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What is the timeline for starting a medical practice to qualify for EB-5?

My spouse and I are planning to open a medical practice and use it for the EB-5 visa. We both are on H-1B right now. It usually takes a year to start a practice from start to end, so when should I consider applying for EB-5? Could I open a practice and generate 10 jobs, then have a management company run it? Can I, as the owner of the new enterprise, hire my spouse as an H-1B worker? I know that jobs for foreigners are not counted toward the 10 required jobs for EB-5, but I am wondering if I could hire my spouse as a normal company.

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot actively manage your own EB-5 business unless you are employment authorized or you are a passive EB-5 investor with a U.S. work-authorized manager to run the business, which is possible if properly structured. Your business can hire your spouse in a specialty occupation to qualify for H-1B, assuming all requirements are met. With a direct EB-5 investment you will invest much more than through a regional center project investment. You should hire an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney to competnetly prepare your case. A comprehensive EB-5 compliant business plan will also be required.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You have an involved situation. You need a consultation appointment with an immigration attorney who is knowledgeable about EB-5.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    What you are considering is a direct investment form of EB-5. It requires meticulous planning. Advisably, talk to an EB-5 attorney and be prepared to put together a business plan which is Matter of HO compliant and that clearly demonstrates how the proposed business can meet the EB-5 requirements. As joint petitioners and owners, the appointment of both of you cannot be counted as part of the minimum 10 required jobs.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to hire your spouse there must be both a specialty occupation position for which she is qualified and there must be an employer-employee relationship such that she can be terminated. It is possible but you may have to have an independent board with the authority. As for the EB-5, a medical practice may qualify but you need to be able to get a work permit to run the business, and again having an employer-employee relationship is critical for your H-1B. You are most likely better off filing under the regional center program, as you do not need a work permit for that.

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    Robin J Gray

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can hire any employees to count as creating 10 jobs as long as the employees are authorized to work in the United States. Therefore, your wife would technically be eligible. However, her H-1B is tied to her employer. If she loses her H-1B status with her employer, she would no longer have status to work in the U.S. Prior to starting any business under EB-5, you would have to conform to all of the requirements of EB-5, including source of funds, business plan submissions, investment criteria, economic and feasibility studies, etc. It would be best for you to consult with an EB-5 attorney who can discuss all of the options with you and direct you on how to proceed.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, this may be doable.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as your wife's position is not one of the 10 jobs you are claiming to create under EB-5, she could work for the company. You may incorporate and do a business plan for EB-5 and invest to file I-526. It is OK if the business is not quite ready to be launched when you file or in the full swing of operation. Please work with an experienced EB-5 attorney to help you with the incorporation and business plan writing process.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You ask a complicated question. There is an issue with your own personal practice and EB-5. I vaguely recall that the immigration service has spoken on this issue in the past.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It sounds like you intend on pursuing the direct EB-5 route. Although you can start the EB-5 application process now (including preparing the project-related documents such as the business plan), you should carefully consider whether your medical practice can support 10 full-time positions. Generally, a full-time position for people who are lawfully present in the U.S. (including work authorization) may count toward the 10-job requirementexcept for the primary investor and his immediate family members. In other words, your wife may work for your business but she will not count toward the 10 full-time job requirement (which may affect your business viability).

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    Kyle Barella

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are number of ways you could proceed with the EB-5 visa in terms of your timeline. I would advise a consultation with an experienced EB-5 lawyer, as it requires more in-depth discussion. You would not need to hire your spouse as an H-1B employee, as she could also get a green card as your spouse. You could hire her as a permanent resident. Nevertheless, hiring her will not count toward the 10-job hiring requirement.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Normally you would want to file the EB-5 petition on Form I-526 at the earliest possible date given the lengthy backlog in adjudicating petitions. You do not have to create every single job by the time you file your petition as long as you have a plan for same and you reach the 10 full-time jobs for U.S. employees and maintain them. As the owner of the new enterprise, you can petition for your wife and qualify her under the H-1B classification, but the chances of doing so may be slim. Given the numerical limitation on H-1B numbers and the fact you can effectively only file on April 1 each year, assuming you have a perfect case, your chance of success may still be no greater than 25 percent. Yes, of course, you wife would not be counted toward the 10 U.S. workers.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A lot of issues here that will probably go beyond a simple post, so contacting an EB-5 attorney will be very beneficial to you. Generally, a project needs to be at least shovel-ready or about to be open, and yes, family will not count toward the 10 EB-5 jobs. As for an H-1B for her, I would be a little wary of a family member running the company hiring her as well.

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