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Posts Tagged ‘EB-5 Visa Thailand’

25th April 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Peoples’ Republic of China may soon be taking measures to decrease that country’s position in United States dollars. To quote directly from Xinhua at Xinhuanet.com:

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) — China should reduce its excessive foreign exchange reserves and further diversify its holdings, Tang Shuangning, chairman of China Everbright Group, said on Saturday. The amount of foreign exchange reserves should be restricted to between 800 billion to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars, Tang told a forum in Beijing, saying that the current reserve amount is too high. China’s foreign exchange reserves increased by 197.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first three months of this year to 3.04 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of March. Tang’s remarks echoed the stance of Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank, who said on Monday that China’s foreign exchange reserves “exceed our reasonable requirement” and that the government should upgrade and diversify its foreign exchange management using the excessive reserves.

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The Chinese media are not the only outlets reporting that the dollar holdings of the Chinese could be diminished. In fact, some media outlets are noting that China’s economy appears to be ascending in relation to the United States. To quote directly from MarketWatch.com:

For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the “Age of America” will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China. And it’s a lot closer than you may think. According to the latest IMF official forecasts published two weeks ago, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.

The administration of this blog strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks above to read further from this story to gain context and perspective.

This news could be very important for the international business community and for those conducting business in China. At the same time, this news could prove important for the business community in the economies comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The ultimate effects of this news will likely play out over the coming months.

In the context of United States Immigration these developments could prove to be a boon to prospective immigrant investors seeking an EB-5 visa to take up Lawful Permanent Residence in the United States because the dollar could prove in coming months to show weakness. As a result, currency utilized by prospective immigrants could strengthen in relation to the United States dollar and thereby facilitate a less costly investment in real terms.

How this news impacts business and politics in the United States of America, the Kingdom of Thailand, and Greater Asia will likely be the topic of further postings on this blog in the future.

Those interested in information regarding legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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1st January 2011

For those who read this blog with any frequency it has no doubt been noted that the administration often attempts to post the holiday closing schedules of the various US Embassies and Missions outside of the United States of America as a convenience to travelers who may be in need of services abroad. Below is the is the holiday closing schedule for the United States Embassy in the Kingdom of Thailand as quoted from the official website of the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

MONTH DATE DAY OCCASION
January 17 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
February 21 Monday Presidents’ Day
April 6 Wednesday King Rama I Memorial
and Chakri Day
April 13 Wednesday Songkran Day
April 14 Thursday Songkran Day
April 15 Friday Songkran Day
May 5 Thursday Coronation Day
May 17 Tuesday Visakha Bucha Day
May 30 Monday Memorial Day
July 4 Monday Independence Day
August 12 Friday Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday
September 5 Monday Labor Day
October 10 Monday Columbus Day
October 24 Monday Substitute for
Chulalongkorn Day
November 11 Friday Veterans Day
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
December 5 Monday His Majesty the King’s Birthday
December 12 Monday Substitute for Constitution Day
December 26 Monday Substitute for Christmas Day

Those interested in receiving Consular services such as notary services and/or issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Passport, or additional visa pages are well advised to contact an American Citizen Services Section of the nearest US Mission with Consular jurisdiction over the area in which one is located.

Those wishing to find the US Embassy in Bangkok’s official website homepage please click Here.

Each year, many Thai-American couples opt to seek US immigration benefits in the form of travel documents such as the K-1 visa or the CR-1 Visa. Meanwhile, many multi-national companies or individual immigrant investors seek investment or business based visas such as the L-1 visa for intra-company transferees, the E-2 visa for Treaty Investors traveling to the USA, or the EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors making a minimum $500,000 investment in an eligible program in the United States. In most cases, Thai applicants for the visas noted above will be required to process their visa application with the Immigrant Visa Unit or Business Travel Unit of the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

Those Thai nationals seeking Non-immigrant visas such as the J-1 visa (Exchange Visitor Visa), F-1 visa (Student Visa), B-2 visa (Tourist Visa), or the B-1 Visa (Business Visa) must process their application through the Non-immigrant Visa Unit in Bangkok if the Thai applicant resides within the Consular jurisdiction of the US Embassy in Bangkok as opposed to the Consular jurisdiction of the US Consulate-General in Chiang Mai Thailand.

Those interested in learning further information about the process of obtaining a United States visa from the Kingdom of Thailand please see: US Immigration.

