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When should the business plan be written?

My client can purchase a restaurant for an EB-5 direct investment or, potentially, for an L-1; he is still deciding whether to go with L-1 or EB-5. Should he get his business plan written before or after the transaction is finalized?

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    Answered on

    Work can begin even before the transaction. However, he should decide whether it will be an EB-5 or L-1 process before doing anything, as the business plans (and the entire immigration processes) are quite different.

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    Answered on

    Every business decision has an immigration consequence. As a result, it would be advisable to start preparing the L-1 or EB-5 immigration business plan.This way you can make sure the purchase of a business and its structure will be immigration compliant.

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    Answered on

    The EB-5 business plan really is the centerpiece of your case. It should be written as early as possible and updated frequently while the case preparations are ongoing so that, upon filing the petition, you have the strongest, most up to date version of the plan. Keep in mind that purchasing an existing restaurant is unlikely to qualify for EB-5 unless (1) it is a troubled business (which has a specific definition in the EB-5 law) or (2) the business plan calls for an investment which will create 10 NEW full-time positions (expansion). You also want to make sure the restaurant was established after 11/26/1990. If not, there are other requirements to meet. Also, a restaurant with a single location may not be the best choice for L-1. Typically, an L-1 manager or executive will be coming to the United States to open a new office or manage an existing office where the U.S. entity has either (1) several professional employees (the jobs require at least a BA degree) or (2) it has the structural complexity to necessitate a manager/executive who will primarily perform qualifying duties and not perform day to day non-managerial operations. Most restaurants have mainly non-professional workers and they lack the structural hierarchy/complexity to meet the L-1 or EB1C requirements.

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    Answered on

    He will need this before submitting either application.

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    Answered on

    First, you should determine the client's eligibility for either L-1A or EB-5, as well as their ultimate immigration goals. Once the client has determined the proper visa category with his or her immigration lawyer, a business plan should be prepared for that specific visa category as each L-1A and EB-5 business plans are significantly different in scope and costs involved.

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    Answered on

    The general practice is that a business plan should be written prior to filing a petition or an application. As a result, a business plan needs to be in place as soon as possible because it usually affects the type of visa an applicant will be seeking. In the case of all immigration filings either for L-1 or EB-5, a business plan must be in place first as it will be the foundation for investments and any transaction is finalized. Lastly, ensure all details that show how the planned petition or application will be successful must be incorporated into the business plan.

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    Answered on

    You will definitely want to do the business plan before you start to ensure you have the requisite number of jobs. The investment of capital alone does not result in approval. It is instead imperative to ensure the investment creates 10 new jobs.

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    Answered on

    A business plan written in support of an L-1 application will differ from a business plan written in support of an EB-5 Petition. You should decide which one you will file for before commissioning your business plan, as the costs involved can be significant.

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    Answered on

    You can get the business plan written before or after the transaction is finalized, but you would not want to finalize the transaction until one has thoroughly vetted the possibility of eligibility for L-1 non-immigrant status or alternatively, qualifying for Lawful Permanent Residency through an EB-5 direct investment, recognizing that the latter could take more than a year. By doing some preliminary legal work, which could include the business plan, one could determine the strength or weakness of the L-1 or EB-5 case.

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    Answered on

    USCIS looks for specific information in the business plans for L-1 vs EB-5. You should decide which option you want to take (keep in mind that an E-2 nonimmigrant visa may be a better option here if you are also doing an EB-5) before getting the business plan prepared. However, in either case, having a business plan at the very start/beginning of the process is important.

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