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How can I start a direct EB-5 investment with an H-1b visa?

I am currently working in the U.S. with an H-1b visa. I plan to open a company here with a $1 million investment from a foreign source, and use it for my EB-5 application. Will there be any issues with my plan since I am an H-1b visa holder?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    H-1B is a dual-intent status. Shouldn't be an issue to pursue EB-5 while still on H-1B.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your H-1B status won't be an issue because the qualifications for them are completely different. However, while it's fine to use $1 million from a foreign source, you should be prepared to document the lawful source of your EB-5 investment funds before you move forward.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will violate the terms of your current H-1B if you open your own business and take upon an active management role because you are not employment authorized outside your current employer, including self-employment. You may invest in a direct EB-5 while taking a policy formulation role that will meet the EB-5 requirements, but someone else will need to actively manage the business for you on a day-to-day basis. You must also be able to provide evidence your EB-5 capital is personally owned by you, originates from a lawful source, and is fully traceable. Direct EB-5 business must have an EB-5-compliant, comprehensive business plan with five-year financial projections and hiring time table. It must create at least 10 full-time positions (35 hours/week).

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as you don't work there and hire workers, that is fine. If you do want to work there you will need that LLC to petition for a second H-1B either concurrent or as a transfer from current H-1B.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    While holding an H-1B visa, there is no prohibition whatsoever to apply for the EB5, whether direct or through a regional center. It is done all the time. Needless to say, you cannot work in the company you form for EB-5 purposes until you obtain either a conditional green card or at least an employment authorization document (EAD), once your I-526 petition filed on the back of your direct EB-5 eligible business is approved.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A foreign national in H-1B status can be an EB-5 investor. For you to be an EB-5 investor, you must invest your own funds into the new commercial enterprise.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No. But it may take several years to get an approval of your EB-5 case, and even longer to get the green card if you are from certain countries. Merely filing the EB-5 does not allow you to remain in the U.S. You will have to keep your H-1B visa alive, or leave the country when your H-1B time ends and then return to the USA when your green card is issued. One important note: They are raising the amount of money you will have to invest to almost double what it is now, starting Nov. 21. So you must hurry up and file your case.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Under normal circumstances this would be possible. However, with the Nov. 21 deadline I would be extremely careful. I would suggest you immediately meet with an experienced EB-5 investment attorney.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for an EB-5 based on your $1 million investment, but you cannot work in that company while on an H-1B for another entity. You might be able to get a concurrent H-1B if there is a genuine employer-employee relationship with the company you invest in, such that you can be hired or fired by them despite the investment.

  • Avatar

    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You would need someone to run your EB-5 company, as you are only authorized to work for your H-1B employer. Otherwise, there are no other issues based on the info you provided in your question.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for I-526 while you are on H-1B.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can invest in a business and start the EB-5 processing. However, you cannot run/operate/work for the invested business until you are approved for your permanent residency as a EB-5 investor during your H-1B status. You will need to hire a manager to operate the business until then.

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