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How can I manage my direct EB-5 business if I am on an H-1B visa?

I am on an H-1B visa now and I am looking for the options to apply for EB-5 through direct investment. I understand that as an H-1B visa holder, I have to work for the current employer who sponsored my work visa. Although I will not be supervising the daily operation of the direct EB-5 enterprise, I still want to be involved. To what extent can I be involved in the operation of the EB-5 enterprise and not jeopardizing my current status?

Answers

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an H-1B visa holder, you cannot have a management role which involves day-to-day management of the business, which you seem to be advocating. You can appoint someone to manage the business prior to the approval of your I-485, when you will finally have your status adjusted. Advisably, consult an immigration attorney on the need to comply with the laws governing direct investment prior to proceeding further on your idea.

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    Marisa Casablanca

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an H1-B recipient you can make an investment and not violate your visa status. However, due to the fact that a direct investment requires you to manage that investment, you would be violating your visa. If you were to invest in a regional center, it would be a different matter.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are not authorized to operate or work for the EB-5 commercial enterprise as an H-1B holder, and not until you have obtained your green card through EB-5 processing. Until then you would be limited to an investor/owner of the business role where you can have the manager(s) reporting to you and set business operation policy, etc.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Changing the terms of your H-1B employment, including becoming self-employed, will violate your status. Since there is currently no way to concurrently file adjustment of status with the I-526, you need to wait for the I-526 to be approved, then file the I-485 (assuming you are still in lawful H-1B by then) and get temporary employment/travel authorization.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an EB-5 investor, having a policy setting or oversight-only role, such as board of directors member, is acceptable. This kind of role could be done on your off-hours and outside of the H-1B work.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as you are not working there, you are OK. Alternatively, if you will qualify, you can file for a concurrent H with your new project and then you can work there.

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    Sarah Xiao Qian Mu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot, but you can transfer your H-1B to the new company. Before transferring, you can have someone else manage the company for you.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can be a passive investor, such as a limited partner or a limited LLC member with a policy formulation role that would qualify you for EB-5. But you cannot be actively managing your EB-5 direct business. You cannot violate your H-1B visa requirements. Hire an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who can properly structure the direct EB-5 business and competently prepare your I-526 petition.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can be an officer of the company and perform the required duties (policy oriented).

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are a minority owner in this new business, such that you can be hired or fired, then you might be able to hold a concurrent H-1B, allowing you to work in both. Otherwise you can set up the business but cannot work for it; you have to be a passive investor or you violate status.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot work in any company other than the one which sponsored your H-1B. Of course, you are allowed to own. Early any business you want to in any immigration status you might have. And it is usually considered to serve on a board of directors of your own company; but you cannot do productive "work" for it. You might consider staying in your current H-1B job until you file an I-485 (under your EB-5 approval) and get employment authorization. You should have an experienced immigration lawyer assist you with this process.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can invest in the EB-5 enterprise. This is the extent that you can be involved in the operation. The EB -5 enterprise should be structured as a limited partnership.

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