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When can I return funds gifted for an EB-5 investment?

I am planning to make a direct EB-5 investment, most likely in a franchise or restaurant. I have enough money to invest in a rural area, but will need some support from friends if I decide to invest in an urban area. Can I get EB-5 funds as a gift from two friends or relatives? How long can I keep the gift money? Can I return it after getting the conditional green card?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may not return the gifted funds; otherwise, this is not a gift. This will be considered fraud by USCIS. If you intend to return the funds, this is more of a loan scenario and the loan proceeds may be used for EB-5, but must be secured by collateral consisting of your personal assets. This must be properly documented when filing the I-526.

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    Yazen Abdin

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It sounds like the facts you mention are describing more of a loan than a gift. The money loaned to you must remain invested in the EB-5 project until the conditions of your green card have been removed. However, you can pay back the loan to your family/friend from other sources of income, such as money earned at your job or the sale of your car, for example.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should not be able to exit the investment (that is, take your funds out of the project) before removing the conditions. The investment must be "sustained." However, if you are receiving periodic distributions of profits or other returns ON your investment, you can begin to pay back whoever needs to be paid back.

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    Charles H Kuck

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The answer to your question is “never,” as gifted funds are not to be returned. Returning “gifted” funds would be considered fraud by USCIS.

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    Gus Shihab

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The gift must be irrevocable in order for it to be accepted by USCIS as such for I-526 purposes. As you describe the facts, it appears that you are taking a loan not a gift. A loan is an acceptable form of investment so long as the loan is secured by other assets that you own, not by the assets of the enterprise that is giving rise to the EB-5 investment.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may receive gift money from your relative. The money must be used to create the requisite jobs. If you mean when can you repay them, then anytime, as long as you have created the jobs and they are still existing at the time of the removal of conditions.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can use gifts to make an EB-5 investment, but if you have to return it, then it is called a loan and you need to secure the loan with your own assets.

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    Rasha G Lutfi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In general there is no rule against obtaining EB-5 funds by way of a gift. Having said that, the gift must be documented as just that, a gift with no expectation of re-payment. Furthermore, the gift transaction must be documented and the funds must be shown to have been obtained by lawful means, (showing the path of the funds from accumulation over time: bank statements, pay stubs, letter from employer, taxes, etc). Also, there must be clear documentation that the gift complies with their home country gift tax rules. Essentially: document, document, document!

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    Gregory Romanovsky

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A gift from a close relative can be considered a legitimate source of funds if certain requirements are met. That being said, it does not sound like a gift from what you are describing - instead, it sounds more like a loan. Regardless, you will not be able to withdraw the funds until the conditions on your residence are removed.

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    Margo Chernysheva

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is not enough information to fully answer your question. But in general, you can return your gifted funds from your personal funds at any time, pulling funds out of your company - after you receive your permanent green card. You should hire an experienced attorney to represent you in this process who would be able to answer all the questions you may have on the process.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Gifts do not have to be repaid. If there is an expectation of paying the funds back, this is a loan, not a gift.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    What you just described is in fact a loan and not a gift. Be careful in how you describe and categorize the sources of your investment funds. People do not refund gifts, but loans. If not properly classified, this type of scenario could be the source of future denials of further immigration benefits, including but not limited to, the permanent green card. Talk to an EB-5 immigration attorney for further guidance before you proceed further.

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    Peter Zhang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should not be able to return the gift. It is supposed to be irrevocable. If it is a loan, then it is another story. The loan however, would have to be secured by the investor's personal assets.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Obviously, you would not be able to return the gifted funds until the funds were returned to you. The funds could not be returned until they have been fully invested and the jobs created over a 2+ year period until you have filed your application to remove conditions on Form I-829, all of which could take 3-5 years or longer, depending upon your nationality.

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    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can receive a gift from friends or family to make a qualifying EB-5 investment. The gift has to be unconditional and irrevocable. Also, the donor should not have an expectation of return of funds. In case you promise to return the funds, it will be treated as a loan, in which case it has to be secured by your real property.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you have your permanent green card, if you wish, you can give your money from the investment to whomever you want

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may repay your friends any time from your personal funds.

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