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Can I open a dental practice when I am in OPT or H-1B?

To comply with H-1B regulations, I would like to work for a clinic owned by another dentist while I have H-1B status. Meanwhile, I would like to use my own clinic to file for a green card through the EB-5 program. Can I use funds I earn while I am in the U.S. for EB-5 program? What is the amount we need to invest, how many U.S. citizens need to be hired, and how long will it be before I become eligible for the EB-5 program? If this will not work, what are my other options?

Answers

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    Answered on

    Under OPT, status you can be trained by one or more U.S. companies. During this period, you can also invest your personal funds into your own direct business and file your I-526 petition. The adjudication process currently takes 24 months. During the 24 months, you cannot be employed by your own company until the I-526 is approved and you obtain conditional permanent resident status.However, you can appoint a manager for your direct EB-5 business while you wait for your residency approval.

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    Answered on

    It possible to be self-employed on OPT. If you are eligible for E-2, this may be a better option for you. Although, E-2 does not directly lead to a green card in the United States. Currently, the minimum investment amount for EB-5 is $1 million in a direct EB-5 case (unless the business is in a Targeted Employment Area or rural area) or $500,000 through a USCIS-approved regional center project. Amounts will likely increase soon. You must demonstrate a lawful source of funds for EB-5 funds and you cannot use retained earnings from business for EB-5. For direct EB-5 cases, you must also directly create at least 10 full-time jobs (at least 35 hours a week). With a regional center investment, you do not need to create jobs directly and may use indirect and induced job creation to qualify for EB-5 and will also qualify for a lower investment threshold. I recommend you consult an experienced immigration attorney to review and advise you regarding immigration options in your case.

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    Answered on

    You can neither use OPT nor H1-B to open a business such as a dental practice. There are other visa options to open businesses, such E (entrepreneur) visas, EB-5 investors visas, etc. Further, your eligibility to use some of these visas will depend on your nationality. With regard to the EB-5 Program, you must be able to meet all the requirements of EB-5 to successfully utilize it. Advisably, consult an attorney to determine which of the visas will be suitable for your needs.

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    Answered on

    You can work in OPT for the employer that relates to your degree or for an H-1B status for the employer that filed your H-1B petition. If a dental clinic sponsors you for an H-1B status with an approved H-1B petition and you change your status, or you are admitted in H-1B status, you can work for the sponsoring dental clinic. To qualify for lawful permanent residency through the EB-5 program, you may either make a direct EB-5 investment or invest through an EB-5 Regional Center. You would have to show that you had earned or were gifted the minimum investment of $500,000 and that you invested in a new enterprise that created ten full-time jobs for United States workers. For the most part, it is more predictable to invest in an approved Regional Center project that has already been approved as "exemplar", or one or more EB-5 petitions filed on Form I-26. It typically takes at least 12-14 months for the approval of an EB-5 petition and, then, if visa numbers are available, you would be eligible to apply for an adjustment of status. Altogether it could take 1-2 years before you are eligible to work again, assuming visa numbers are available.

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    Answered on

    Self-employment is permissible on OPT but not on an H-1B. If you are eligible, an E-2 visa is better. If you can get an H-1B and save money, or if you have $500,000, it is probably better to apply for a green card via the EB-5 regional center project before the amount increases which could happen soon.

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    Answered on

    This may work if you can show that 10 full-time jobs will be created. The minimum amount to invest is $1million unless the project is located in a designated Targeted Employment Area. In that case, the amount is $500,000.

  • Avatar
    Answered on

    First, you can use funds you earn in the United States. However, you cannot reinvest the funds earned from your own clinic to qualify for an EB-5 visa. Second, the amount of the investment depends on the area you invest in. In a targeted employment area (TEA), it is $500,000. Anywhere else, it is $1million. Currently, proposals to increase both investment amounts are pending in Congress. Third, you need to hire 10 United States workers. They should all have employment authorization. Fourth, it usually takes close to 2 years to get an approval on an application for a conditional green card. After that, you can adjust your status to a lawful permanent resident. Finally, your options depend on your circumstances. Consult an immigration attorney.

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    Answered on

    For EB-5 Immigrant Investor processing, the minimum investment amount is $1million unless the clinic you are investing in will be located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), in which case the minimum would be $500,000. You are also required to create 10 full-time jobs and provide documentation that shows a lawful source of funds (which can include funds you have earned in the United States).

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