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How can an angel investor on H-1B be considered for the EB-5 program?

Let us say an investor with an H-1B visa invests $50,000 in a startup with approximately 5-6 employees. Then, over time, this startup does well and grows to 90 employees, all United States citizens. Is this investor eligible for the EB-5 program? Will there be problems since the investment was made on an H-1B visa?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Assuming you meant $500,000 and not $50,000, you need to make an investment that will create 10 full-time jobs. You will have a business plan and maybe an economic impact report to show job creation. After 2 years, you have to show proof the jobs were created. If that can be shown with your arrangement, you may have a good case.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An H-1B holder may be eligible for EB-5 if he or she does not actively manage the startup, but gets distributions as a limited partner or is a non-managing LLC member. Retained earnings in the startup may not qualify for the EB-5 investment. The minimum investment amount is currently $1M, or $500K if the startup is in the targeted employment area (TEA) or rural area. These amounts will most likely than not increase in the near future. The investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs unless the investor invests in a regional center project that takes advantage of indirect and induced job creation.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This should not be a problem, but the total investment would need to be $1million dollars, not $50,000 unless the project is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the H-1B visa holder invests but does not work in the startup, there might be eligibility. However, if it''s his own money, he can''t use retained earnings. He should use the money he has to get a mortgage on his home and invest in a regional center project.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If a foreign national with an H-1B visa invests the requisite time in a startup with approximately 5-6 employees that grow to 90 U.S. citizen employees, it may be possible for the foreign national to file an EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526. It should be known that the minimum investment is not $50,000 but $500,000, however that is only true if the enterprise is located in a Targeted Economic Area (TEA) as determined by the Governor, Mayor, or other appropriate designated official. It should not make any difference that the investment was made while the foreign national was in H-1B visa status in the United States. It should also be noted that the regular investment amount is $1,000,000 and both investment amounts may be increased by the U.S. Congress in the near future.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The H1-B holder is qualified to file an EB-5 petition. There should be no problem because the initial investment was made as an H1-B visa holder. However, the $50k investment cannot be simply converted, just as well as the existing 90 employees cannot be imported into the EB-5 petition. Advisably, work with an EB-5 attorney to plan the petition.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, an investor in H-1B status may be eligible for EB-5 processing. However, it should be noted that the minimum investment amount for businesses located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is $500,000. A non-TEA would require an investment of more than $1 million.

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