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When must project activities begin in relation to filing an I-526?

I am looking into starting a business for a direct EB-5 project. I understand that I need to register a company and move the funds into it before the I-526 is filed. But do I need to actually start business activities, such as sign leases or start construction, before the I-526 is filed? Or can I wait for the I-526 to be approval before starting business activities?

Answers

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to process the EB-5 Immigrant Investor you need to show that the money has indeed been invested and at risk, in a commercial enterprise that will be generating business and creating at least 10 jobs for U.S. residents and citizens. You will also need to submit documents to show that it has a legitimate business plan and steps have been taken to put the plan into motion.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 regulations and policies require you to be in the process of investing or already have invested. The supporting legal documents may show you have an irrevocable escrow agreement which shows all the required investment funds are in escrow to be released to the project business upon the approval or filing of the I-526 petition. In fact, you may use the funds immediately.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You must provide evidence of meaningful business activities. However, your business plan will be the most important piece of evidence to show that your business goals are credible and feasible. You will need both a business operations timeline and a hiring timeline showing the number of new jobs to be created within two years. Simply signing a lease might not even be enough. The invested capital must be committed to the new commercial enterprise and must be at risk in a commercial sense. Also, the type of business/industry will dictate what is reasonable in terms of your business activities before the I-526 is filed. You should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The primary concern is that the money you invest meets the investment requirements of the EB-5 regulations. As for business activity, you need to be aware of the job creation requirements and the timeline to have those jobs be created. Retaining qualified EB-5 counsel will help to comply with these regulations and timelines.

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