US law does not restrict the ability of foreign nationals and non-residents to open a new business in any state nationwide. However, registering a company does not automatically grant its foreign owner the right to perform labor for the business.
In this article, you will discover whether investors under EB-5 status can work in the United States.
EB-5 Visa Requirements – The Fundamentals
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Under this program, eligible foreign investors can gain entry to the United States with a spouse and unmarried children (under 21) by:
- Investing the required amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise, and
- Creating at least ten full-time job positions for qualifying US workers
USCIS defines the term “new commercial enterprise” as “any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business, including:
- A sole proprietorship
- Partnership (whether limited or general)
- Holding company and its wholly owned subsidiaries (provided that each subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business)
- Joint venture
- Business trust
- Limited liability company, or
- Other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned”
No noncommercial activity classifies as a commercial enterprise for EB-5 eligibility purposes. EB-5 investors can form a new company, purchase an existing business, expand a business through investment, or invest in a Regional Center.
A regional center is a business entity regulated by USCIS that serves a pool of capital to fund projects to stimulate the economy in a US region via capital influx and job creation.
Currently, the minimum amount of investment required is $1,050,000. EB-5 applicants willing to invest in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) may qualify to invest the reduced amount of $800,000 (also applied to infrastructure projects).
Can I Work in US with EB-5 Visa? – The Verdict
Once approved by USCIS, a foreign investor under EB-5 can reside, work, and travel legally anywhere in the United States. Other employment-based visas often have stricter requirements in terms of job flexibility.
Fortunately, the EB-5 visa offers eligible investors the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of permanent residence in the world’s largest economy. Not only EB-5 visa holders can freely work in the United States, but their spouses and children also have the same opportunity.
The spouse of EB-5 investors can engage in any employment with unrestricted work authorization. Similarly, children of EB-5 investors can enroll in school and eventually gain access to the world’s most prestigious universities, such as Harvard and Stanford.
It is not easy to work in the United States legally without finding a sponsor willing to apply on one’s behalf. For individuals under EB-5 status, this concern does not exist, as they can work without depending on the sponsorship of any US individual or group.