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How can I receive funding from investors to start EB-5 processing?

I am an H-1B visa holder who is interested in starting a company that develops a digital application. I would like to apply to the EB-5 program without disturbing my H-1B status. Can I receive funding from investors for the startup toward the EB-5 processing? I have a few investors who are U.S. citizens and willing to invest in my idea, but I am not certain if I can use their funding to process an EB-5 for myself.

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not clear whether you are trying to raise funds from U.S. citizens to file your own EB-5 case or whether you are seeking to have EB-5 investors apply to your business to file their EB-5 cases. In order to be an EB-5 investor yourself, you cannot use other persons' funds unless they gift funds to you and they originate from lawful source of funds originally - that is, you must personally possess EB-5 funds. It is possible for you to be an EB-5 investor with a policy formulation role in the business as long as you are a passive investor. Otherwise, you violate the terms of your H-1B status. It is also possible to file for concurrent H-1B for yourself if your business is managed by an independent board of directors and they have firing authority over you. Consult an expedience immigration attorney to help you further.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am not clear from your facts whether you are seeking investment from others interested in EB-5 processing through your start-up business, or if you yourself are interested in processing for your EB-5 through this start-up. If it is the latter, then unless you personally invest the minimum requisite capital (i.e., $500,000 for business located in a targeted employment area, or TEA, or a minimum $1 million if not located in a TEA), plus other requirements, you will not be able to process for EB-5.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For you to seek permanent residency using the EB-5 option, you must make a qualifying EB-5 investment. As a foreign national in H-1B status, you are not authorized to work in an outside business which is not covered by the approved H-1B petition.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should be able to do this with proper planning from an experienced EB-5 immigration lawyer. While it is legal for you to own a company in the USA while you are on an H-1B visa, you are not allowed to work for your own company. So will have to hire someone to run the start-up company while you are gathering investors.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order for you to apply for the EB-5, you must invest yourself into the company. You cannot use someone else's funds to file the EB-5 case for yourself unless they are giving the funds to you as a gift.

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    Sarah Xiao Qian Mu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot use any investor's funding to apply for your own EB-5. The fund must be your personal fund. You can, however, set up a regional center to attract foreign investments for EB-5 purposes, but that will not help you get your EB-5.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You have to invest personal income to be eligible for EB-5.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To get an EB-5 for yourself it will have to be your money invested.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As an H-1B you can only work for your authorized employer. However you can establish a business provider you are only a passive investor. It might even be possible to get concurrent H-1B if you have an independent board and genuine employer-employee relationship. This means the board can fire you, which is hard to do in reality. You have to have another work-authorized person as the CEO to make this work. Be careful because of your raising funds constitutes work, you could be violating your H-1B status. Your primary purpose must be the H-1B job.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 capital must be your own capital. Capital derived from investors may not count toward the EB-5 capital.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An individual in H-1B status can set up a legal entity that is EB-5 compliant and accept funds for the purpose of establishing an EB-5-compliant enterprise. However, the H-1B visa holder would not be authorized to work in the enterprise and it would be highly advisable to develop a plan for hiring one or more individuals and implement same early on for the purpose of carrying out the work necessary to develop the enterprise as the EB-5 funds are received. U.S. citizens may invest in the enterprise, but such funds cannot be used by the individual EB-5 investor himself or herself unless such funds are gifted or loaned with the investor putting up an appropriate amount of collateral.

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