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What trouble could I get into by taking a job offer from an EB-5 entity?

I have been approached by an EB-5 entity to go on the payroll, no need to show up at work though. What kind of trouble can I get into by taking the job? The company has many others doing this too. Will the company get in hot water? The managers? Employees? The visas?

Answers

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Anytime one takes shortcuts, there is the potential to get caught. Don't do it.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This does not sound legitimate and it appears to be fraudulent activity aimed at manufacturing artificial job creation. Do not engage in such activity. Those who do are breaking the law, jeopardizing their own future, as well as the future of those EB-5 investors (and their families who need to rely on real job creation. A lose-lose proposition to be avoided.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It''s hard to answer your question, but first you must be work authorized to work for the EB-5 entity in the United States. If the entity has sponsored you for a position, then there are certain obligations to meet the specific representations made by the employer that sought to obtain your visa. On the other hand, if you are already have a generic employment authorization document (EAD), you could negotiate any type of employment arrangement, even if they are willing to pay you without having to do much work. You should not get into any trouble provided that you are authorized to work in the United States. Again, I would need more information to give advice in greater detail.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are authorized to work in the United States, I am not aware of any legal liability for working for an EB-5 entity.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Sounds like you are being offered a "job" to fulfill the 10-job creation requirement for EB-5 investors. As far as USCIS is concerned, unless the jobs exist where workers are hired to fill those open jobs, the company would be in violation of the EB-5 requirements.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is fraud. The EB-5 entity wants to put you on the payroll even though you will do no work because the minimum number of jobs have not been created for the I-829 petitions of the EB-5 investors. If USCIS finds out about this fraud, then USCIS will terminate the conditional permanent residency status of the EB-5 investors and will likely bring criminal actions against the company, its owners, managers and employees. You should not participate in this fraud.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is against the law to be a "ghost employee." The act is a fraud and a felony. In most jurisdictions, both the perpetrators (such as the company, in this instance) and the accomplices (i.e. the ghost employees) will face the same set of felonious charges of fraud and conspiracy if it can be proven. They may even be simultaneously prosecuted. Advisably, turn down the offer.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Two immediate concerns. One is yes, you can work for an NCE that you have invested in. The only issue is that you will not count toward the 10-job minimum. The second (and bigger issue) is whether it is a true job offer or if it will look like a disguised repayment of principal. Proceed carefully.

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    Irina Rostova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You probably will not get in trouble if they want to pay you for not doing anything. Then it is their prerogative. However, if they ask you to give them the money back, you may be in legal trouble for participating in fraud. The investors of this company will likely have a finding of fraud made, which will have immigration consequences for them.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is very risky both for the EB-5 entity and the employee on payroll. If IPO kicks up its enforcement and conducts site visits (which have been proposed), it will be uncovered that no employees actually are engaged in any employment, yet on payroll.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is odd and I would question why they would consider doing this. First, if you do not have an authorization to work (EAD card) with your current status, you may not work legally in the U.S. Further, if you are under H-1B, that work authorization is dependent on the employer who sponsored you and you may not work for some other company without filing additional employer or change of employer petition. Second, the entity may not count EB-5 investors as part of the 10-plus jobs that it must create. Also, the paycheck you receive from this non-work could be considered guaranteed remuneration/return that may put the investment "at risk" in jeopardy. Thus, it is not clear why the entity will put anyone who does not actually work for the company on the payroll and expend unnecessary expenses, rather than utilizing the investment properly to create 10-plus full-time, permanent U.S. jobs.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no inherent problem taking a job with a regional center if you have employment authorization. As you said, you were not expected to come to work, but a problem could arise if they were hiring you only to refer investors and compensating you for this service. This could be in violation of securities law.

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