‘How Involved Do I Have to Be with My EB-5 Project?’

When you invest in a business through the EB-5 program, as long as you meet all of the program’s criteria, you may be able get permanent residency in the US.

But does that mean you have to be involved in the day to day operations of the business?

eb-5 visaWhat’s Meant by ‘Active Involvement’

We asked Jinhe Wilde, an immigration attorney who works closely with foreign nationals involved with the EB-5 program. Attorney Wilde said applicants are required to be actively involved with the management of their businesses, but what that mean can vary from situation to situation.

“Passive investment, where just giving the money and collecting dividend or interest income, is not sufficient,” Wilde said. “However, the definition of active involvement could be being part of the day-to-day management to being on the board of directors of the company to limited partnership, which is much more tangential.”

Investment Partnerships

In some cases, you may not necessarily have to have a hand-on role with the business in order to meet the criteria of the EB-5 program.

“If the EB-5 investment is for a direct investment where it is more like a partnership – where you bring the expertise and the other the money – the involvement of the investor may be more extensive as the investor would want to make sure that his investment is protected,” Wilde said. “Identifying and establishing a role for the EB-5 investors would be a point of negotiation with potential investors and how you structure your business and prepare the business plan.”

Understand Your Responsibilities

It’s a good idea to know exactly what you are agreeing to before committing to an investment under the EB-5 program.

“Work carefully with your business lawyer as well as consulting an experienced EB-5 immigration lawyer to structure this well,” she said.

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