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How can I open a franchise and qualify for the EB-5 program?

I would like to apply for EB-5 by opening a franchise. Hypothetically, let's say it's a cleaning company and the office is located in a TEA. Could business still take place in both TEA and non-TEA locations? Also, let's say the franchise only costs $150,000 to get started, but I place the entire $500,000 into the business account as operating capital and I show how I would spend it over the two years to generate jobs. If I eventually generated enough income to cover expenses, would my EB-5 investment still be considered "at risk"?

Answers

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Everything will depend on your business plan. The statute provides that you be "in the process of investing", so you can put the money into the business in increments. What you describe would be considered "at risk". The TEA is another matter; I do not think that having a corporate address in a TEA will cover the requirements. However, there are new regulations scheduled to be legislated, so it may change.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This could work, but you would need to work out the details.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You have to spend the full amount and show how it created the 10 jobs. As a practical matter, you also have to get a work permit, as the EB-5 processing can take at least 16-18 months before you are allowed to work.

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    Robert Lee

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can. Also, you can have the physical location in a TEA. As long as the $500,000 is in an operating account, it is considered at risk.

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