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How can I invest in an LLC on a tourist visa or EB-5 visa?

Situation is this: I have the money and my friend has the knowledge. How can we open a LLC and send an investment to the LLC account and in the future receive dividends from the profit of the business or would that be violating my status as a tourist in the United States? How can I do the same investment but instead apply for EB-5?

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Anyone can invest in a company (or start a new company) in the U.S., no matter what your immigration status is or where you are physically located (you can be in Siberia). But you are not allowed to work for your company without permission from the USCIS under a proper visa status. If you put enough money into the business, and if it is projected to hire 10 new employees over the next few years, you could use this investment as a vehicle to apply for an EB-5 visa. You should go over the details with an experienced EB-5 immigration lawyer.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can invest as a tourist as long as you are a passive investor. You can also receive dividends from your investment though you cannot work for your own company in the U.S. To form a LLC, you need to look to the website of the secretary of state of the state where the business will sit. Each state will have different requirements. You can find an accountant or attorney to help you with the registration. In order to make the investment EB-5 compliant, you need to invest at least $1.8 million (or $900,000 if the business is in a TEA). You also need to trace the legal source of all your EB-5 investment. This part is complicated. You need assistance from an experienced EB-5 attorney.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are not taking any action but giving the money to your friend, so that you are a passive investor, you can do that on a B1/B2.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Nothing prevents you from opening a LLC (or any corporation with your friend) right now. Money can potentially come back to you in two ways. If you are overseas, then the profits can be sent there. However, if you want to structure it as an EB-5 investment, then you would have to invest at least the minimum qualifying amount ($900,000 or $1.8 million), and then any future profits can come to you as an EB-5 investor.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Investing in a company and even receiving dividends is not the same thing as being employed by a company. A business visitor is allowed to invest in a U.S. company, but they cannot be employed without employment authorization. You should contact an experienced EB-5 attorney who can walk you through the requirements of investing in, but not being employed by your company.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is doable, but unless you have a longer term non-immigrant visa, you would need to return home until the final stage of the EB-5 where you get the green card.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can do passive investment but you cannot work without a work visa. To turn the investment into a green card, you have to invest in a company that creates 10 jobs, directly or indirectly, as a result of your investment. The critical aspect is the job creation and to be direct, you better of investing in a regional center because it is very hard to create 10 full-time jobs based on a $900,000 investment.