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How can a U.S. investor help me get an EB-5 visa?

I have a startup Delaware corporation. My company's product is a tech product and it is a scalable one. I am confident that I will get a U.S. investor to fund my company. Is there a way to get an EB-5 visa either by getting a loan from a U.S. investor or by selling my common shares to an investor?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A foreign investor needs to make an investment of personal funds into a U.S. company to obtain an EB-5 visa. With a little more information, there may be other green card processes an attorney could help you with.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 funds must be from a lawful source and can be in the form of loan proceeds (if secured by your personal asset(s) and not the assets of the EB-5 enterprise) or sale proceeds generated from the sale of capital assets, such as shares, or other personal assets that you own. More information is needed to know if you are work-authorized to establish/run a U.S. corporation if the EB-5 funds are to be sourced from the sale of shares of the U.S. corporation. If you are not work-authorized, then the funds may be viewed as not generated from a lawful source of funds. Your EB-5 investment must also create at least 10 full-time, permanent jobs of at least 35 hours a week if it is a direct EB-5 investment, or you may take advantage of indirect job creation if you invest through a USCIS-approved regional center project in the United States.

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    Gus Shihab

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The loan model is quite complex, but selling your shares could be your best option. But you must remember that the foreign investor must be coming to the United States to “engage in the exercise of day-to-day managerial control or in the exercise of policy formulation” in the company. Hence, the transaction should guarantee the foreign national's ability to do so. In addition, the investment must yield the employment of 10 U.S. workers. Obviously the investment amount must either be $1 million or $500,000 in a rural or Targeted Employment Area. The funds used for the investment must come from legal means. Many of the terms used here are general in nature and require detailed analysis of your situation. Before making any offering, you should consult with a securities lawyer to make sure that you are not stepping on any SEC toes. Also, you must also consult with a competent immigration lawyer with knowledge of the EB-5 area. Best of luck.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Actually, it is just the opposite; to qualify for lawful permanent residency by making a direct EB-5 investment, you must make the minimum investment of $500,000 - not a U.S. investor. Under very limited circumstances, you may be able to finance a portion of that, but you would have to show that it is fully collateralized in order for same to count.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Either way is permissible - as long as you are personally liable for the loan, if you sell shares that is alright. Either way, the source of the funds must be lawful.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am not sure you will be able to obtain an EB-5 visa by getting a loan or by selling your shares. If you have lawfully earned capital, you can invest in a regional center or start a new enterprise where you make the investment and create jobs directly or indirectly. This might qualify you for an EB-5 visa.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your startup is a new enterprise that would employ 10 U.S. citizens or permanent residents, then it may indeed qualify. I would suggest you visit an investment immigration attorney to discuss your ideas and goals.

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    Peter Zhang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Absolutely. Either could work, as long as: (1) if you choose to go with the loan, it should be secured by assets you own (which could be your shares of common shares); or (2) you can sell your common shares to an investor for the EB-5 investment capital. In either case, you would have to demonstrate how you came about acquiring the personal asset you used to secure the loan or the common shares of stock you sold to the investor. Furthermore, since your fact pattern leans toward a direct EB-5 model, you should have a solid plan for sustaining 10 new workers in the business.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The short answer to your question is no, you cannot get an investor visa with loans. There may be a new initiative for entrepreneurs in the future, so be sure to check the USCIS website.

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