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What type of business is the EB-5 visa suitable for?

I have a U.S. registered LLC business with a U.S. citizen in a partnership. It was formed about eight months ago and now has over 12 employees and a company bank account reaching about $3 million. I would like to visit the United States to check the business environment and its growth. My initial U.S. stay would not last more than a week. Following this, I would like to visit the business more often, maybe 4-5 times a year. Would the EB-5 visa be suitable for these type of business visits? If so, would it be better to apply for EB-5 now, closer to when we started the business, or to wait until we have been in operation for a few years?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 will work for any active, for profit, legal business that has the ability to create full-time permanent jobs. Simply growing the investment, however, will not qualify for EB-5; it must be investment of capital, not just retained earnings. If you need to visit the United States only to check on your investment, and you do not intend to permanently reside here, then you do not need and should not obtain a U.S. green card. Before applying for lawful permanent residence, you also should check with an international tax adviser, so you are informed of all the consequences of such an application.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An EB-5 investor can obtain initially conditional permanent residency and on this basis you can spend time in the United States without time limitation and also work in the United States. Currently, it takes 14 months to obtain approval of the investor petition and another three months to obtain the conditional permanent residency visa. You can file the investor petition when the required investment amount in total is committed to the U.S. business.

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In your description, it seems an L-1A visa may be more appropriate. The EB-5 visa may be possible if, at the time of your application, the accumulated investment has been over $1 million dollars or $500,000 if the area falls under a TEA. But since EB-5 visa takes a relatively long time to process, a pending EB-5 visa may pose problems for you to travel into the United States, even to visit. Therefore, it needs to be carefully evaluated.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Have you invested $500,000 to $1 million already? If so, then if you are the only potential EB-5 investor involved, then you might be able to seek the EB-5 visa now. I would have various questions for you. One of them would be whether the 12 employees were created during the period of your active investment.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you do not plan to live here or work in the business, a simple and much cheaper B-1 should be sufficient. There may be other alternatives such as an L-1A or E-2.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You might find that an L-1 visa would be quicker to obtain and provide you with the access you require.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have invested $1 million, or $500,000 if in a high unemployment area or rural area, and you have 10 employees, you can apply now.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    One requirement of an EB-5 visa direct investment is that you play a key management role in the company. From what you have described, I am not clear you even need an immigrant visa as there are permitted activities under a non-immigrant B visa (e.g. attend meetings, visit staff) that you could do. An EB-5 visa is a green card, so it means you are a permanent resident and subject to a number of different requirements (including paying taxes on your worldwide income) and other residency requirements. I would sit down with an immigration attorney to discuss options.

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    J Bruce Weinman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You could apply now, or wait; you have already created more than 10 jobs, so it will not make a difference. An EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa (a "green card"), and it sounds like you may face problems in the future with not actually residing in the United States. If all you want to do is enter the United States for short periods of time to supervise the business, EB-5 might not be the best thing for you. You might consider an E-2 or even just continue to use a B-1.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Pursuing the EB-5 visa would result in U.S. permanent residency. You would be expected to actually live in the United States, not merely visit several times a year.

  • Avatar

    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Any investment in a business entity of the required amount that will generate 10 full-time jobs.

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