don't need to pay any fees. There's a lot of fraud that goes around. I've actually seen it come into my email inbox many times too. So it, yeah. Be very wary of that. And if you do need to hire someone, you shouldn't be paying them a lot of money.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. Understood. And earlier we mentioned the L visa, how does the L visa work and how is it different from the categories that you described previously?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah, the L visa is called the intercompany transferee visa. And so this visa, it allows two different pathways to the United States. One for individuals who are managers or executives who have been working for a foreign company for one out of the last three years, they can then transfer to the United States as a manager or an executive for a us office. And so this is a very common visa. That's used for big, big organizations that have multiple offices around the world. They may be moving banks or, or VPs or managing directors back and forth from New York to Hong Kong, to Shanghai, just executives moving around.

It's been very common for that. But one thing that's actually really, really unique and valuable out of this type of visa category is that it actually allows you to set up a new us office. And so if you've got a company overseas that you've been working at, for one out of the last three years, you can actually transfer yourself as a manager or an executive to open up that new us office. And it's been utilized by a lot of small mid-sized companies as well. So it's a great way to actually get a business up and running in the states. There is no minimum investment required. You just have to have a US office space. You need a good business plan. And, and that's, that's about it. You have to have a company registered in the states obviously, but very minimal as compared to some of the other investment visa. So it's a great way if you want to set up a branch affiliate subsidiary, some type of a relationship like that.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. So the company like the sponsoring organization, the one from outside of the U S how long should it have been trading and in business to be considered like credible. And is there like any minimum turnover for that company outside as a sponsoring organization?

MICHEAL DYE:

There's a lot of speculation about minimum turnover, but actually there isn't any in the law, but the company itself, it definitely has to have been operating for at least a year because the individual themselves that's going to be transferred has to have been working there for at least a year. And so, you know, the longer that it's been operating the, of course, the larger it is, the more employees it has, all of that looks good, but we have been able to successfully get smaller and mid-size organizations using this visa. So it is a great option if, if the company doesn't want to make a huge investment in the states.

DERREN JOSEPH:

And is it restricted to certain jurisdictions like the E visa, or is it like anyone from any part of the world has a fair chance of getting in?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah. Anybody can utilize it. In fact, we're doing more than a handful of L one visas for individuals from me and Mar who have operations, for example, in me and Mar, but also maybe in Singapore or outside. And now just because of the difficulty, the political uncertainty and so forth in Myanmar, they're utilizing this visa as a way to maybe move some of their operations to the United States and set up a new US office. And so, no, it's not tied to any particular country. Anybody could use it.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Right. And so the individual, now who's trying to qualify for the visa. They are going to be leading like market entry, right. So they need to be, at least have one year's experience with that company. But what about their personal qualifications? Like a master's degree or, you know, is there like a minimum salary for them because this is like a senior person, right?

MICHEAL DYE:

Yeah. You know, all of those things, surprisingly enough, there's nothing in the law that says there's minimum. But yes, this is exactly what you've mentioned. The more higher of a caliber person in terms of education, experience, salary management experience, decision-making experience. I mean, this is the person that's going to be in the US opening up this new us office. So they're going to have to get their feet on the ground and, and know how to operate generally with limited support and so forth. So generally more of a mature person. And also in, in most contexts, English is, is really an asset just to get through the interview because I've had some clients who go through L1 interviews and that person is asking what you just asked. So you're going to be the only one in the US and well, if they have trouble articulating what they're going to do, it kind of gives pause in the consular officer's mind that maybe they might have some trouble. So, yeah. Good English, good education, just usually an all-around high-caliber person.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Right. And in one of the previous visa categories, you mentioned that it's a red flag. If the applicant has shareholding ownership in the US entity, is that, so in this case, if the person is one of the share holders, or perhaps the CEO of the company outside of the US that wants to in turn, go set up in the US is that owner allowed to do that? Is that okay?

MICHEAL DYE:

They can do that. There are a couple of different tweaks and finessing of, of those types of cases that we do. We just have to be able to show the government that if you've got the CEO of, you know, company X in Singapore leaving, well, what's going to happen to that company. Do they have a successor who's going to fill his shoes or his, or her shoes when, when that person leaves. So all of that needs to be explained, but yeah, absolutely. We we've done it many times.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay, great. I'm just going to have a look around to see if you have any more questions. You've guys, if you looking on and you have questions, please feel free to type in the box below. I'm just going to check on Facebook to see if anyone is asking any questions. Nope. Okay, great. Mike, I think that's it. Thank you very much for sharing your time and your expertise. If someone wants to get in touch with you to follow up, what's the best way to reach you?

MICHEAL DYE:

I think just contacting any, any one of our offices on our website at www.mikedyelaw.com, it's mikedyelaw.com. And that has our office emails and we have offices in the Middle East and Asia, as well as our main office in California, but we're happy to reach out and dialogue with you. If anyone has any questions or wants to discuss strategies about their US objectives, we're happy to do that.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. So it's www.mikedyelaw.com. Please feel free to reach out to Mike and you can have that conversation. Thank you very much for your time, Mike.

MICHEAL DYE:

Thank you very much, Derren. I appreciate it. You guys all take care and look forward to hearing from me anytime.

DERREN JOSEPH:

Okay. See you. Bye.

VOICE-OVER:

Here are four ways we can help you.

1. We offer HOLISTIC strategies to help you live that international life. Tax + MIGRATION options.
2. We help you MODEL the tax impact of moving to a new jurisdiction
3. CONTACT us for tax optimization consults over Zoom
4. High Net Worth? We can QUOTE for doing your "US - International" tax returns

Our books and upcoming events are available at HTJ.tax. Please subscribe like, share and comment down below or email us at help@htj.tax to engage us to advice on international tax or business matters.

Related Posts