US Raises Red Flag Over Private Green Cards

The US Embassy has urged Cambodians to be cautious when approaching private companies or agents offering Lawful Perm­anent Resident status in the US, better known as a Green Card, through investment and fees.

In a statement issued Dec 22, the embassy advised that US immigrant visas cannot be ob­tained through payment alone and suggested that interested people consult the US State De­partment for details.

Earlier this month, Transweb Group Co Ltd had begun advertising their services in local publications.

“Invest US$250,000* in a US-based company and obtain Lawful Permanent Resident Status or Green Card in USA for your entire family within 6 months,” one of its ads read. The asterisk alongside the investment fee referred to fine print at the bottom of the ad which noted: “Conditions apply.”

Transweb Director Kris Dev said last week that people usually must invest $1 million in the US and show that 10 full-time positions will be created, but the amount is sometimes adjusted downward to $500,000 for investment in targeted low-employment areas in the US.

The number is again halved to $250,000 for a 2-year conditional admission visa, which could be extended by fulfilling the rest of the required investment, Dev said. However, Dev noted that his company cannot issue visas. Only the US government can do so.

Rather, Transweb offers help with the paperwork and coaching for the application process, for a fee of $30,000.

The investor must provide “evidence that capital is obtained through lawful means,” according to the State Department Web site.

Investors must also prove that they will be involved in the management of their enterprise.

“People here are not even aware that…investor visas exist,” Dev said. He added that his company primarily helps Cambodian students apply for visas to go to US schools and has only recently be­gun offering investor visa services.

He said he had not yet secured any investor visas, but a Siem Reap-based businessman gave him a $4,500 deposit to begin the process.


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