As most of you know, each country participating in the EB-5 program is allotted a certain number of visas per year. This often poses a problem for the countries that are concentrated with large numbers of people wanting to attain their U.S. visas. However, we are currently looking into an approach that will help a group of Hong Kongers complete the EB-5 investment process under British classification rather than Chinese classification. This would, initially, allow a larger number of potential Chinese EB-5 participants to complete the investment process each year.
The Chinese group who would qualify for this possible option are those who are holders of a British National (Overseas) passport. This British passport status was first issued in the year 1987 after the establishment of the Hong Kong Act of 1985. Essentially, this began as a new British nationality that allowed the holders to live for six months without needing a visa. Now, having that British National (Overseas) passport comes with more perks than it did before. Holders, as well as their dependents, are able to reside in Britain and begin working there. There is a lot of flexibility with this new policy, as the dependents are not required to have their own BNO status and those with the BNO status do not have to have a job upon the time of their arrival to the UK. Rather, the British National (Overseas) passport holders are encouraged to search for a job when they arrive so that they are interested in contributing to the community.
The idea is that these 2.9 million people who currently maintain a BNO status will start on “a path to full British citizenship”. The new policies put in place are being established with the hope of expanding the current immigration system. The UK acknowledges the desire that many Hong Kongers have to emigrate and begin a new life elsewhere. By allowing these Hong Kongers to live like British citizens, there are certain expectations that they will be required to meet. This includes things such as staying up-to-date on any and all required visa fees, steering clear of a criminal record of any sort and holding to their standards of good, respectable character.
As of July 2020, January of 2021 is when the applications for new Hong Kong BNO visas will be released. All BNO citizens will be required to have a visa approved prior to settling in the UK, but it is not necessary to renew their BNO passport for this sole purpose. Then, if all goes as planned, once the Hong Kongers are established in the UK, they will be eligible to complete the entirety of the EB-5 process under British classification if they so desire. Using a different classification, other than Chinese, will alleviate some of the congestion and back-up that surrounds the Chinese EB-5 investment process because there will be another path option to achieve the same U.S. visa.
**This option is something that Christian Tyler Properties looks forward to learning more about and hopefully utilizing sometime soon. As more updates come out, we will keep you all posted.**