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How should I go about moving my EB-5 project after receiving my conditional green card?

I am investing directly in an EB-5 project and I have received my conditional green card. How can I move the business to another state at this point in the process? Will this be considered a “major change” and raise a red flag to USICS? What are considered major changes to a direct EB-5 project?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The approval of an EB-5 petition is based upon an EB-5 compliant business plan showing the location of the EB-5 business and how the required jobs will be created in the location. If the EB-5 business moves its location to a different state, the USCIS may interpret this as an abandonment of the EB-5 business.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Even though you have a direct investment situation which is easier to move, be prepared to engage the counseling of EB5 professionals such as an immigration attorney and others in this process. For instance, moving essentially means the basis for setting up your business has changed and, as a result, a new and revised business plan is necessary. Just as well, you must be able to justify why the new destination meets the basic EB-5 requirements. Unless care is taken and this decision well-planned, an abrupt moving may trigger inquiries and even possible revocation of your conditional green card by USCIS if you cannot adequately justify such a move.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    That would depend on whether you filed having your business in a Targeted Employment Area (thereby taking advantage of the minimum required investment being $500,000 instead of $1 million). If you filed under TEA, then moving to another location may be complicated. In either case, you would most definitely need to file an amended Petition since location change would be a substantive change in business. Best bet would be to leave the business where it is until you have filed and have gotten approved the removal of conditional permanent residence.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will definitely need to inform USCIS of your move.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Remember, in order to maintain your Lawful Permanent Residency and to remove the conditions, you will have to file a petition to do so on Form I-829. You will have to establish that you have continued to meet the job and other requirements through that time. Moving your project to another state would most likely be a material change as, for example, it may no longer be in a Targeted Economic Area (TEA) and an economic study based on your current location might need to be amended. Material changes do require a notice to the USCIS. The best way to go about this is retaining experienced immigration counsel, preferably one Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law, if that is permitted in your state, and one with significant experience in representing both EB-5 investors and EB-5 Regional Center projects.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally, you can have material changes after you file the I-829 conditional removal application but, before moving, it would be advisable to get a legal opinion from a reputable lawyer confirming that the jobs have been created for the requisite period and the money put at risk for the full period. Moving the business location is likely to be seen as a material change but possibly an acceptable material change.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Making substantive (i.e., material) changes to the business can jeopardize your permanent green card. I advise you to not change anything before consulting with an attorney.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The USCIS EB-5 Policy Manual states that, once conditional permanent residence has been obtained, an EB-5 investor has more flexibility to make changes, even material changes, to his or her business plan as long as the capital investment is sustained during the entire two-year conditional period and as long as the requisite job creation occurs within the conditional period or within a reasonable period of time thereafter. While you may not be under any obligation to inform USCIS about the move to another state, it might be wise to do so anyway. Also, keep in mind that you must notify USCIS within 10 days of any change in your residence address. For your residence address change, you can file a change of address online using form AR-11. For the business address change, you could email the EB-5 investor program office.

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