Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘American Amity Treaty’

3rd April 2011

While surfing the internet recently this blogger came upon a very interesting posting on the ILW website which discussed the issue of naturalization in the United States and how the naturalization process operates when a prospective United States Citizen who may seek naturalization remains outside of the United States while working for an American company with offices abroad.  To quote directly from an article written by Attorney Cyrus D. Mehta on the website ILW.com:

It is not uncommon for a permanent resident to receive a plum posting for an American corporation overseas or for its subsidiary. This is a frequent occurrence these days in a globalized world, and especially when jobs have become more scarce in the US since the economic downturn. While such an assignment may provide a great boost to the permanent resident’s career, he or she may still wish to preserve the ability to naturalize, but the overseas posting presents a challenge since it may be difficult to maintain continuous residence. One of the key requirements for applying for US citizenship under INA § 316(a) is the need to be physically present for half the time in the US during the qualifying period, which may either be five or three years (if one is married to a US citizen) and to have also resided continuously during this period. The challenges of maintaining residence while on an overseas assignment were addressed in a prior blog, Naturalizing In A Flat World, http://cyrusmehta.blogspot.com/2010/07/naturalizing-in-flat-world.html.

Those reading this blog are well advised to click on the hyperlinks above to read the above cited article in its entirety as the article is very insightful.

Those who are unfamiliar with the overall immigration process should note that visas such as the CR-1 visa and the IR-1 visa (utilized by the immigrant spouses of American Citizens) can place the visa holder on something of a “path to Citizenship”. That being stated, the CR-1 visa only provides the visa holder with conditional lawful permanent residence upon entry as such visas are issued to couples who have been married for less than 2 years at the time of admission to the USA. Meanwhile, the IR-1 visa provides unconditional lawful permanent residence upon admission to the USA and is issued to spouses of American Citizens who have been married for 2 years or more. After remaining in permanent resident status in the USA for 3 years, and maintaining the requisite physical presence required under relevant US law, a permanent resident, married to an American, can file for naturalization to United States Citizenship.

This issue also relates to the K-1 visa (a non-immigrant US fiance visa) because those who enter the United States in K-1 status, get married, and apply for adjustment of status may begin accruing time toward eventual naturalization as soon as the adjustment of status petition is approved. Once an adjustment is approved for a K-1 visa holder, then that individual essentially becomes a CR-1 visa holder with Lawful Permanent Residence. Therefore, the K-1 holder, now permanent resident, must still apply for a lift of conditions before being granted unconditional lawful permanent residence which must precede an eventual naturalization application.

As noted in the article cited above, there may be some US permanent residents who can accrue time toward naturalization while not actually physically in the United States if such an endeavor fits within some of the exceptions present within the statutory framework of relevant US Immigration law. American companies with offices abroad may fit the statutory exception scheme for naturalization notwithstanding foreign residence. However, the unique facts in any case require that those truly interested in this issue must either conduct their own thorough research or retain the assistance of an American attorney as this issue can be highly complex.

Many American companies operating out of the Kingdom of Thailand opt to conduct their affairs pursuant to the privileges accorded to Americans and American companies under the US-Thai Treaty of Amity. So-called “Treaty of Amity Companies” may allow for an American individual or company to own virtually 100% of a Thai enterprise conducting business in Thailand. Amity certification allows American businesses to operate with “National Treatment” and thereby circumvent some of the restrictions placed upon foreign business enterprises pursuant to other relevant Thai law. That said, Amity Treaty certification may not, in and of itself, mean that one working for such a company can accrue time toward naturalization while abroad as such issues are likely best analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

For related information please see: Thai Company or US Company Registration.

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25th January 2011

The administration of this blog recently noticed an article from the Reuters news agency in which the Chief Executive Officer of General Electric was commenting upon the economic situation in China and how this impacts the relationship between the United States of America and Peoples’ Republic of China in both the economic and political spheres. To quote directly from the Reuters News Service:

(Reuters) – For Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric (GE.N), the 130 year-old American industrial behemoth, the financial crisis marked the end of the age of America’s economic dominance.

This blogger has noticed that there seems to be a level of pessimism regarding the American economy. Although it is currently going through economic turbulence, and has been for a while, the US economy, in this blogger’s opinion; remains one of best countries in the world for trade and economic activity. Those doing business in the USA may enjoy the benefits that come from the American financial, economic, and physical infrastructure. Hopefully, the optimism for which America has, in the past, been noted for will return once the economy returns to an “even keel”. Reuters continues:

But Mr. Immelt said the future will be different. For the next 25 years, he said, the American consumer “is not going to be the engine of global growth. It is going to be the billion people joining the middle class in Asia, it is going to be what the resource-rich countries do with their newfound wealth of high oil prices. That’s the game.”

A lot of that game will be played in China. At a moment when it is compulsory on the American right to pay homage to the exceptionalism of the United States, Mr. Immelt, a lifelong Republican, is matter-of-fact about China’s inevitable rise.

The interesting piece of information that this blogger noted in the aforementioned article was the fact that the G.E. CEO took notice of the fact that the middle class is growing rapidly in Asia. The thought of an Asian middle class numbering 1 billion or more is truly staggering when one takes into account the economic impact of such growth. As Asians in general become more affluent the side effects will likely be increased trade and economic activity as these newly minted members of the middle class use their new found wealth to make purchases of property, goods, and services (in Asia, the EU, UK, and the United States). The most poignant line of this Reuters article, in this blogger’s opinion was:

“It is going to be the biggest economy in the world,” Mr. Immelt said of China. “The only question is when.”

There is little doubt that China has an incredible capacity for growth and those looking international investment or business opportunities are well advised to research the Chinese market. That said, China does not represent the only country in Asia which has economic opportunities that are becoming more readily available to investors and entrepreneurs due to globalization. The Kingdom of Thailand, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has investment opportunities in the form of Thai Property, Thai Real Estate, and Thai businesses. Furthermore, for Americans conducting business in Thailand can prove profitable especially since the US-Thai Treaty of Amity allows Americans to own virtually 100% of a Thai Company with Amity Treaty certification (sometimes referred to as an Amity Company).

Meanwhile, the landlocked country of Laos recently opened a Lao Securities Exchange in an effort to raise capital through equity investment. The Kingdom of Cambodia recently announced that a Cambodian Stock Exchange is to be unveiled in mid-2011 while recent reports have noted that Burmese officials hope to be in the process of creating a Myanmar Stock Exchange as well. Such developments remain to be fully realized, but such examples clearly indicate that Mainland China is not the only “game in town” when it comes to investment opportunities and economic growth in Asia.

For related information please see: US Company Registration.

more Comments: 04

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