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January 9 2015

Strong Dollar

In the past eight months the euro has lost about 15% of its value versus the dollar. This week I have been told by a few prospective clients in Japan, Canada and Mexico that the rising U.S. dollar and their country’s falling currencies are causing them to wait to invest and apply for an EB-5 visa.

I am not an economist or currency trader, but to me it looks like the U.S. economy will continue to pick up steam and the dollar may continue to strengthen. Possibly investors should invest now before their currencies fall further in value. Also there are rumors that the EB-5 investment amount will raise when the statute comes up for extension, thus waiting to invest will possibly be more costly.

A Stakeholder Call

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will hold a stakeholder teleconference on Thursday, January 22nd from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern), with the new USCIS Director León Rodríguez.

Director Rodríguez will “highlight agency initiatives and listen and respond to issues of concern” of the stakeholder community. This is not limited to EB-5, but there may be some EB-5 questions. I doubt it is worth the time to listen in on this call.

China Announces Tax on Worldwide Income

On January 8th China stated it wants to tax Chinese citizens living outside of the U.S. See the New York Times article on this at: It is unclear what impact, if any, this will have on EB-5 immigrants.

The New York Times article says:

“Enforcement of the tax regulation and compliance has been low partly because China lacked data on its citizens’ overseas earnings and investments. But the Chinese government has seized on the continuing United States effort to gather more information on the overseas activities of American companies and citizens. China has simultaneously been negotiating with the United States and other countries to share information on overseas bank accounts belonging to Chinese citizens.”

China’s more strict enforcement of its tax laws will possibly lead to more accurate tax returns, which may make proving the source of funds for EB-5 cases easier. We will see.

Also a San Francisco international tax expert told me “there is a U.S. tax treaty with China that does not bar double taxation per se, but rather allows tax credits on certain income.”

Have a successful and healthy 2015.