Q&A: Can an EB-5 investor also hire family and other non US workers working in the company?(6/20/11)


Question: I am planning to set up a restaurant in San Diego based on EB-5 Investor visa with an investment of $500,000 and above. As per the criteria it states that I need to provide a job to at least 10 American citizens. which I am okay with. The main question is how many work permits can I issue under this scheme or apply for based on EB-5 Visa? The reason for this question is because it’s a family owned business and I want the respective chefs working for me back in India need to work for me in US. Apart from it I want my family members to take the important responsibilities in the restaurant. So I am looking at 4 more people (Family members) working for me. Will I be in a position to provide them work permit? If yes whats the criteria? 

Answer:  First of all, you need to make sure that you qualify to invest only $500,000 in the city where you set up your company as many cities require $1,000,000;  secondly, you can hire non-US workers, including your family members working in your company but they are not counted for the 10 jobs required of you for the EB-5 visa;  thirdly, if you want to file non immigrant visa petition for your family members(who are not covered under your EB-5 visa petition, such as your spouse or unmarried children under 21)or other workers from your country, they must meet the requirements for the type of visa they are seeking.  For example, for chef, you may file for H-2B for them.  This will be complicated and you are advised to seek professional advise from immigration attorney.