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14th December 2010

Since recent economic developments have caused turmoil in the American economy, it is this blogger’s opinion that few are willing to look at the positive aspects of the United States economy. As a business platform the United States of America is still one of the best countries to host businesses conducting trade, providing services, or conducting manufacturing. To quote directly from another website, locationusa.com, which discusses issues surrounding the United States economy at length:

U.S. affiliates of foreign companies employ more than five million U.S. workers and support millions more indirectly. There is no question that investing in the United States brings with it many advantages. With a population of more than 300 million and the largest economy in the world, the United States is the most important market for any global company. The American work force ranks as one of the best educated, most productive, and most innovative in the world. As a place to do business, the United States offers a predictable and transparent legal system, outstanding infrastructure, and access to the world’s most lucrative consumer market.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive at first blush, legal immigration has a tremendous positive impact upon local economies. This is especially true where immigrants are investing in the United States economy or setting up a business in the USA. One of the primary ways in which immigrants can be beneficial to the USA is through foreign direct investment. Any money invested in the United States could be viewed as a net positive if one were looking at global competition for foreign direct investment as a “zero sum” game. Furthermore, investment in the USA creates jobs. As stated above, the United States labor market is one of the most sophisticated and efficient on the planet. This is one of the many reasons why foreign companies set up offices in the United States as American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents are some of the best educated and best equipped to handle complex and difficult tasks. Also, the infrastructure of the United States is ranked high compared to other nations around the globe. In short, the United States of America is an optimal location to engage in business activity aimed at attracting customers from both the USA, which has a very dynamic consumer market, and the world at large.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa is a very useful travel document for those who wish to both invest and work in the United States. This visa is a highly sought after travel document since it provides the bearer with lawful permanent residence upon lawful admission to the USA at a Port of Entry. Those interested in obtaining an EB-5 Visa should conduct research and take note of the fact that Immigrant Investors wishing to enjoy an EB5 visa should be willing to invest a minimum of five hundred thousand (500,000) United States dollars. Those seeking to invest in an “un-targeted” EB-5 program should note that such an investment must generally be at least one million (1,000,000) US dollars.

Those who wish to invest in a small business in the United States may find the the US E-2 visa beneficial as this travel document may be used to travel to the USA to oversee an enterprise located stateside. It should be noted that the E-2 is a non-immigrant visa and therefore, those wishing to immigrate to the USA to reside may not be well served by an E-2 visa.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa China or EB-5 Visa Thailand.

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9th November 2010

Since the topic of American Investment visas was first broached on this blog, this author has received some questions regarding the way in which United States Investment Visas actually operate in the real world. One of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to EB-5 visas is: “Can I get US Citizenship by investing in the United States?” The answer to that question is somewhat nuanced and it requires one to have a rather in-depth understanding of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa and the process for obtaining this type of travel document.

There are some countries around the world which have programs whereby investors can obtain virtually instantaneous citizenship simply by investing capital into the economy of the country issuing the nationality documents. In the United States, there is no program that operates this way. However, the EB-5 visa does grant the visa holder lawful permanent residence in the USA. This is a substantial benefit and should not be taken for granted as Lawful Permanent Residence is a highly sought after status that allows the Permanent Resident to permanently reside and work in the United States. Many often refer to Lawful Permanent Residence as “Green Card” status. That said, Lawful Permanent Residence is not American Citizenship. Those in the USA in Green Card status are not permitted to vote in elections, run for political office, and such individuals also cannot obtain a US passport. Although, those in Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status may be eligible to obtain a US reentry permit which allows the bearer to leave the United States for as long as two years without raising the presumption of residential abandonment.

Although there is no “citizenship by investment” program in the USA, the EB-5 visa could be the first step in the United States Naturalization process. For example, if an immigrant investor is granted an EB-5 visa and enters the United States, then that individual would be granted permanent residence upon lawful admission. After residing in the United States for a statutorily prescribed period of time, and assuming all other criteria are met, it may be possible for an EB-5 visa holder to apply for naturalization. Naturalization is the process whereby a foreign national becomes a United States Citizen. The process can be somewhat cumbersome and for those unaccustomed to dealing with immigration matters it may seem complex and frustrating at times, but upon approval of a petition for naturalization an EB-5 Immigrant Investor could theoretically obtain United States Citizenship.

Even though the United States does not offer a direct “Citizenship by Investment” program, one could argue that the US offers a “Path to Citizenship” by Investment program in the form of the EB-5 visa which places holders of said visa on track to possible American Citizenship should all other criteria be adhered to and the physical presence requirement be met.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa Thailand, EB-5 Visa China, or EB-5 Visa Taiwan.

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7th November 2010

Although this blog rarely discusses economic issues. When economics has an impact upon legal issues or matters pertaining to United States Immigration, then discussion of economic matters may be warranted. In recent months, the United States dollar has depreciated against many of the currencies of Asia, but there has yet to be significant movement in the Chinese Yuan which does not really “float” on the market as other currencies. As a result, economic tensions have increased between the United States of America, the Peoples’ Republic of China, the Kingdom of Thailand, and other Asian nations. Meanwhile, some of the member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have seen their currencies rise significantly against the dollar. In a recent editorial posted on ThaiVisa.com, this issue was discussed in detail:

In any event, the dollar can only go south. The greenback slid to its lowest level in almost five months versus the euro. Gold, which represents a hedge against inflationary expectation, has also climbed to a record high on market anticipation that the Fed will flood the financial system with further liquidity to prop up the US economy.

This monetary easing will result in further weakening of the dollar. And as the US government continues to run a massive deficit, the Fed will be obliged to come to the rescue by purchasing the Treasuries that finance the deficit, which is not likely to come down in the foreseeable future due to economic weakness, falling tax revenue and spending obligations that have dramatically increased.

