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How do I use an existing business to qualify for an EB-5 green card?

The owner of a business is ready to sell to me. I think it would be great for me to use this to also get an EB-5 green card. Will the existing business qualify for EB-5 if the investment is $500,000? I have seen responses on this that indicate it would, but also that it is hard to do the existing business route. Why?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It may be harder to use an existing business because you may need to show additional job creation, but that depends on if the business is actually existing or new in the eyes of immigration authorities. Work with EB-5 counsel to create an approvable petition from the project perspective and the investment perspective.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, it is a common fact that existing businesses can be used for EB-5. However, the facts relating to each business are so localized and unique, it is hard to give a generalized view of what you need for successful filing. In most cases, a minimum of $500k is needed in a situation such as this but be aware that many other factors may still increase the minimum investment $1million. Advisably, consult an EB-5 attorney who can assemble other professionals that may be needed in the planning of a direct investment such as this one.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unless the existing business is a qualifying troubled business under the EB-5 law where one can maintain existing jobs, then it will be difficult to use this business for the EB-5 visa as it has to be restructured and at least 10 new full-time positions must be added with your EB-5 investment. You may be better off using a regional center program or starting a new business.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Using the existing business to qualify for Lawful Permanent Residency by making a qualified investment under the EB-5 immigrant visa classification can be difficult at best. However, to qualify for a minimum investment of $500,000, the enterprise must be located in a Targeted Economic Area (TEA). Furthermore it would be necessary to show that your investment creates at least 10 new jobs for U.S. workers. For an existing business established before Nov. 29, 1990 to qualify, you would also have to establish the net worth or number of employees was increased by 40 percent.

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    Irina Rostova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An existing business is difficult to use for EB-5, because the 10 jobs you have to create have to be new. If the current owner already has employees, then you would have to add 10 new employees to the existing staff. Firing and re-hiring different people will not work. USCIS does not look at the individual''s names, but rather the positions. Unless you plan to increase staff in this business, it is best to start a business from scratch or to utilize a regional center.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If it is not a troubled business, meaning losing money, then the only way is to restructure and reorganize such that it creates 10 new jobs, but this is hard. It is very difficult to use an existing business because generally you will not be able to create 10 new jobs from a $500,000 investment.

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