Monday, May 27, 2013

St. Kitt's Passport Investment Program: Park Hyatt Groundbreaking!

Harvey Law Group (HLG) founder Jean-Francois Harvey and I will be joining the team from Dubai-based Range Development in beautiful St. Kitts next week to celebrate the groundbreaking of Range's spectacular Park Hyatt St. Kitt's in stunning Christophe Harbour.  HLG is the exclusive agent in China and Vietnam for this exciting, citizenship-based investment opportunity which has been eagerly welcomed by many of our Asian investor clients.

As politically incorrect as it is to say anything negative about EB-5 in the current frenzied, hyper-sales driven China EB-5 market, the St. Kitts investment passport program is indeed a viable option for many high net worth individuals looking for a rapid "Plan B" migratory option...but wary of the implications of global tax liabilities that come with U.S. residency.  And as I've commented in this blog so many times before, the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa is not for everyone...especially for folks with sizable foreign real estate holdings, income sources, or other assets which will be subject to U.S. estate, income, and capital gains taxes regardless of their situs.  Of course, we can and do help many of these folks legally insulate themselves from adverse US tax consequences through lawful pre-immigration tax planning before they become "U.S. persons" within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code; sometimes, however, the client simply isn't interested in living in the U.S. on a permanent basis and just needs the flexible solution of visa-free travel via...that's when St. Kitts is the RIGHT solution for our clients.

Distinguishable from similar programs in other jurisdictions by virtue of St. Kitts/Nevis' stable political climate and consistent legal regimen (as well as by their careful due diligence and vetting of prospective investors) the St. Kitt's Passport Investment Program is proudly offered by HLG as the most respected, exclusive and attractive second-country passport solution in the global investment-based migration market in which we operate.

I especially look forward to seeing Jean-Francois (who will be celebrating yet another 29th birthday with us (-;) as well as our respected St. Kitts government partners and the Range Development team -- on the sunny shores of Christophe Harbor!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

BTW, That Really Cool Building in the Background... the Bitexco Financial Tower in steamy, sultry, lemongrass-y Ho Chih Minh City (a/k/a Saigon), location of my favorite flavor of Harvey Law Group's international offices. (-:

Wealthy Asians: PLEASE Read This Before Entering the US as an EB-5 Conditional Resident

Between the greedy US developers, the greedy US lawyers out to make a quick I-526 buck and the greedy Asian migration agents, affluent folks from all over the Far East are being led down the primrose lane to US tax poverty.  Today is Tuesday and in two business days this week, I have personally spoken with three high net worth individuals who have been told by all of the above that "the EB-5 is your best option".


Here's the deal: 

1) US tax residency is based upon physical presence in the US, not migration status; the only individuals exempt from the "substantial presence" test are bona fide full time F-1 student visa holders...not a practical solution for most entrepreneurs.  See the The IRS Substantial Presence Test if you want details.  Even a person in the US for just casual travel becomes liable for worldwide income, capital gain, and estate taxes if they meet this threshold.

2) The vast majority of EB-5 investors from Asia aren't interested in full-time migration to the US but are talked into it.  In most cases -- and forgive the sexist stereotype but, realistically, the investor is the husband not the wife in 90+% of EB-5 situations -- it is best to have Mrs. Investor and children secure EB-5 status while Dad hangs on to his B-1 visa and counts his days in the US.

Please please please do your homework and find an honest US attorney before making the leap to a US green card and global taxation.  There are still a waning handful of honest US attorneys who can wisely advise you regarding your pre-immigration tax options, offshore trust mechanisms, and lawful insulation from the consequences of global taxation...before you sign on the dotted line.  BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!