I am an EB-5 investor. I invested in a franchise restaurant as my direct investment. My I-829 was submitted last year. Although it has created 10 jobs during the two years of my conditional permanent residency, my restaurant is losing money. I would like to close it as soon as possible. Do I need to wait until my I-829 is approved?
Your I-829 petition will show the required number of jobs that have already been created. The petition will also show that your investment was sustained at risk during the period of your conditional permanent residency period.
No, the investment only has to be sustained until the filing of the I-829.
USCIS clarified about a year ago that after the I-829 is filed, the investor is done with her obligations to the EB-5 requirements regarding maintenance of the investment. There are some horror stories about green cards getting revoked for all manners of reasons, though.
According to USCIS, if the 10 full-time jobs were created during your sustainment period already, you do not have to continue to maintain those jobs during the I-829 approval stage. Once you file your I-829 petition, you could technically shut down your business and you should still be OK. Be prepared to answer questions that might arise, though, about the business before your I-829 filing.
There is no standard set of requirements for business performance for EB-5 investment. In fact, the only commonly guide is that a EB-5 investment is an investment-at-risk. That is, the entire investment can be lost just as it appears your investment in this instance is headed unless there is a favorable turnaround. With regards to closure of the business, you are better advised that you need to keep the business until your I-829 is approved. Otherwise, any closure prior to the I-829 approval may cause some problems with the USCIS if there are any investigations of any issue relating to the business during the processing of the I-829 application.
That would be safest, but there are no clear guidelines on this with the lengthy adjudication periods.
It would be much safer to maintain the jobs until your I-829 petition is at the very least filed. If upon losing jobs, subsequently it should not necessarily impact the approval of your I-829, but there is always some risk.
Yes, to be on the safe side you should maintain and operate the business at least until the I-829 is approved. This is in case USCIS issues a request for evidence regarding the legitimacy of the business operation, 10 jobs being created and maintained, etc.
I would wait and maintain the status quo until your I-829 is approved.
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