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How can I qualify a well-known restaurant for EB-5?

I plan to help a well-known Asian restaurant brand open 20 new restaurants in New York City within two years. How can I make that expansion qualify as an EB-5 project? What requirements will I need to keep in mind?

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The establishment of this restaurant is possible. However, the time frame of two years may not be feasible, just because the processing time for EB-5 is likely to be more than two years. Thus, your self-imposed time frame may affect the completion of the 20 restaurants. Basically, you must meet the usual EB-5 requirements: 1) for an investment in an urban area like New York City, you are looking at investment of a minimum of $1 million. This is not likely to be an issue, judging by your goal of 20 new restaurants. 2) the investment funds must be from lawful source(s) and 3) the investment must create a minimum of 10 jobs for citizens and permanent resident workers. Again, judging by your facts, you should not have any problem in creating enough number of jobs. Advisably, before proceeding further, consult an EB-5 attorney.

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    There are several factors that will guide the requirements, the first one being whether you intend to utilize a regional center or a direct investment. Additionally, the location of the investment will make a difference. This is just for starters; I recommend you contact a experienced lawyer to further discuss these issues. We are happy to offer a free-of-cost consult.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney, such as myself, who can advise you on the specific requirements. In general, you must invest either $500,000 or $1 million of lawfully obtained capital into a new commercial enterprise in the United States, and that enterprise must create at least 10 new jobs for U.S. workers within two years.

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    Kyle Barella

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Almost any business may qualify as an EB-5 investment (direct or indirect) with the proper structuring. Some of the common requirements include an EB-5 compliant business plan and economic forecast, as well as meeting the job requirements, etc.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Franchises are becoming a popular avenue for EB-5 investors. A new commercial enterprise can be established to make loans or investments into the franchise locations as the job creating entities, and the jobs created can be pooled. Consider retaining EB-5 counsel who can coordinate with business attorneys familiar with franchises, and with economists familiar with this arrangement.

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    Philip H Teplen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to draft a detailed business plan. It will certainly qualify. We or any qualified immigration lawyer can help you.

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    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    From your information, I can see that you do not have the time to set it up as an EB-5 Regional Center. So, for an EB-5 direct investment project, you need to have a legitimate business plan (among other things) to convince USCIS and to attract EB-5 investors. You should consult an EB-5 attorney for details.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to consult with an experienced EB-5 attorney with a background in structuring direct investments. If you would like to contact me for an initial brief consultation at no charge, I would be happy to speak with you.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Based on our law firms experience, we can structure your restaurant project as a direct EB-5 or as a regional center EB-5 project. We also can prepare a structure that would allow the opening of the restaurants one at a time.

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    Rohit Kapuria

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Franchise restaurant deals have become quite popular in EB-5. We have represented (and currently do represent) a number of clients opening multiple franchise chains. The key is to determine whether the locations are in targeted employment areas (TEA) which would permit $500,000 investments as opposed to requiring $1 million investments, and the number of (35 hr/week) jobs that can be created by each restaurant. Each restaurant does not need to create 10 jobs. Rather the required 10 jobs per investor requirement can be split over two or more restaurants. You will also need to determine the relevant project costs. I will be happy to offer you a complimentary consultation to further discuss.

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    Daniel B Lundy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Franchise businesses can work very well for EB-5, depending on a variety of factors. The first, of course, is the number of projected full time employees. Each investor needs to be able to claim credit for 10 new, full-time, permanent jobs for U.S. workers. The number of jobs determines the number of investors, which determines the amount of EB-5 funding. If the business model does not rely on a large number of full-time employees, it may still work for EB-5 if the project is sponsored by a regional center, so that the investors can use an economic model to count indirect jobs. The model can use revenue as a basis for predicting job creation instead of counting direct, full-time employees. The second big question is location. Will each restaurant be located in a targeted employment area? Location in a TEA allows investors to qualify based on a $500,000 investment instead of $1 million, which is important for marketing purposes. Generally, the way these are structured is the EB-5 investors invest in a newly formed company, which owns and operates one or more restaurants. In the regional center context, this company could also loan money to another company that owns the restaurants, and EB-5 investors do not need to be direct owners. There are a lot of nuances here, and whether it will work in any given case is very fact-specific, so you should really speak with an experienced EB-5 attorney, but this idea has been used successfully numerous times.

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