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How can a teenager qualify for the EB-5 visa?

My daughter is currently 16. She is looking to attend an American university next year (she'll turn 17 before then). We would like to have her apply for a student visa, and also an EB-5 green card under her name as soon as possible. But I would be the one handling the investment, etc. If we have her apply for EB-5 before she turns 17, will there be any problems because of her age? Should she apply for a student visa before she applies for the EB-5 visa? We won't hear back from universities until next year.

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your daughter will have to be of the age of majority to sign a contract under applicable state law, such as offering documentation of a regional center project or documents through a direct investment. She will need to own the funds that are intended for EB-5 investment, such as through a gift from you, for example. You will need to be able to demonstrate lawful source of funds for the gift. One option is for her to apply for the F-1 visa first and enter the United States to study, then apply for EB-5 when she turns 18. Another option is for you to be a principal investor and include your daughter and spouse as beneficiaries. She can also apply to be emancipated in the United States as a third option.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should be the investor and include your daughter as the dependent. The alternative is to wait for your daughter to turn 18 years of age.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    One way is for her to apply to be emancipated, but that takes time. The key is can she sign a binding subscription agreement? At this time the only other option is whether you as the parent counter-sign for her. Also, she has to be an accredited investor, so maybe you have to gift her $1 million.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would suggest that you apply for her to obtain the F-1 student visa first and have her start school, and then you could do the EB-5 case yourself and have her be listed as your minor child as she qualifies as your derivative until she is 21 years old. Since the investment funds will be coming from you, it will be cleaner source of funds tracking for you to be the principal investor and petitioner, and for your children to be your derivatives. That way also will alleviate your daughter being tripped up in applying for the nonimmigrant visa while showing immigrant intent.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    At first I was tempted to tell you that an under-21-year-old could not apply for an EB-5 green card. But the more I think about it, I am changing my mind. I know of no rule or statue that says you have to be over 21 to get a green card in your own right. So, if the family gives the $500,000 to the minor, I think it could support an EB-5 case. The parents who gave the money would have to show how they earned the money. If they want to file now, they better hurry, as the regional center program will expire on Dec. 11 and the case would have to be filed before then. You better contact an experienced EB-5 lawyer right away!

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Although there is no "age" restriction, she would have to be old enough to legally execute a binding contract. So, 16 would not work. I would suggest, unless you have some specific reason why you yourself do not want to become a permanent resident in the United States, file as the EB-5 investor, and have your daughter join as a derivative beneficiary of your EB-5 petition as a child under 21 years of age.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Apply for the F-1 visa first; she cannot have two applications in at the same time. When she is here as a student and turns 18, depending on the project where you invest, she may be considered to have reached her majority and can legally contract. It still might be easier for you to be the applicant and include her as an unmarried child under 21.

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