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The nature of your EB5 investment can largely determine whether your petition for an EB-5 green card is approved. Your EB5 investment will be judged based on several complex factors. Familiarize yourself with essential information on this site and consult your choice of immigration lawyer to ensure you complete the investment process correctly.
When you make your EB5 investment in a commercial enterprise to qualify for an EB-5 green card, you provide equity capital to that enterprise. Equity capital indicates invested money. Therefore, you cannot loan money to an enterprise and qualify for an EB5 visa. If the enterprise in which you decide to invest must provide you with a bond or any other form of loan arrangement, you will be ineligible for the EB5 investor visa program.
The capital you invest can come from an account in your name or the name of your spouse, but not other family members. You cannot use money that you have but are not free to invest to qualify for an EB-5 green card.
You cannot use retained earnings to obtain an EB-5 green card. In the context of the EB5 investment, retained earnings are generated as a result of your investment. For example, if you start a company, earn $300,000, pay yourself $100,000, and keep $200,000 in the corporate bank account, this money is considered retained earnings.
Similarly, if you invest seven million dollars in a company to obtain an EB5 investor visa, and your company generates three million dollars, you cannot re-invest these retained earnings to complete your EB-5 investment agreement. Investing a small amount of money in a company and keeping the project going with the revenue it generates is called bootstrapping, and is not permitted by the EB-5 investor visa program.
Similarly, expenses that result from your entrance into the partnership do not count towards your minimum required investment, because funds used for partnership costs are not considered at risk and do not directly generate capital.
Your EB5 Investment and the US Economy
Keep in mind that when USCIS evaluates your EB-5 green card petition, they will pay special attention to whether or not your EB5 investment benefits the US economy. Beyond suggesting that your investment should beneficially impact the US market, USCIS offers no specific guidelines regarding what type of commercial investment benefits the economy. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you ensure that your EB-5 fill satisfy USCIS.
When choosing a commercial enterprise in which to invest, pay close attention to restrictions the US government has placed on foreign investment in that particular business. For example, you may not be permitted to invest in shipping, banking, communications, aviation, land usage, government contracting and energy resources. If you accidentally invest in an industry that bans foreign investment, you may be ineligible to receive an EB-5 green card. Your immigration lawyer will be able to steer you away from restricted areas.
If you invest in an area in which foreign investment is restricted, or select an enterprise that does not stimulate the US market, USCIS may not consider your investment beneficial to the US economy. Therefore, you will need to plan your investment with an immigration attorney who has experience meeting EB5 requirements and will better understand what USCIS will consider a legitimate and beneficial investment.
Residents of some countries may encounter obstacles in making a transfer to the EB-5 investment option they have chosen. For example, some countries have a limit on the amount of funds you can transfer to another country annually. An experienced immigration lawyer is likely to have encountered similar situations in the past and can help you find a solution, such as enlisting the help of third parties in wiring your EB5 investment money to the US. The solution you and your immigration lawyer devise will be unique to your financial situation and the restrictions of your home country.
Acceptable Uses of EB-5 Investment Funds
If you are starting your own business, retrofitting an old one, or assisting a troubled business to meet requirements for an EB-5 investor visa, inventory and equipment costs, as well as startup expenses, will count towards you quota of $500,000 or one million dollars. You immigration lawyer can help you determine which costs specific to your enterprise will count towards your total EB5 investment.