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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28817
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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From I (Media) visa status to Greencard I am a German

Customer Question

From I (Media) visa status to GreencardI am a German citizen, residing in NY and have a US Media visa. I would like to get a greencard/transition from I visa to Greencard, what are the steps (process, time,costs, challenges to have in mind).Thank you, regards
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

There are 5 ways to come to the U.S. to live permanently. They are through family, through employment, through asylum, through investment, or through the lottery.

For family, it must be immediate family such as U.S. Citizen spouse or U.S. Citizen children over 21 in order to be able to come immediately. U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parents or U.S. Citizen siblings, or Lawful Permanent Resident spouses can also help you, but the wait for that is about 4 to 12 years or so.

Through employment, you would have to generally prove that you would not be taking away a job from a U.S. worker and the less experience and education you have, the harder that is to do.

Through asylum, you must prove that you will be persecuted, tortured or killed if you stay in your country and that this will happen to you because of your nationality, race, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, not because you would run the same risk as anyone else in your country to fall victim to a crime or bad economic conditions.

Through investment, you are looking at generally $1,000,000.00 for a residency, or if you want a temporary visa, probably at least $100,000 or $200,000 investment to start.

And through the lottery, it would be very difficult to win one of the 50,000 visas available per year. The lottery closed until october 2016

If you have substantial funds to invest in either a trading company or invest in a company which would employ U workers there is a treaty between US qnd Germany for an E1 or E2 visa for which you might qualify but it is not permanent. It would cease if you sold or dissolved the business.


To qualify as a Treaty Trader (E-1):

The firm in the US must have the nationality of a treaty country.

The applicant must be a national of the treaty country.

The international trade must be "substantial"; there must be a sizable and continuing volume of trade.

The trade must be principally between the US and the treaty country, which is defined to mean that more than 50% of the firm's international trade involved must be between the US and the country of the applicant's nationality.

Trade means the international exchange of goods, money, services, or technology. Title of items must pass from one party to another.

The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the operation of the firm.

The term "trade" is defined to include commercial intercourse in goods and trade in services and technology. This includes banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting, technology transfer, and other measurable services which can be traded.

To qualify as a Treaty Investor (E-2):

The investor (either a real or corporate person) must be a national of a treaty country.

The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.

The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify.

The investment must not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than needed to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.

The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. For the purpose of measuring the investment, loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not counted.

The investor must be coming to the US to develop and direct the enterprise. If applicants are not the principal investors, they must be employed as a supervisor, executive, or as the possessor of highly specialized skills.

{C}1. {C} The Investment Cannot be Marginal. In other words, the investment must generate more than just enough income for the owner to make a living and must eventually be able to generate jobs in the U.S. You will need a 5 year business plan with projections.

· If the value of the business or the cost to start is less than $500,000, a minimum 75% investment is required.

· If the value of the business of the cost to start is between $500,000 and $3M, a minimum of 50% investment is required.

. If the value of the business or the cost to start it over $3M, a minimum 30% investment is required.

You have to have at least 51% ownership. You will also need to showthat you have the necessary education and/or education to manage the investment. You will have to show what your role will be in the day to day management. You need to demonstrate your intent to leave the country when you are no longer invested in the business (this is done by a letter stating such). The e-2 investment visa is normally granted for 2 years and renewable every 2 years for as long as you are invested in the business. You cannot arbitrarily change business. Spouses can work on their visas and children can go to school

The Department of State has a very comprehensive website that gives a wealth of valuable information. GUIDE

I can offer you the additional service of a telephone call to go into more detail.

I see this is the first time you are using JA and I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Judith,
I am aware of the alternative ways to obtain a greencard including EB-5, E1 investment options. Since I don't have the required $500,000- $1mio and since I already have the I media visa I want to go that route -greencard after/through I-1 visa which is possible. As I had stated I would very much appreciate advise of how to obtain a greencard based on I visa!! The answers above are too generic/general and don't address/continue the path I already started. Thank you!!!
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

I have 35 years doing business immigration law and there is no way to go directly from an I visa to permanent resident.

If you are a person of extraordinary ability in your craft and hold an international reputation as a media professional in a capacity above and beyond the usual I visa holder then yes, you can move from I to permanent resident. As an example, Piers Morgan the British TV host used this method as has Peter Jennings and some other well known media personality.

You will have to prove you hae risen to the very top of your profession and demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement.

You have not given me any details about your international repute and either national or international awards.

This is a very high standard to meet and you may very well be at the top of your field. I would not have any way of knowing that because I don't know who you are and what your achievements and awards have been.

You would have to obtain a consultation from the US professional organization that you have reached this level of achievement.