Can sharing an investment get a group of people EB-5 green cards?

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Question:

I can’t afford to make a big enough investment in a U.S. business to get a green card on my own. Can I join with friends in investing, and have each of us get green cards?

Answer:

Although a number of investors may join together in creating or expanding a U.S. business, and each of them then apply for an investment-based (EB-5) green card through that business, this arrangement will not make the process any less expensive for any of you.

U.S. immigration law requires that each individual investment still be for the minimum qualifying amount ($1 million, or $500,000 if investing in an area that the immigration authorities have recognized as having high unemployment). What’s more, each investor must separately create ten new jobs for U.S. workers. (See "EB-5 Investor Visas: Who Qualifies?")

For example, five people could each invest $1 million in a new business that will employ at least 50 U.S. workers, and all five investors could then qualify for investment-based green cards. This might come in handy for groups of people that wanted to start a type of business that cannot be launched for a mere $1 million.

But if additional investors also put money into that same business in amounts less than $1 million, they had better not hope to obtain green cards through the investment. The good news is that the five immigrating investors may, despite any additional investments from non-green-card seekers, still be credited with creating all 50 jobs.

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