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Can a U.S. citizen help with an EB-5 investment?

I am a U.S. citizen who is interested in helping an international student who is already in the U.S. How can I lend the EB-5 funds to the student? Can the student stay in the country while waiting for her green card? Can I make the investment in my name on her behalf?

Answers

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    Marisa Casablanca

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a U.S. citizen you may gift the funds to the student. If you will be lending the funds, the collateral must be the personal assets of the student. You would have to show the basis of your earnings that you are using to give to the student. The student may stay here, but must maintain their status as a student or another status.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You must gift the money with no commitment. Her ability to stay for the one to two years while the petition is pending is a separate issue depending on whether she is a genuine student with intent to study.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The petition for EB-5 must be made in the name of the international student in question. A citizen is not qualified to apply for EB-5. The program is strictly for foreign nationals. Furthermore, as a citizen, you can certainly lend the investment fund to the international student. Usually, all the information regarding the loan should be well-documented with acceptable collateral(s). Finally, as the lender, you will be required to document how you earned the money in the first place. The essence of all investigations and reviews by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is to prove that the investment fund comes from legal source(s).

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You could gift the funds to the international student. Your gift must follow all United States laws concerning the gift, including the payment of applicable taxes. The foreign national must make the EB-5 investment. You cannot make the EB-5 investment.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An F-1 student can stay in the U.S. to wait for a decision on an I-526 petition, but he or she must maintain an underlying immigration status to be able to adjust status to a green card holder if/when I-526 petition is approved. It currently takes over two years for USCIS to process I-526 petitions, but F-1 status will likely allow the student to study in the U.S. for that long if he or she continues going to school. You cannot make an EB-5 investment on behalf of the student because the EB-5 investor must make a personal investment into a qualifying project with his or her personal lawfully sourced funds. A loan is allowed, but it must be secured by a collateral asset or assets owned by the student and the collateral must be appraised to show its appraised value is equal to or more than the loan proceeds. The source of the loan must also come from lawful funds, earnings, inheritance, sale of property, etc.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order: They need to secure the loan with personal assets (but usually personal loans aren't viewed too kindly by USCIS); they can stay if they maintain their status (but there is currently no way to file for the green card until the Form I-526 is approved); and you cannot make the investment on her behalf. Please contact an immigration attorney for a complete consultation.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may not make an investment in your name, as it has to be her investment and her petition. Also, if the investment is in a form of a loan, the loan must be a secured loan collateralized by assets, not a personal loan. As to whether she may stay while the I-526 is pending, as long as she enrolls and attends school as she was given visa to do, her stay can be maintained for that duration.

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    Sarah Xiao Qian Mu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For EB-5 purposes, the gift can only come from immediate relatives. An uncle or aunt does not qualify.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A U.S. citizen definitely may help with the investment, but only in terms of making a gift to the EB-5 investor. The investment must be made in the EB-5 investor's name. The U.S. citizen must demonstrate that the gift was legally made (not a loan), that any taxes are paid, and that the source of the gifted funds was lawful. This likely will require copies of the U.S. citizen's tax returns. If the student is in valid F-1 status, he or she may remain in the United States. A pending or even approved I-526 petition in and of itself does not confer any immigration benefit.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you lend the money to the student, it will not work for EB-5 unless the student pledged collateral for the loan. You would have to give him or her the money as a gift.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can help, but this will need to be documented as her source of funds. She cannot remain in the U.S. unless she has a valid legal status while awaiting for permanent residency.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, a U.S. citizen may gift or loan funds to an international student so they can qualify for lawful permanent residency by filing an EB-5 investor petition on Form I-526. If you loan the funds, the student must have or put up an equal amount of collateral to guarantee the repayment of such funds. The student can stay in the U.S., provided she is maintaining her student status or she obtains another interim non-immigrant status. The investment would have to be made in the name of the foreign national.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can loan her the funds with an executed loan document. You will have to prove your legal source of funds by providing your financials, etc. The investment must be in her name and she must be the "investor" for the EB-5 purposes. She may remain in the U.S. under the student status while the EB-5 is processing, and then file to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident.

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