Look Out for Misleading Solicitations Targeting California Business Entities

Several of our clients have recently received official-looking letters from an entity called California State Corporations and a few others companies asserting that the California entities are not in compliance with California law.  These companies essentially passe themselves off as a branch of the state government where there is actually no affiliation or connection.  These solicitations are not being made by the California Secretary of State’s office and are not being made by or on behalf of any governmental entity. The mailings imply that the entities are either not in compliance or are required to complete enclosed paperwork and return it along with a fee ranging anywhere from$49.50 to $150 for obtaining a Certificate of Status. Please note that business entities are not ordinarily required to obtain a Certificate of Status with the California Secretary of State, unless for a specific transaction-related purpose, such as in commercial real estate financing. Should you require a Certificate of Status, we an assist you in obtaining this document.  Although a business entity can use an intermediary to submit filings, request a certificate of status, and pay fees to our office, no business is required to go through another private entity in order to obtain documents or certificates from the Secretary of State’s office and no private entity can issue these documents.  The California Secretary of State only charges $15 for the first certificate and $5 for each additional certificate – NOT the $49.50 this particular scam asserts. Furthermore, the scam claims that obtaining the document will take seven to 10 business days, when turnaround times are currently only 24 to 48 hours....

U.S. Consular Posts in Canada Temporarily Nonimmigrant Visa Processing for Non-Canadians for the Next Three Months

Third Country Nationals are any non-Canadians applying for a nonimmigrant visa.  This includes visa categories such as the O-1, L-1, E-2 and E-3 visas for Australians.   U.S. consulates and embassies in Canada have temporarily suspended nonimmigrant visa processing for non-Canadians during June, July and August (2014) due to staffing issues. If your appointment has already been scheduled, you will not be affected by these changes in service. Please note also that this does not apply to applicants who live in Canada with a valid Canadian immigration status. Currently, the only consulates with remaining availability during the month of September are Calgary and Vancouver.  However, this is subject to change so please plan in advance. The Toronto and Ottawa posts are currently scheduling visa appointments in October and do not plan to release any earlier appointments during the summer months. There is the possibility of the Ottawa Embassy assisting in scheduling appointments for applicants who hold senior or executive positions with their U.S. employers.  However, it is wise to consider all interview options available in each individual circumstance and plan accordingly. Should you require additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@ibvadvisorygroup.com or (310)...
Can a Foreigner be a Shareholder of an S-Corporation?

Can a Foreigner be a Shareholder of an S-Corporation?

Becoming an S-Corporations Some startup companies benefit from starting out as an S-corporation, while others remain C- Corporations.   Corporations can elect to remain C-Corporations for a number of reasons, including tax deductions only available for C-Corporations, the corporation does not qualify as an S-Corporation, or the shareholders’ desire to have the opportunity to exclude from gross income 100% (until December 31, 2013, thereafter 50%) of the gain from the sale of “qualified small business stock” . Generally a corporation fails to qualify for S-Corporation status if one or more of the following situations apply:  ANY owner of the corporation is another business entity or a non-resident alien (as described further below) The corporation will be owned by more than 75 persons The corporation plans to issue more than one class of stock (i.e., special allocations of profits and losses will be made that are not proportionate to the equity percentage of each owner). Non-resident Aliens and S-Corporations Although the tax code permits certain foreigners to be shareholders of S-Corporations, it is generally not advised, as foreigners who do not stay in the country long enough during a particular year can inadvertently cause the corporation to lose its S-Corporation status.  This can cause adverse and unintended tax consequences to the other S-Corporation shareholders. Whether a foreigner is a non-resident alien does not depend on the visa class held by the immigrant.  Rather, under the IRS code, only a green card holder or one who meets the “Substantial Presence Test” determines whether an alien is eligible to be an S Corporation shareholder. However, individuals under certain visas such as the F-1...
A Steady Increase in E-3 Visa Applications Reported

A Steady Increase in E-3 Visa Applications Reported

An increased number of Australians are now looking to call the US home, as figures from the US Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) show that a total of 35,353 E-3 Visas were issued in 2012, an increase of nearly 4,000 applications from the 2010 total.  This E-3 Visa figure includes both principle applicants, renewal applicants and all dependent applicants. The figures show a rise in the popularity of the E-3 Visa with Australians, which was established in 2005, as the E-3 Visa had only 1,918 successful applicants in 2006.  However, in reality, this is only a slight bump up in numbers from the approximately 2,000 new applications that are approved each year. Only 10,500 new E-3 Visas are issued annually during each fiscal year, which runs from October 1st to September 30th.   The quota was not reach for the U.S. fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.  Spouses and children of applicants do not count against the quota, nor do applicants extending their E3 visas whilst still in the U.S. and working for the same employer.  Many Australians see these numbers as an opportunity to build upon their career in the US, at a time when countries like the UK are making it increasingly difficult for skilled migrant workers to enter the country. Another appeal of the E-3 Visa is the ability for dependents to work in the US, which is a benefit not available to dependents of H-1B holders. The E-3 Visa is currently only available to Australians, although there has been talk around recent immigration reform which would extend the E-3 Visa category to Irish immigrants in the...
Online Registration for the Diversity Lottery Visa 2015 Program Ends November 2nd

Online Registration for the Diversity Lottery Visa 2015 Program Ends November 2nd

The deadline to enter the green card lottery for 2015 is approaching. Online registration for the  2015 Diversity Visa Program will conclude on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4). See the Diversity Visa Program Instructions webpage for the DV 2015 Instructions and any available translations. Get more information here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html Diversity Visa program DV-2014 entrants can now check the status of their DV-2014 entry at:...