On Feb 19 2016 by H. Ronald Klasko

Introducing the Investment Migration Council

Klasko Immigration Law Partners is proud and honored to advise our clients, colleagues and friends that we have been appointed the North American Representative Office of the Investment Migration Council.

The Investment Migration Council (IMC) is the Geneva-based worldwide association for investor immigration and citizenship-by-investment. It has been formed by the leading experts within the immigration and citizenship-by-investment industry to bring together the foremost stakeholders within the field and to give the industry a voice. The IMC helps to improve public understanding of the issues faced by clients and government in this area, promote education and foster the highest professional standards and ethics among its members.

There are many reasons why our leadership role in the Investment Migration Council will enable our firm to expand the services that we are able to provide to our clients. I will discuss some of those reasons:

  • Many of our clients—EB-5 clients, permanent resident clients and others—may have a reason to be interested in obtaining another citizenship. These reasons could include a desire to have a tax haven, a desire to have citizenship in a country that provides visa free travel to the EU or other countries around the world and a desire to have another passport that will allow travel on very short notice in the event of turmoil in their countries of origin. The Investment Migration Council will provide the resources necessary to assist us in providing advice on options available to such clients.
  • The Investment Migration Council will provide a forum for our law firm to increase awareness worldwide of the EB-5 visa category. Members of the Investment Migration Council include international banks, wealth management firms, accounting firms, law firms and other groups that may be sources of EB-5 investors for our clients’ projects.
  • Many countries of nationality of our clients do not have investment treaties with the U.S. Three examples are China, Russia and India. There are many more. The Investment Migration Council provides a central repository of information on countries that provide citizenship based on investments.
  • Why is this important? Obtaining citizenship in a country that has an investment treaty with the U.S. enables a foreign national who makes a substantial investment in a U.S. business to obtain a treaty investor (E-2) visa. The E-2 visa is a very beneficial visa category. It enables foreign nationals who make investments that may be well lower than the EB-5 minimum threshold to obtain visas (often valid for 5 years at a time) to work in or oversee their investments in the U.S. The visas can usually be obtained within 2 months or less. Spouses can also obtain visas and can work anywhere they wish. Children can obtain visas and study anywhere they wish.
  • The IMC will enhance our ability to advise our clients from non-treaty countries on obtaining citizenship through investment in treaty countries. This could enable some of our investor clients from China, who are subject to a long quota backlog, to spend the years during which they are waiting for a visa quota number to become available to live, work and/or study in the U.S.
  • Foreign nationals are often in a position to choose among various different countries with investment migration schemes. The Investment Migration Council will enable us to be regularly updated on all countries’ investment programs.
  • The EB-5 program has suffered from negative press in the U.S. As a worldwide organization, the Investment Migration Council will be in a position to take a leadership role in generating positive press relating to investment migration.

Our law firm will be leading seminars and networking opportunities relating to investing in the U.S. and other North American and Caribbean countries. We are hopeful that many of our clients will be able to attend or actively participate in these opportunities.

Anyone interested in the Investment Migration Council, including membership and attendance at any of its programs and its Annual Conference in Geneva, can contact me at rklasko@klaskolaw.com or review the organization’s website, www.investmentmigration.org.