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Can I change my E-2 visa to an EB-5?

My family (wife and 2 boys under the age of 9) has invested $3.25 million USD (over $4 million CAD) into a deer farm/trophy ranch in Northern Wisconsin. We have been here for 2 years now and do not have any plans on moving back to Canada, at least not anytime soon. Can we change our E-2 visa to an EB-5 and gain permanent resident status? If not, what are our other options?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can convert your E-2 status to an EB-5 direct business, which will lead to conditional permanent residency status. You can count the personal funds invested in the E-2 business towards the minimum investment requirement for a direct EB-5 business. The current processing time for an I-526 petition is 24 months and then a few months more for the U.S. consulate process to obtain conditional permanent residency. During this process, you and your family can continue living and working in the U.S. under your E-2 status.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have an E-2 visa based on your current $3.25million investment and the investment itself has created at least 10 full-time jobs for United States workers for at least 4-5 years, you can independently file a direct EB-5 Investor Petition on Form I-526 in order to qualify for Lawful Permanent Residency.

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    Daniel B Lundy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is often possible to use an E-2 investment as the basis for an EB-5 visa, but it is often difficult to prove the previously invested funds came from a lawful source. The E-2 visa does not require extensive documentation of the source and path of invested funds, so documenting this is not always considered at the time the E-2 investment is made. Another issue is whether or not the investment is a "new commercial enterprise." If you created a new business after November 1990, you should be fine. If you bought or invested into an existing business before that date, there may be complications. Another issue with EB-5 lies job creation. Your investment needs to create at least 10 new, full-time, permanent (not seasonal) jobs for United States workers. Ultimately, you need to sit down with an experienced attorney to go over all the facts and history of the investment, and then determine the appropriate course of action.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you should be able to change to EB-5 as long as you can meet the EB-5 requirements. Your eventual business plan should contain details of how you intend to comply with the EB-5 requirements. Advisably, consult an EB-5 attorney for the planning and execution of this process.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This may be a possibility, but you would have to work with an experienced EB-5 attorney as well as a corporate attorney to retool your business to comply with EB-5 requirements. The key aspect of EB-5 is job creation and I hope you could show 10+ full-time, permanent jobs created by your farm/ranch. A better option for you might be to invest a portion of the funds to existing EB-5 projects so that you could have a parallel track for immigration options. Given the amount of your investment, I am surprised that your immigration lawyer did not suggest the EB-5 route 2 years ago.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, this will work if you have or will create ten new, full-time jobs with the investment.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, that is possible. However, you need to show that the requisite jobs were created by the minimum requisite capital and that you had a legitimate source of funds, among other EB-5 requirements.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Have you hired 10 employees? If so, you can apply for EB-5.

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    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can move from E-2 to EB-5. Your investment needs to be carefully documented, and you must show that 10 jobs were or will be created by your investment.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you meet the EB-5 requirements for existing businesses, the answer is yes. However, the question is: has the business been reorganized and restructured and have 10 new jobs been created? If not, you will only qualify for EB-5 if the business is a troubled business with losses of 20% in the last 12-24 months.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you create ten new jobs, you may qualify for an EB-5 visa.

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