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How can a gift to a U.S. business qualify as an EB-5 investment?

I am a U.S. citizen and my non-U.S. citizen friend wants to pursue an EB-5 visa by investing in my business. I am in the process of forming that business with plans of becoming a franchisee. The franchisor is not keen on this particular way of financing our initial investment and wants owner equity or traditional lending arrangements. My non-U.S. citizen friend would be willing to "gift" this money to my business. Will this type of investment be sufficient for EB-5 visa purposes? Can the investment in a U.S. business be a gift to the business?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The gift of funds must come from a legal source of funds and be given to an EB-5 investor, who will in turn make an investment of funds into a business (new commercial enterprise) which must create at least 10 full-time jobs in order for an EB-5 investor to qualify under the EB-5 program.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It must actually be an investment put at risk of loss and allowing for the opportunity for gain. Investment documentation will be required as well. A gift as you describe does not sound like it would be accepted.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A gift can qualify - but the gift must be to the primary applicant and the source of the gifted funds must be shown to be lawful.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The gift must be to the investor who can invest in a business that must create the jobs.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am not sure I understand the details, but the investment would have to be in a commercial enterprise if the non-U.S. citizen wants a green card from the investment.

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