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What is the timeline for investing in direct EB-5 projects?

I am considering buying an existing business for $800,000 and use that as a direct EB-5 investment. The business is located in a TEA. The current owner of this business agreed that I could pay $500,000 first as a down payment and the rest of the $300,000 by yearly $100,000 installments. During the three-year period, I will be running the business and try to create new jobs. In this scenario, when can I file an I-526? After the down payment of $500,000 even if I will not be the owner of the business or after I pay off the total amount and become the official owner? Do I have any other options?

Answers

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Timing is not your biggest issue; it is investing in an existing business and showing new job creation. This is very hard and you need to make sure you qualify before making any investment.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for EB-5 as soon as you make the minimum investment amount. Keep in mind that you must prove in advance that the new commercial enterprise (it must have been established after Nov. 26, 1990) will more likely than not create 10 jobs within two years. You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to make sure that the EB-5 requirements will be met.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The timeline for investing in a direct EB-5 project is entirely up to you. You simply want to make sure that it is a valid project that meets the legal and statutory requirements. If the business is located in a TEA, then paying $500,000 first would be sufficient with respect to the minimum investment. If you are authorized to work in the United States, it is fine for you to be running the business. Job creation is essential, as you must show that you were able to create 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. You should file the EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526 as soon as possible, given the fact that at some point in the near future Congress could enact legislation that would raise the minimum investment to at least $925,000 and as high as $1.8 million. Even after you pay the $500,000 you will still presumably be a partial owner, as you will have to have some evidence of your ownership interest in the business. If you do not become an official owner until such time as the entire investment is paid off, that could be an issue. With your corporate lawyer you should attempt to restructure the deal where you acquire some ownership interest at the time you make the $500,000 investment, even if it''s a minority interest.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It could be very problematic to use this existing business as a vehicle for your direct EB-5 investment. You need a consultation appointment with an immigration attorney before you proceed further.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This type of deals requires a good business plan and in-depth due diligence study. Ideally, when you pay $500,000, that should be the point for filing I-526 and not later for a number of reasons. First, the $500,000 payment represents the required threshold for an EB-5 petition. Second, you also indicated you would be running the business for three years and try to create jobs. In reality, it means you are already operating the business as if it were an EB-5 direct investment. Finally, the planned additional payments (investments) on annual basis of $100,000 each year for three years can actually help you grow the business and help create jobs. This can make the goal of creating the required 10 jobs easier to accomplish. Advisably, you should consult mergers and acquisitions experts and an EB-5 attorney for proper structuring of a beneficial agreement.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, certain conditions must be met if you are considering purchasing an existing business instead of creating a new business for EB-5 purposes. 1) Restructure or reorganize the purchased/existing business, or 2) Expand the existing business such that a 40 percent increase in the net worth or number of employees results. As far as your timeline goes for the investing of the $800,000, you can file after $500,000 is invested.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the immigration benefit of EB-5 is the reason you would make this investment, I recommend you consult with an experienced EB-5 investment attorney before taking any action.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may not work in the U.S. until authorized to do so by the USCIS. This authorization is obtained through the approval of the I-526 and filing of the I-485.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to have an experienced EB-5 attorney help you structure the investment so it will qualify. It can be done, but it has to be done right.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If a business qualifies as TEA, you can file I-526 once you made the initial $500,000 investment.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can file the I-526 petition with less than $500,000 as long as a plan for the remaining investment is in place. A bigger concern in this scenario may be the "existing" business and its qualification as a NCE and job creation. You need an experienced EB-5 attorney to evaluate this opportunity and its suitability for EB-5.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the TEA is certified by the state or an appropriate government agency for your area, you could file I-526 after investing $500,000, as the current TEA investment amount is still $500,000. However, this minimum amount is expected to rise by USCIS regulatory action soon to be finalized.

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