With the US weakness, a sovereign debt crisis in Europe and deflation in Japan, how will Thailand cope with the policy challenge? The first thing that comes to mind is that the baht will continue its upward trend. This is inevitable. The baht could go back to the pre-1997 crisis level of Bt25 to the dollar…

For those unaware, the United States Federal Reserve Bank recently announced that $600 billion in liquidity would be injected into the United States economy over the course of the coming months. As can be gathered from the above quotation, this “quantitative easing” policy is resulting in a depreciation of the dollar compared to Asian currencies (and other global currencies, but the focus of this post will remain on Asia, specifically Thailand). In an article written in The Nation Newspaper and distributed by ThaiVisa.com this issue was discussed in further detail:

When massive capital outflows from the US head towards Asia, much of it is unable to enter China so it floods other emerging markets, especially Asean countries, Korn [Chatikavanij, Finance Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand] said.

“We would like the two economic giants to settle their differences on the exchange-rate issue. I think they understand our predicament,” said Korn…
On the one hand, the US dollar has continued to depreciate, while on the other, China has not allowed the yuan to appreciate. Given the latest US announcement of quantitative easing aimed at stimulating the domestic US economy, several Asian currencies have significantly appreciated against the US dollar, raising concerns about the region’s export competitiveness…

The twin economic giants of China and America have yet to fully reach equilibrium in matters related to currency and trade, but an immediate issue for many Thai Nationals is the relative appreciation of the Thai Baht. There are many who feel that a strong Baht is not in their interests and depending upon circumstances they may be correct.  However, the recent currency fluctuations could prove to be a benefit to those Thai nationals interested in seeking American Immigrant Investor visa benefits.

The United States EB-5 visa (Immigrant Investor category) was designed to provide a travel document and lawful permanent residence to otherwise qualified foreign nationals who wish to make a substantial investment in legally eligible investment programs the United States of America. As the Thai baht has appreciated against the United States dollar it has become relatively “cheaper’ (in Baht terms) to meet some of the investment criteria in the United States. Therefore, as the dollar becomes weaker versus the Thai Baht it becomes less expensive, from a Baht standpoint, to invest in the USA. For those wishing to immigrate to the USA, the current Baht/Dollar exchange rate is something of a windfall.

This could be a boon to the United States economy as well since investment in the United States leads to the creation of new jobs. Furthermore, lawful immigration is one of the central components that drives the American economy. As more Thai nationals invest in the United States economy, the stronger that economy becomes thereby naturally fueling a recover in the overall American economy. As the American economy continues to recover, there may be ancillary benefits that accrue to individuals and businesses in the USA and around the globe. Hopefully this scenario will play out over the coming months and help to spur a recovery in the United States economy.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa Thailand or US Visa Thailand.

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29th October 2010

In recent postings on this blog, the administration has noted that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is poised to raise some of the costs and fees associated with American Immigration. To quote directly from the official website of USCIS:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers that its new fee schedule goes into effect Nov. 23, 2010.  Applications or petitions postmarked or otherwise filed on or after this date must include the new fee, or they will be rejected.

USCIS published the new fee schedule in the Federal Register on Sept. 24, following a comprehensive review of public comments received after publication of the proposed rule this summer.

The new fee schedule increases application and petition fees by an average of about 10 percent but does not increase the naturalization application fee.

Although no one likes to see fee increases, there are some who argue that an increase in processing fees is a necessary consequence of both inflation and the rising cost of the services sought. It should be noted that USCIS recently posted a shortfall and the recent fee increase would seem to be one response to this issue.

The new policy will also usher in new fees that have not previously existed. As they did not exist before it is not really correct to call the new fees “increases,” but as they result in new overall costs, the term increase could be used since the fee was technically increased from nothing to the new fee. To quote from another page of USCIS’s website:

The final fee rule establishes three new fees, including a fee for regional center designations under the Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program, a fee for individuals seeking civil surgeon designation, and a fee to recover USCIS costs to process immigrant visas granted by the Department of State. Additionally, the final rule reduces and eliminates several fees, including some for servicemembers and certain veterans of the U.S. armed forces who are seeking citizenship-related benefits. The final rule also expands the availability of fee waivers to additional categories.

It is interesting to note that one of the newly instituted fees involves the EB-5 visa (also referred to as an investor visa). There are those who posit that the EB-5 visa might become increasingly popular in the upcoming months as the American dollar remains somewhat low compared to other currencies. Therefore, some foreign nationals could invest in EB-5 programs at comparatively cheaper rates due to the current exchange rate with the dollar. This is a net benefit to the United States as influxes of foreign capital would likely prove beneficial in a monetary sense while the infusion of foreign investors with a stake in the American economy could prove to be a catalyst for future innovation, economic activity, and overall growth.

As noted in a previous posting, the USCIS fee associated with the K-1 visa is expected to decrease when the final rule in promulgated. Although, Department of State fees associated with the K1 visa interview have recently been increased.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa Thailand or K1 Visa Thailand.

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